September 12, 2007
Sun Microsystems on Wednesday said it has inked an agreement to acquire certain assets of software provider Cluster File Systems, including its open source Lustre File System, which is used for large-scale cluster computing.
The Lustre File System is used to power clusters with tens of thousands of nodes and petabytes of data, allowing for massive parallel I/O and metadata throughput on many of the world's largest Linux-based supercomputers. Sun said it intends to add support for Solaris on Lustre and plans to continue building out Lustre software for Linux and Solaris operating systems on a variety of hardware platforms. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Sun said it expects the purchase to be completed on October 1. The two companies are well acquainted with each other's technology. In addition to the assets, a Sun spokesperson said the company hopes to bring over as many engineers and scientists from CFS as possible. "We have already worked together to deliver several large clusters, for example the fastest supercomputer in Asia at Tokyo Tech and we're now in the process of installing a 500+ TeraFlop and 1.7 PetaByte cluster at Texas Advanced Computing Center," CFS chief executive Peter Braam said in a statement. In July 2007, Sun also announced plans to ship Lustre servers on top of Sun's open source Solaris ZFS software, which is increasingly being used for storage virtualization. Currently, CFS provides technical support, training, and engineering services, and is actively working with storage and cluster vendors to develop the next generation of intelligent storage devices, the company said. Sun is expected to take over development and maintenance of Lustre for Linux after the acquisition. Sun's server plans also got a boost Wednesday when it revealed it is now an OEM for Microsoft and can now sell Microsoft Windows Server 2003 on its 64-bit servers. The agreement is an extension of its 2004 partnership (think back to Steve Ballmer and Scott McNealy) and will also include collaboration on IPTV and interoperability between virtualization of Windows Server on Sun's Solaris operating system.
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