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What are some popular open-source storage tools and the pros and cons of using open-source storage?

What are some popular open-source storage tools and the pros and cons of using open-source storage?

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Many enterprise data storage tools are open-source based. These open-storage tools incorporate some open-source technologies as part of their base foundation, yet they may be a proprietary or commercial product. Likewise, there are many open-source-based storage tools such as MySQL for database or ZFS for file systems both from Sun Microsystems Inc. Also, there are various Linux volume managers, clustered file systems and a plethora of data backup and data protection tools.

One of the advantages of using open-source tools is that they can be affordable, given that many of the solutions are free or have a relatively low cost, yet that can also work against you. For example, if you have lots of time that you can trade for costs of a solution, open-source can be a way to go. On the other hand, if you have funding but little to no time nor desire to be in the systems/applications/tools integration support business, then open source can be a concern. While it's tempting to say you get what you pay for, with open-source storage tools and solutions, that's not a clear cut distinction and certainly one open for debate.

This was first published in August 2009

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