OpenSFS (Open Scalable File Systems, Inc.), a non-profit corporation, has recently been formed to continue development of the Lustre file system alongside Oracle, which owns and maintains the Lustre code even though it is an open-source technology.
Lustre has been and continues to be used by many high-performance clusters for managing storage systems. When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, the former owner of Lustre, earlier this year, they became the keepers of the Lustre source code. Oracle has been developing Lustre for its own hardware, but there is a large sector of Lustre users who have an interest in continuing to add their own functionality to the file system. Enter OpenSFS. While they are explicitly not seeking to branch off from Oracle’s Lustre project (they are doing the exact opposite, actually, in hoping to implement their modifications as future updates to Oracle Lustre) these groups are seeking to develop the file system for non-Oracle deployments.
Membership in the OpenSFS partnership, according to an HPC Wire article, is based upon contribution. For $5,000 a year, one can become a participant on a working group in OpenSFS; for $50,000 a year, one can manage a working group; for $500,000 a year, one can become a member of the board of executives. Currently about 20 organizations have become members in one form or another on OpenSFS. The founding members were Cray, Direct Data Networks, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Lustre updates developed by OpenSFS will be tested first on supercomputers at the latter two locations).
This is an exciting development because it signals a strong effort to continue development of Lustre for applications beyond those needed by Oracle. Hopefully this will become an active community that will keep this heavily-deployed open-source project alive for many years to come.