Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another ZFS departure

Jeff Bonwick is leaving Oracle.

This is a huge event, because Jeff has been one of the main innovators in operating system technology during his tenure at Sun. While you may know him best for ZFS, he's also the inventor of the slab allocator, which revolutionized memory management when it was created. (And now, pretty much every modern system uses some variation of the slab allocator.)

And he's not just an Oracle VP. Jeff has made integrations into Solaris' ZFS code base on an ongoing basis. This is a guy that has led with actual actions and innovation, backed by code, rather than some boffin who's risen to management and no longer contributes. At some level, he's the model for the kind of technologist I aspire to be.

With so many innovators leaving (and yes, there are other key players in flight), its going to be very interesting to see how Oracle is able to continue to be a thought leader in the OS technology that they've acquired.

One the one hand, its really a shame to see to much of the heart and soul of the Solaris engineer core slowly disintegrating.

On the other hand, I think illumos may be the place where Solaris innovation happens, more so than at Oracle, even sooner than I previously expected.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

South/Central American opportunity

I just learned that a peer of mine is looking to add some escalation engineers in Latin America. Job requirements include excellent English, and the ability to deep dive into customer problems including kernel crash dump analysis and C coding ability. If this sounds interesting to you, please let me know.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

We're Hiring!

In case you didn't know, a number of companies are hiring illumos talent.

I know of an opening for a USB kernel engineer at one company.

I'm told Joyent is growing like crazy.

And Nexenta is hiring! In fact, here are some of the opportunities we have open at Nexenta:

  • QA leads. We have two positions for folks with skills and knowledge to design and build, and run, automated testing of the operating system, with a particular focus on storage and networking. Expertise in NFS, CIFS, iSCSI, ZFS, and the surrounding areas would be highly useful. Good communication skills, shell scripting or perl skills, and an ability to work in the office in Mountain View, are all required. Previous QA leadership preferred.
  • Support engineers. We need support engineers across the globe. People who can answer the phone, and triage problems. Solaris or UNIX experience, ZFS clue, good troubleshooting and triage skills, and excellent communication skills are necessary.
  • Kernel software engineers. I need people with deep TCP/IP, SCSI, Storage, and Filesystems expertise. Solaris expertise highly preferred, but can substitute FreeBSD or Linux kernel expertise. Highly motivated self-driven super-stars only.
  • Sustaining software engineers. Excellent troubleshooting and kernel expertise is required. Expertise in one or more of TCP/IP, SCSI, storage, and filesystems is preferable. Solaris expertise highly preferred.
  • IT staff. We have one opening for a mid-level IT engineer. Must be able to deal with Solaris, Linux, Windows, phones, and cantankerous development staff.
I expect even more growth will occur here over time. A jobs board for illumos will be coming soon.

Friday, September 3, 2010


So everyone has heard me talk about the 800 lb. gorilla with respect to illumos.

One question I keep getting asked is, can the illumos project be "squashed" by this 800 lb. gorilla?

My stock answer had been "no". But I realized something today; I've been wrong.

The way illumos can be "killed" is if the corporate owner of Solaris were to do something to make illumos irrelevant. Like, say, opening Solaris back up (and in this case, I think they would probably need to go further open than they were before).

I'm not worried though. Even if that happens, illumos will have been a major success. But I really don't think it is going to happen.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

illumos Interest Groups

So, I've been asked by several people who are involved with OpenSolaris User Groups around the world about illumos.

Given the clear demise of OpenSolaris, it seems to me at least, to be kind of silly to continue to meet using that name.

Some groups have reverted to pure Solaris usage. Which is fine for those groups that want to focus on Oracle products and want to come under the Oracle umbrella that it has for user groups.

For groups that are more interested in open technology, perhaps it is time to start up some "illumos interest groups" (IIGs)? (Calling them "User Groups" at this point seems rather premature... I think there are only a very few of us that are actually "using" illumos at this point.. but I hope that number to grow very much very soon. :-)

Btw, are there any folks interested in illumos in either Riverside County or North San Diego County? (California) I'd be interested in participating in an interest group if there was one that didn't require me to drive over an hour to get to.

OpenSolaris ARC is Dead

I had tried to dial in to ARC today, but no luck. But then someone else pointed out that we have not seen any ARC cases since the tap was turned off.

In fact, I posted a query about this to the opensolaris-arc mailing list today, and I got back an interesting automated reply:

This mailing list is no longer active and accepting posts. Mailing
list archives can be found at
http://mail.opensolaris.org/pipermail/opensolaris-arc/. You can check
http://mail.opensolaris.org/mailman/listinfo to find another list to
which to send your email.

So, OpenSolaris ARC is dead. This has ramifications that go beyond just ON. Because there are other consolidations that we were promised were going to continue to be developed in the open: JDS, X11, and the pkg-gate. If the decisions for these technologies are no longer being made openly, or even the opinions being made available, then this makes Oracle's promise to continue to work with the community on them seem hollow.

So, what's left for "OpenSolaris" as so named? There are some code drops still being made. How long will that keep up? Are they continuing to take contribution from external parties? (I don't work on those gates, so I don't really know.) I'd like to know if the other consolidations have shut down too. At least the key decisions relating to those consolidations seem to have moved behind closed doors.