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Oracle, NetApp Drop ZFS Patent Suit

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the there-will-be-peace-in-our-time dept.

Patents 66

An anonymous reader writes "It seems Oracle and NetApp have kissed and made up over the ZFS patent lawsuit. Before Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, NetApp sued Sun claiming ZFS infringed on its patents. Sun later sued NetApp back. From today, all is forgotten and Oracle and NetApp are friends. NetApp CEO Tom Georgens even said the two companies have shared a 'common vision' focused on providing solutions that reduce IT cost and complexity. Both companies now want collaboration between them to continue."

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I am having a hard time (1)

scosco62 (864264) | more than 4 years ago | (#33532686)

showing any concern for this, whatsoever.

Re:I am having a hard time (4, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33532762)

Well, you should. NetApp deals strongly with FreeBSD, and it is my understanding that they use it as part of their platform, which is a good bit of the reason why FreeBSD has had ZFS support for so long. In the Linux world, battles over patent and licensing issues with regards to ZFS is what has kept it from being able to enjoy native support. Oracle runs its own Linux distribution based off of RHEL, so being able to make sure that the coast is clear for them to integrated ZFS into Linux is a big step. This is probably part of the reason why the planned native ZFS module to be released in a few weeks isn't already being sued into oblivion.

You may not care about the corporate fortunes of NetApp or Oracle, but this has the potential to turn out into good news for lots of FLOSS-minded people.

Re:I am having a hard time (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33532980)

Well, you should. NetApp deals strongly with FreeBSD, and it is my understanding that they use it as part of their platform, which is a good bit of the reason why FreeBSD has had ZFS support for so long. In the Linux world, battles over patent and licensing issues with regards to ZFS is what has kept it from being able to enjoy native support. Oracle runs its own Linux distribution based off of RHEL, so being able to make sure that the coast is clear for them to integrated ZFS into Linux is a big step. This is probably part of the reason why the planned native ZFS module to be released in a few weeks isn't already being sued into oblivion.

You may not care about the corporate fortunes of NetApp or Oracle, but this has the potential to turn out into good news for lots of FLOSS-minded people.

Don't overestimate Oracle's intent here.

Probably, Larry just got around to noticing that NetApp had patent-trolled Oracle's new acquisition and he had Oracle's lawyers send NetApp an offer they couldn't refuse: drop your suit and we'll drop our counterclaims, otherwise we'll bring Oracle's entire IP portfolio into play and totally horse fuck you.

Either that or Larry wants to buy NetApp.

Re:I am having a hard time (2, Interesting)

Teckla (630646) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533378)

Probably, Larry just got around to noticing that NetApp had patent-trolled Oracle's new acquisition and he had Oracle's lawyers send NetApp an offer they couldn't refuse: drop your suit and we'll drop our counterclaims, otherwise we'll bring Oracle's entire IP portfolio into play and totally horse fuck you.

Let's not all lose sight of the fact that two big companies coming to an agreement, whether explicitly or implicitly, not to sue each other over patents does not help small companies, individuals, or Free Software/Open Source.

Small companies, individuals, and Free Software/Open Source in general does not have a large enough patent chest to get the same kind of, "I won't sue you for patent infringement, if you don't sue me for patent infringement," kind of a deal.

Re:I am having a hard time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33534512)

Ironically, the current patent mess enables the very thing that patents were meant to stop: IP "theft". If you have a huge portfolio like Oracle or Microsoft, then you are free to violate the patents of anyone else in the industry, since odds are that everyone violates at least one of their overly-broad patents. The end result of litigation is a Cross-Licensing settlement. The big boys get to use your patents for free, and all you get is a license to continue doing what you were doing anyway.

The only way to fight this is via a "patent troll" company, which most people hate.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33534794)

Or NetApp realizes they have smaller fish to fry.... like those companies building NAS hardware based on ZFS. No reason to go after Oracle itself, in a fight you maybe cannot win, to protect sales of your aging NAS platform, if you can go after companies using ZFS/BTRFs instead, much smaller targets with much less legal muster to defend themselves.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

00lmz (733976) | more than 4 years ago | (#33537806)

Sun is stopping open development for OpenSolaris anyway. Any opensource ZFS adaptation will now be behind the Solaris implementation, since the next source drop is when Solaris 11 is released.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33538270)

Who said anything about NAS manufacturers using open source adaptations of it? Some of them might use open source adaptations, others use closed source ones, such as Solaris itself, or some in-house-enhanced variant of Solaris, they keep closed source.

