Does "open storage" put the hardware factor into open source?

OpenStorage provider Nexenta Systems is aiming to use its forthcoming appearance at VMworld Europe later in October to showcase VMware’s so-called ‘Hands on Lab’ (HOL) demos. The company will be at pains to convince attendees that its open storage concepts can deliver “enterprise performance for a fraction of the cost of traditional, legacy storage solutions”, so is there substance behind these claims?

Nexenta’s HOL, classified as a true public cloud, will aim to emulate what was achieved at VMworld US where the company ran four out of eight HOL vertical application areas for the duration of the show.

Jim Fitzgerald, vice president of business development at Nexenta suggests that running the VMworld Europe HOL is about delivering ‘High Availability’ (HA) and sheer performance.

So that’s a High Availability Hands On Lab then — that would be a HA HOL right?

Cheap quips aside, how should we define open storage in the first place? Evan Powell, CEO of Nexenta Systems defines the concept for us…

“Open storage refers to storage systems built with an open architecture using industry-standard hardware and open-source software. It can greatly simplify the way you manage data, unlike proprietary approaches where you have to manage complex and expensive management frameworks,” said Powell.

“You can also save up to 80% over traditional IT solutions because it uses general purpose hardware combined with open software and open protocols, which support a wide variety of environments. It lets users pay for what they need, when they need it, growing the right storage building block with the right computing infrastructure as a business needs change.”

“It’s development is due in great measure to the feedback and input of the underlying Illumos and communities, each of which have hundreds of thousands of members.”