Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Good news for Coraid EtherDrive users.

The Brantley Coile Company (TBCC) has purchased the EtherDrive SRX and VSX storage appliance software rights from the company that held the intellectual property following Coraid Inc. foreclosure.  The software will be made open source and available for download from TBCC website,

This is really good news for EtherDrive storage users.  Not only will the EtherDrive appliance concept continue to be available and supported, it will be improved with new features.  Brantley Coile was in original inventor of the ATA-over-Ethernet (AoE) protocol.  He also was the first to implement the protocol into a storage appliance.  Over the past 10 years, thousands of users have been getting great value from EtherDrive SAN storage.

Coraid was a hardware company.  They took low cost commodity SuperMicro server hardware and installed proprietary EtherDrive storage software to create a super efficient single purpose storage appliance.   The software was called CorOS and ran on the Plan 9 operating system, not Linux.  The resulting code enabled really low cost hardware configurations to achieve super high performance.  They didn't need to buy the fastest multi-core processor and load the server up with tons of RAM to get peak performance.  This is now all being made open source.

The Brantley Coile company will make available unlocked binary code enabling users and resellers to build and replicate storage appliances using locally purchased SuperMicro server hardware.  Users can choose the hardware configuration that best suits their application, and budget.

Brantley's new project is being called EtherDrive 8, and it incorporates the CorOS functions found in the Coraid SRX and VSX products.  EtherDrive 8 appliance code will allow users to upgrade existing SRX and VSX chassis to become EtherDrive 8 appliances, without having to move data from these storage appliances.  EtherDrive 8 is completely backward compatible with CorOS SRX and VSX.

The new things being planned for EtherDrive 8 will build upon the rock solid foundation of CorOS and Plan 9, and preserve the simplicity of the AoE storage appliance concept.

It's not often that the open source community is treated to this much high quality software being made open source.  The foreclosure of Coraid was not a pretty thing to watch.  But seeing the secret sauce of it's software being made public, and the launch of EtherDrive 8, is sure to give rise to a new Phoenix in the storage market space.

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