Open source implementations may also fork ZFS, add their own improvements, and create their own enhanced ZFS, that could be better than anything Oracle makes.

That is, if ZFS is no longer actively developed, the natural thing for a group of open source devs to do is fork it, continue development, and ignore the upstream that cut them off.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#33538134)

Or NetApp realizes they have smaller fish to fry.... like those companies building NAS hardware based on ZFS. No reason to go after Oracle itself, in a fight you maybe cannot win, to protect sales of your aging NAS platform, if you can go after companies using ZFS/BTRFs instead, much smaller targets with much less legal muster to defend themselves.

It's hard to see where there would be any crossover between customers for mid-range and high-end storage systems like NetApp's, and tied-to-a-dead-platform, low-end storage appliances like anything based on OpenSolaris.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33540194)

It's hard to see where there would be any crossover between customers for mid-range and high-end storage systems like NetApp's, and tied-to-a-dead-platform, low-end storage appliances like anything based on OpenSolaris.

It's hard to see where there would be any crossover between customers for mid-range and high-range Internet Browsers like Microsoft's, and tied-to-a-dead-platform, low-end Web browsers, like anything based on Netscape/Mozilla

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#33541214)

It's hard to see where there would be any crossover between customers for mid-range and high-range Internet Browsers like Microsoft's, and tied-to-a-dead-platform, low-end Web browsers, like anything based on Netscape/Mozilla

On what basis do you judge IE to be "high range" and Mozilla to be "tied to a dead platform" ?

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#33558444)

Exactly.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33558466)

On what basis do you judge IE to be "high range"

MSIE is part of Microsoft's Premium Windows platform.

The Mozilla platform's not "tied" to the dead platform. Mozilla (also known as Netscape Browser) is the dead browser platform whose development ceased when Netscape was dissolved in 2003, and development ceased.

It's basically in a worse situation than even OpenSolaris-based distributions. At least, Solaris is still being developed, you know.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#33558558)

Yeah, I know.

Basically, I'm struggling with what your whole argument/analogy is supposed to be. NetApp make mid-range to high-end storage systems. I'm not aware of any OpenSolaris-based appliances that would even make it into the low end of the enterprise space (except maybe for dev/test purposes). In particular, they tend to lack things like controller redundancy, FC connectivity, 10G ethernet, vendor support and certification with third party products (eg: VMware).

Or, in other words, it's difficult to see anyone seriously shopping for a solution where both a NetApp Filer and an OpenSolaris-based appliance are options. Which comes back to my original implication - why would NetApp bother going after any of these OpenSolaris-based appliance vendors, when they're playing in very different markets ?

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#33566440)

You didn't hear of Sun Unified Storage [oracle.com] yet? Controller redundancy is available out of the box on certain NASes, otherwise you can add it.

In particular, they tend to lack things like controller redundancy,

Usually if you need this, you, well, put two HBAs in.

All you need is an external JBOD array your NAS appliance attaches to using a pair of SAS HBAs, with dual-ported SAS drives. Controller redundancy is a function of the attachment bits, not your management software. And this way your head node also doesn't have to be a single point of failure (cluster with two nodes).

Netscape-based browsers don't tend to have process redundancy, by the way. If your browser crashes, you are still down for a while, while you have to try to restart the browser, and then try to get back to the site you were at. Meanwhile, IE has process isolation...

FC connectivity, 10G ethernet,

Many of them have these connectivity options, or they can be easily added. If you haven't seen them available, then you probably aren't looking very hard.

By the way, Netscape-based solutions don't tend to come with any Ad Blocking tools, Popup blocker, Malware site blacklisting, Anti-Phish, or any of the connectivity options you'd expect in an Enterprise class web browser, sometimes you even have to install it yourself, or seek out third party software or plugins... Oh the humanity...

vendor support and certification with third party products (eg: VMware).

When was the last time you saw a Netscape-based browser having vendor support and certification with third party products (eg: Microsoft Windows, Google.com, Windows Update) ?

Also, I don't think Mozilla Thunderbird is certified to be used with Microsoft Exchange's POP3 service. Thunderbird also has not been certified in its ability to be used to read Viagra spam, which seems enterprise critical because 90% or more of all e-mail is Viagra spam.

