Imagine if you were a small company with a limited budget that had to build a big storage and archiving application to provide Storage As a Service (SAaS) . Being a small company without layers of hierarchy allows you to be creative. So you go to the internet and do some research and find out that there already is a lot of support for ZFS out there and it runs on OpenSolaris and BSD.
What are you going to do about switching? You are going to need some pretty specialized switching also and proprietary storage switches can get really expensive. So what can you do?
When Cisco says it is going to open stuff up a bit we need to pay attention..
"SAN JOSE – Cisco's plan to open up its venerable IOS routing software to customers and third-party developers is a bold move designed to further the company's push to make the network the epicenter of the virtual data center.
Cisco plans to "componentize" IOS – developing only one implementation of a specific function instead of several, depending on the image – dynamically link IOS services and move the software onto a Unix-based kernel. Cisco then plans to open up interfaces on IOS to allow third-party and customer-developed applications to access IOS services."
Here is what Cisco Senior Vice President Don Proctor says they are going to do...
"If you look at the portfolio today for the enterprise you'll see that we have solutions at every layer of the stack, all the way up to applications with our collaboration applications. What we're doing with some of the SaaS assets with WebEx is creating a new kind of information work space for the knowledge worker that allows them to build business mashups with the collaboration applications that we provide and the business applications provided by other suppliers."