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The end of Oracle HSM

And what is next?

In June 2019, Oracle officially announced End of Sale for OHSM at the 2019 DLR HSM User Conference in Neustrelitz, Germany.

In June 2020 Versity and Arteq signed a reseller contract, where Arteq is positioned to be the preferred Versity-partner in Northern Europe. This offers existing OHSM-customers a smooth migration path away from OHSM.

A good time to look back at the history behind this iconic archival storage product and discuss what this announcement means for Oracle sites that currently depend on OHSM or SAM-QFS technology.

In 2011 Harriet Coverston left Oracle to start Versity Software to be the leading independent provider of advanced, scalable, high throughput software defined archiving storage technology solutions for large archiving sites around the world. Within LSC, Sun and Oracle Harriet has been the driving force behind SAM-QFS and OHSM.

The first goal of Versity was to port SAM-QFS to Linux, which offered customers more freedom of choice.

Prior to introducing the name Oracle Hierarchical Storage Manager or OHSM, this product was historically known as SAM-QFS which stood for Storage and Archive Manager – Quick File System.

SAM-QFS was created in the early 1990’s by a private company called Large Storage Configurations (LSC), which released the first commercial version of SAM-QFS in 1993. Their unique archiving product quickly gained a loyal following with deployments in large commercial, scientific, and government sites all over the world. In 2001, LSC was acquired by Sun Microsystems.  

With access to Sun’s sales and distribution channels, the SAM-QFS deployment footprint accelerated worldwide as new features and capabilities were added to the product.  Sun was able to offer a compelling hardware and software package including servers, the Solaris OS, shared storage, and StorageTek tape libraries all in one package.

On January 27 2010, Oracle completed its acquisition of Sun Microsystems. 

 Thanks to the fact that Sun open sourced SAM-QFS in 2008, Versity was able to incorporate the SAM-QFS technology into the product. Like Oracle, Versity forked from the Sun open source but unlike Oracle, the product was developed  on the Linux operating system. In 2014 the first version of Versity Storage Manager (VSM) was released, and since then it has been under continuous and active development. During this time period more than 60 software updates and upgrades have been released.

Resulting in an impressive installed base!!

What does End-of-sales mean for Oracle sites?

Oracle’s End of Sale announcement means that the installed base of OHSM customers have a fairly short period of time to either move to a different archive management solution or turn into an Extended support contract with Oracle. With Extended support customers keep access to Oracle support, and in case of unidentified (new) bugs Oracle is committed to provide a solution (or workaround), however new features will not be added.

Fortunately, Versity offers a very convenient path forward with the highest possible level of continuity and minimal disruption of the archive process. Because of the common code base shared with OHSM, and because of the technical leadership in the company, Versity is extremely well positioned to support OHSM archive sites.  

Switching from OHSM to VSM is a straightforward process.  It is possible to simply utilize the filesystem dump utility to create a dump file from OHSM, and then use the samfsrestore command to restore the metadata to VSM.

After the restore procedure, the VSM server is able to read all previously archived data, and is able to archive new data. It is important to note the data is UNCHANGED and not moved or converted while migrating from OHSM to VSM!

Versity has published a conversion guide providing detailed instructions on how to accomplish the conversion. 

While Arteq has extensive knowledge and experience with Oracle HSM we had a market scan for follow up candidates and found in Versity VSM a strong candidate. After evealuation of the product we are impressed by the compatibility and ease-of-use of VSM and see the path forward for existing OHSM customers.

In June 2020 we signed a reseller agreement with Versity to support existing OHSM-customers in migrating away, and new customers looking for alternatives in handling their large datamanagement challenges.

In a future blog we will address the benefits and caveats of moving to Versity.

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