Did that ever make all Netscape/Mozilla originating browsers irrelevent or useless as a 'mid range to high-end Enterprise Web Browser' / Mail Readers ?

Are we supposed to believe that a shiny 'certified for X' seal, that the hardware manufacturer paid X millions of dollars or did horsetrading to get, actually successfully makes sure the thing is a better product or work better with X? Yes, that's what they want you to think, and that might be where some big marketing bucks go, but that doesn't make it accurate.

Hint: "certification" is largely a farce. Can't count the number of times i've seen products that were certified to go to each other melt, and just because 'officially' something is supported, doesn't mean support personnel won't tell you otherwise, and refuse to help, when you finally need the support.

There are almost always caveats to "certification" and discrete arbitrary requirements, for example X and Y work together, as long as feature B is turned off on X, or burdensome/expensive conditions Q,R, and S, are true.

If there is no such caveat, they'll make one up in response to your support request, anything to get to tell you 'No dice, sorry, it's vendor Y's problem'

Other Hint: 3rd party "support" of supposed "high end" storage, software, and computer hardware sucks most of the time

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#33569560)

You didn't hear of Sun Unified Storage yet? Controller redundancy is available out of the box on certain NASes, otherwise you can add it.

I'm well aware of Sun's offering, as I nearly bought one. They're very nice machines. However, they have about as much relevance to this discussion as an EMC Celerra, as they're a solution playing in the same ballpark as NetApp, with a pricetag to match.

They are most certainly _not_ a low-end OpenSolaris-based appliance, which was the comparison being made.

All you need is an external JBOD array your NAS appliance attaches to using a pair of SAS HBAs, with dual-ported SAS drives. Controller redundancy is a function of the attachment bits, not your management software.

This will not help you when your NAS head (ie: the controller) fails, or when you need to patch it without downtime.

Further, proper controller redundancy *is* in part a function of the management software. Keeping configurations synchronised between the controllers being just one example.

And this way your head node also doesn't have to be a single point of failure (cluster with two nodes).

Which OpenSolaris based appliances support this in a comparable way to something like a NetApp FAS or EMC Celerra ? Seamless and near-instant failover, both planned and unplanned ? Patching and OS updates without downtime ?

Many of them have these connectivity options, or they can be easily added. If you haven't seen them available, then you probably aren't looking very hard.

Which OpenSolaris based appliances can be used as an FCP target ? How many of them can saturate a 10Gb ethernet link ?

Hint: "certification" is largely a farce. Can't count the number of times i've seen products that were certified to go to each other melt, and just because 'officially' something is supported, doesn't mean support personnel won't tell you otherwise, and refuse to help, when you finally need the support.

Sorry, I've spent enough 8-hour+ stretches on P1 calls with numerous vendors (including multi-vendor co-ordination) to know this is horseshit. If you have an appropriate support contract, and a supported configuration, you're going to get helped.

Now, if you have some documented cases of a vendor refusing to help even though you had a supported configuration, with ticket numbers and the vendor name, that would be _very_ interesting.

I've also been in the other scenario, where an unsupported configuration has gone awry. In one particular example I can think of, the company lost more money during the outage just in revenue (not counting the salaries of all the people working around the problem and trying to fix it, and certainly not counting the lost future business due to customers leaving) to have nearly paid for the properly supported configuration twice over. It was quite an eye-opening experience to see how "saving" $150k or so up-front ended up costing (well) over $300k in the bigger picture.

Still, I must applaud you for not suggesting a Backblaze pod as an enterprise-class storage system like so many others on /. do.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

coredog64 (1001648) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535268)

If Larry wanted to buy NetApp, he'd ratchet up the lawsuit rhetoric in an attempt to drive down NetApp's stock price.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

dogsbreath (730413) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533094)

Well... Oracle has been a big push for NetApp for a long time now. Big O's sales reps have claimed that Oracle uses NetApp exclusively internally for database systems. NetApp litigating against Oracle is definitely biting the hand that promotes you.

It's hard to say whether this bodes well for ZFS in the open environment.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535602)

It's hard to say whether this bodes well for ZFS in the open environment.

Maybe in time, but not yet. zfs is open enough that you can use it under Linux (if you want to) via fuse, but I see no immediate revival of interest on Apple's part. For a while I was sort of hoping both would come to some sort of agreement that would give me a nice common filesystem that my Mac and Linux boxes can use, but it looks like I'll have to wait.

