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HP Open Sources TRU64 AdvFS

The source code to Advanced File System (AdvFS), the file system for HP’s Tru64 UNIX, has been contributed to the open source community. To ensure compatibility with the Linux kernel, the source code (to AdvFS) is being made available under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL) version 2.

AdvFS brings with it enterprise-class features not available in the most common file systems currently available in the Linux kernel. HP is making available 2 versions of AdvFS: One that is currently shipping with Tru64 systems, and a more advanced version that has not been fully tested.

Here’s portions of the HP announcement:

Continuing its efforts to advance customer adoption of Linux, HP today announced the contribution of its Tru64 UNIX Advanced File System (AdvFS) source code to the open source community.

The AdvFS source code includes capabilities that increase uptime, enhance security and help ensure maximum performance of Linux file systems. HP will contribute the code as a reference implementation of an enterprise Linux file system under the terms of General Public License Version 2 for compatibility with the Linux kernel, as well as provide design documentation, test suites and engineering resources.

Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free software and open source development, and source code continues to draw interest from developers, the user community and customers. HP, which ships a Linux server at the rate of one per minute, has long provided open source alternatives to customers and contributed to the open source community to speed market development.

The source code serves as a rich technology base to advance ongoing development of Linux by providing a comprehensive foundation for Linux kernel developers to leverage and improve Linux file system functionality.

Developed by HP, AdvFS has been deployed for more than 16 years by enterprises throughout the world. It simplifies file and storage management, enables online system backups and increases data availability. The integration of key AdvFS file system features also accelerates the roadmap of future solutions designed to strengthen Linux for enterprise customers.

“To ensure the highest levels of data security and availability, Linux customers need full and immediate access to established technology,” said Martin Fink, senior vice president and general manager, Business Critical Systems, HP. “We continue to invest our engineering resources in the development of that technology, while working with the open source community to ensure accessibility and seamless integration.”

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In a layman’s terms, here are some of the features that AdvFS will bring to an open source operating system that incorporates it into its kernel:

  • Simplified file system and storage management
  • Dynamic file system management – ability to expand, shrink or reconfigure file systems online
  • Snapshots for consistent backups while applications are on-line
  • Ability to recover deleted files

Read more of AdvFS features here.

It’s still too early to tell when AdvFS will become available in the Linux kernel, or when (or if) any of the major BSD distros – NetBSD, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD – will integrate it into their system. We do know that the latest stable version of FreeBSD has experimental support for Sun Microsystems Zone File system (ZFS), which is similar to AdvFS.

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