For now, HFS+ is OK enough for USB drives so long as I turn off journalling. I know someone will pipe up with "use NTFS or FAT", but those are just too destructive of *nix permissions.

Re:I am having a hard time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33533222)

Oracle runs its own Linux distribution based off of RHEL, so being able to make sure that the coast is clear for them to integrated ZFS into Linux is a big step.

Yeah, but Oracle also OWNS an entirely different (licensed) OS that has ZFS already built into it. Why waste money throwing good tech at your competitors when they could sell the Oracle stack so much easier as an appliance?

The native Linux ZFS module won't be sued into oblivion because no one will use it. Certainly not for anything important.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533384)

but since openbsd is dead and the freebsd zfs port lags (too much to really call 'current') zfs IS dead for free os's.

I ran zfs on my freebsd8 system for about a year. at upgrade time, it was not fun and somewhat scary (version mismatched, by 1, would stop even a read-only mount!)

just not sure zfs is worth using unless its well supported. and this means only solaris, these days.

we need a zfs-like system that has most of the features and yet is meant from the start to run on mid-end hardware (x86/x64 but not needing so much cpu and ram just to run at all).

I would trust zfs on sun hardware and sun software. not sure I'd trust it to free non-enterprise stuff. jfs and ext3/4 fs for me, for now. maybe some md-raid if I need instant recovery from a failed disk.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

Cato (8296) | more than 4 years ago | (#33534052)

I agree about going for OpenSolaris but that runs fine on commodity kit if you choose the hardware correctly - even a $75 Atom CPU+motherboard plus 2GB RAM is enough for a home NAS (as long as the Atom is x64 which many are).

Once btrfs is stable in a couple of years or so it will be fine as a ZFS replacement for Linux - however btrfs is another Oracle project so I hope they don't see it as conflicting with the more strategic ZFS.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

Temkin (112574) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535018)

Except OpenSolaris is dead.

Re:I am having a hard time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33536356)

No, it's pining for the fjords.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#33558468)

It's now called Solaris Express again, FYI

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

tyen (17399) | more than 4 years ago | (#33534798)

jfs and ext3/4 fs for me, for now. maybe some md-raid if I need instant recovery from a failed disk.

But for large-scale storage (say, 300 TB and up), how do you address the need for continuous integrity checking? I don't see anything like it under ext3/4 or any Linux/BSD OS variant that is production-grade today. Sure, btrfs has it, but it isn't production-ready for at least a couple years, if not longer.

Re:I am having a hard time (1)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | more than 4 years ago | (#33550728)

the freebsd zfs port lags (too much to really call 'current')

FreeBSD 7.3, 8.0, and 8.1 support ZFSv14, which until around last month was the same version as Solaris.

There are patches available for FreeBSD 8-STABLE to bring it to ZFSv15, which until this week was the same version as in Solaris.

There are patches available for FreeBSD 9-CURRENT to bring it to ZFSv28, which is ahead of the ZFS version support in the most recent Solaris release (ZFSv22). This would bring it up to parity with the last version available in OpenSolaris. And there's even a super-experimental version of the patchset for 8-STABLE

I honestly fail to see how that is not "current". The plan for ZFS in FreeBSD has always been to keep it on par with Solaris, which the devs have been (until this week) successful at doing.

This is nonsensical (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | more than 4 years ago | (#33540968)

Solaris, and by extension ZFS, runs in x86 hardware.

Oracle's Linux was a stop gap measure, now that they own a far more capable operating system (sorry Linux guys, I love Linux, but it can't touch Solaris) I see no reason why they should waste time and money in making Linux any better....

Bigger Stick (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 4 years ago | (#33532720)

"If you don't knock it off, we'll buy you too."

[John]

Re:Bigger Stick (4, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 4 years ago | (#33532760)

Oh, don't throw me into that briar patch!

Re:Bigger Stick (0, Offtopic)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533362)

quote is from a movie. by disney. that disney self-bans (you cannot see that movie or rent it in the US).

you'd have to visit some kind of bay-like location in order to really see the reference.

it actually was a good movie and should not have been banned. sigh. disney, you suck in so many ways, these days.

Re:Bigger Stick (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533750)

quote is from a movie. by disney. that disney self-bans (you cannot see that movie or rent it in the US).

"Song of the South". Disney was going to release it to home DVD in 2006 and then decided not to, then re-thought the decision, then re-thought the re-think. But you can get bootleg copies of it. Disney is probably a little nervous about the racial content, but its not any kind of inter-Disney conspiracy to not release it. They just aren't sure that the content isn't going to piss a bunch of people off, and the film isn't really that great to begin with.

Re:Bigger Stick (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33534738)

Nope, sorry. The Disney film came out in 1946. The story that it was based upon, which also included that line, predates it by over 50 years and is in the public domain even in the USA.

Re:Bigger Stick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33545012)

Nope sorry your wrong too! The story is based on an Uncle Remus tale "Ber Rabbit and the Tar Baby" which was based on a Cherokee Story "Tsisdu Notsi Usdi" ("The Rabbit and the Pitch Baby") which is way over a thousand years old most likely. It was was first written down in Mooney's book "The Myths and Legends of the Cherokee" in 1902. Uncle Remus was born in the 1800's.

Re:Bigger Stick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33628200)

Nope sorry your wrong too!

YOU'RE, not your. You fucking retard.

Disney stole it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33544892)

Oh, don't throw me into that briar patch!

The quote is from Uncle Remus's book "Ber Rabbit and the Tar Baby" which is an adaptation of a VERY! old Cherokee story "Tsisdu Notsi Usdi" (The Rabbit and the Pitch Baby). The story is about Social Engineering. Ber Rabbit socially engineers Ber Fox and Ber Bear to let him go and not eat him.

Didn't your parents read to you as a child or just dropped you in front of the tube?

Talk about copyright infringement.

Here's Hoping (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33532816)

While that's nice for NetApp, I'm still hoping that they decide to change or dual license ZFS to be GPL compatible. Of course, I don't actually expect them to do that, but the sentence in the summary saying they have "a 'common vision' focused on providing solutions that reduce IT cost and complexity", almost made me laugh. You can say many good things about Oracle, but low cost isn't really their strong point. And if they really cared about reducing IT complexity/cost they could make sure that ZFS becomes standard that anyone can use. If they did that I would bet that ZFS would rapidly grow to become the standard enterprise file system. Oh well, I can dream, can't I?

Re:Here's Hoping (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533256)

Or Linux could get with the times and change to a less ridiculous license. *BSD does just fine with corporate contributions despite a lack of stick forcing the issue. And companies like Google and Asus fork things from Linux in a way which is essentially not compatible, but respects the license.

They don't have to completly ditch GPL, but they really ought to allow for code to just be open source, rather than that virulent and spoiled we only want GPL code.

Re:Here's Hoping (1)

WuphonsReach (684551) | more than 4 years ago | (#33534702)

Frankly, at this point, I don't care whether Oracle finally releases ZFS in a Linux-compatible license. (Although they might, in order to shoehorn it into Unbreakable Linux(tm) that they use. Which I think is the biggest chance that we'll see ZFS in Linux.)

ZFS has been around long enough now that the flaws are known. It's not the end-all be-all of file systems and storage. And some of the flaws are pretty nasty (can't shrink a zpool [opensolaris.org] , which they've been "working" on a fix since 2007 [google.com] for that).

And the flexibility of layers where RAID is separate from LVM which is separate from the file system offers other advantages. And headaches... but I do prefer the flexibility of keeping the layers more separate then ZFS does. Checksumming of data is pretty smexy though and I would like to see more of that to guard against bitrot.

Re:Here's Hoping (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#33538360)

ZFS has been around long enough now that the flaws are known. It's not the end-all be-all of file systems and storage. And some of the flaws are pretty nasty (can't shrink a zpool, which they've been "working" on a fix since 2007 for that).

That's not really a "significant flaw" to anyone outside of the DIY space. Shrinking arrays by removing devices is extremely uncommon to the point of nonexistence in the enterprise world (in fact, I'm not sure that anyone supports it - my IBM DS4800, EMC CX3 and NetApp systems don't).

And the flexibility of layers where RAID is separate from LVM which is separate from the file system offers other advantages.

For example ?

Re:Here's Hoping (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#33558516)

The only good use case I have, and I've run into this before, is shrinking ZFS in a virtualized environment. Say you expand a zpool by adding virtual scsi devices and later want to reclaim some space by removing whole scsi disks, not resizing them in any way.

It is just a 'nice to have' feature. If you're so hard pressed for storage you absolutely have to shrink virtual guests... delete all those crap VMs you don't use any more. Otherwise, you're doing storage wrong. Gotta be pretty crazy to pick shrinking storage pools over a long list of better things to do.

What's the catch? (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 4 years ago | (#33532828)

Seriously, how is Oracle gonna fuck this up?

Or has it already, with the ending of OpenSolaris? Perhaps doing that cleared the way to settle, so that any OSol fork would have to reimplement changes to ZFS in Oracle's closed "mainline"?

Hrmph.

Not so mutually assured destruction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33532838)

NetApp probably made the sudden realisation that the combined Oracle/Sun portfolio firing back at them would be too much to bare. Sun has been in the OS and systems game for a long time and has built up quite a war chest of patents, combine that with Oracles and you have enough patent firepower to seriously damage a company like NetApp. Netapps patent portfolio is quite skinny and is not as threatening to a company of Oracles size.

Re:Not so mutually assured destruction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33532914)

NetApp probably made the sudden realisation that the combined Oracle/Sun portfolio firing back at them would be too much to bare. Sun has been in the OS and systems game for a long time and has built up quite a war chest of patents, combine that with Oracles and you have enough patent firepower to seriously damage a company like NetApp. Netapps patent portfolio is quite skinny and is not as threatening to a company of Oracles size.

Bingo.

NetApp started this - not Sun/Oracle. NetApp wasn't playing nice - they were shitting in their pants because Ellison fights to destroy.

Re:Not so mutually assured destruction (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533266)

Yeah, he's some sort of slightly less evil and slightly smaller Bill Gates.

Why, oh why do I get the feeling (2, Interesting)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33532906)

that NetApps (and everybody else) are a little more scared of their new Oracle overlords than of geeky, hunky-dory Sun?

Prediction: Google and Oracle are going to patch things up like nothing ever happened. You heard it here.

Re:Why, oh why do I get the feeling (5, Insightful)

Teckla (630646) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533434)

Prediction: Google and Oracle are going to patch things up like nothing ever happened. You heard it here.

Of course Oracle and Google will come to an amicable settlement.

Software patents don't hurt big companies. Big companies can either cut a big check or cross license patents with each other.

Unfortunately, software patents hurt virtually everyone else.

Re:Why, oh why do I get the feeling (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533610)

>Software patents don't hurt big companies. Big companies can either cut a big check or cross license patents with each other.

Agree in general. Though, in this specific case, open source developers (or even closed source ISVs) writing Java software don't have anything to worry about.

Re:Why, oh why do I get the feeling (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533486)

I guess that I am surpprised at how much money Oracle has.
I do not think that the FOSS world has much to worry about from Oracle Microsoft does.
Remember Oracles NC netcomputer push back in the 90s.
It was Google Chrome before Google Chrome.
There is Microsoft blood in the water and Oracle is run by a shark.
Microsoft is in trouble in the mobile market and tablets. PCs are starting to look vulnerable as well.

Re:Why, oh why do I get the feeling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33533618)

You just might be the dumbest fuck I've seen. Too much ignorant shit in your post. Kill yourself.

Re:Why, oh why do I get the feeling (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533672)

>There is Microsoft blood in the water and Oracle is run by a shark.

Yeah, I think that too. We'll know when it happens, though.

I continue to think Larry is partially ideologically (or personally) motivated. Look how fast he hired Mark Turd [yahoo.com] .

I'm hoping to see him continue, increase funding for, and push OpenOffice just to stick it to Microsoft. Spending merely millions of dollars can cost Microsoft billions in its Office and Windows cash cows.

Re:Why, oh why do I get the feeling (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#33535114)

I don't know.
Mark Hurd made a mint for HP.
"Under his leadership, the company has been the first in the sale of desktop computers since 2007, and laptop computers since 2006. In 2008, it also increased its market share in inkjet and laser printers to 46% and 50.5%, respectively."

He is also a blood thirsty shark.

Maybe Sun will branch out into desktops and notebooks.
Actually I see Sun going after HP's server market tooth and nail as well as Dell's.
 

Re:Why, oh why do I get the feeling (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#33558754)

Actually I see Sun going after HP's server market tooth and nail as well as Dell's.

I agree with you that this is what Oracle needs to do, them being Sun's two biggest threats in the data center and all. It seems like such an obvious thing to say, but what the hell was Sun doing the last couple years??

Their hardware/software integration is worse than a Dell running Linux. There is no excuse for that. Apple's desktops have had EFI for how long now? Why do Sun x86 servers still have legacy BIOS? They could have evolved the prom interface and unified both systems. GRUB booting Solaris... boot archives, FFS. ELOM/ILOM/FACEPALM

They have so much good tech that needs polishing.
T-series is "OK", but very misunderstood. Why wasn't corestat functionality built into Solaris in the fist place? Today's UNIX admins don't generally know what the implications of super scalar architectures & hardware threads are or what bandwidth computing actually is.

Sun should have learned a valuable lesson early on from MS, then Linux. People are ignorant, and mentally lazy. Tell them what they want to hear and make it truish. "Easy to install", "Best server OS evarr", "repositories are better than stable interfaces", "Low TCO", "Well supported", "Just works", "Free", "Open", etc.. It's like they caught on too late. Say Solaris on /. and people respond "ZFS?" See, that's because of "Last filesystem you'll ever need" It worked. If you can't say "Our own OS is easy to install on our own hardware" and be at least halfway true, daaamn.... /rant sorry

Not terribly surprising (4, Insightful)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33532916)

Oracle and NetApp have long, close ties through their customers (many, many Oracle customers run their databases on NetApp gear; it's one of the platforms Oracle specifically recommends). This lawsuit basically pitted the customers against themselves, which never works out well for the vendors.

Re:Not terribly surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33582768)

Ding Ding Ding!

Likewise, huge-huge portions of Oracle's own infrastructure and their hosted service offerings run on Netapp hardware (and Netapp NFS to boot) so they, as services-seller, are interestingly in the same position as some of those customers of theirs that you mention...

Then there's the growing suspicion that Netapp actually had some verifiable proof of claims and/or Oracle's defensive wasn't so strong that the chaos and cost of litigating it out would have been far outside of what either company wants to invest at this point...

Great! (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 4 years ago | (#33532924)

I wonder if this means Oracle will ruin another decent product line by buying NetApp. This sounds more like pre-negotiation to me. Why waste money on a lawsuit when you can just buy the company.

Re:Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33533346)

Agreed. ORCL + NTAP to pre-empt the CSCO + NTAP buy... Hitachi dropped ORCL so ORCL has nothing in the way of real storage equip to sell or resell.

Re:Great! (2, Informative)

Envy Life (993972) | more than 4 years ago | (#33534116)

Hitachi dropped ORCL so ORCL has nothing in the way of real storage equip to sell or resell.

You seem to have this reversed. Oracle terminated their Hitachi agreement when they finalized the Sun deal to focus on Sun storage products. For high end storage they may need to find a replacement, but from a pure business standpoint it makes sense for Oracle to try to focus on solutions using their own hardware.

Reduced cost & complexity? (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533174)

" two companies have shared a 'common vision' focused on providing solutions that reduce IT cost and complexity."

You have to be kidding. Oracle? Reducing cost and complexity?? I have some nice swap real estate to sell them...

Re:Reduced cost & complexity? (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533966)

I have some nice swap real estate to sell them...

Yeah, once they find out they can only inhabit as much as they can page in at once they're going to be pissed.

Re:Reduced cost & complexity? (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#33534824)

What are you talking about? Oracle is all about reducing cost. Once they've got you locked in to their ecosystem, the cost of sales and marketing alone, not to mention support, goes down considerably.

Funny (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#33533488)

The common vision is usually: We want to sue every last penny out of you.

Money.... (1)

mlauzon (818714) | more than 4 years ago | (#33534792)

I wonder how much money exchanged hands for them to become "friends"....

Predictable (1)

drdrgivemethenews (1525877) | more than 4 years ago | (#33536304)

Larry has always wanted to own the whole stack (viz., funding Pillar), but he doesn't seem to believe in standing in the way of realities. The majority of his company's data runs on NetApp storage. NetApp has something like an entire division focused on Oracle installations. And both Larry and Georgens are smart enough to figure out that you can make at least 100 times as much money selling product together as you can suing each other.

-----

You know how dumb the average guy is, right? Well, by definition, half of them are dumber than that.

Reduce IT costs and complexity? (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 4 years ago | (#33541526)

NetApp CEO Tom Georgens even said the two companies have shared a 'common vision' focused on providing solutions that reduce IT cost and complexity.

cost and complexity ... two areas in which Oracle is the world class champion. Obviously, Georgens has neither purchased nor attempted to maintain an Oracle DB.

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