5. Missing functionalities

Fast and attractive, the Sun Storage 7110 is missing "the small things", things that will make you feel you have found all that you need in a server :

5.1 UPS management

All the server we install are configured to shutdown automatically as soon as the UPS sends an alarm (missing power or low battery). But Sun doesn't provide a way to manage and connect an UPS, athough the needed drivers exist for Solaris for UPS from MGE or APC.

5.2 "DNS free"

Fishworks designers decided that you need to own a DNS server in order to get the full power of the server. The FTP server (proftpd) use a DNS resolution for every operation (connection, directory change, ...).
Be ready to wait up to 30s in order to start an FTP transfert !
A solution exists, you will have to add 'IdentLookups off' and 'UseReverseDNS off' in the configuration file proftpd, but the write permission on the root filesystem is locked... (An anonymous expert sent us the magic command : zfs set readonly=off system/root/ak-nas.. , use it at your own risk)

It seems to be difficult to explain to a customer that in order to store its files, he will have to buy and manage a DNS server (or 2 servers for redundancy) .

5.3 A CIFS service as good as Samba

There is no way to prevent creation of specific files (including the terrific autorun.inf), you can't hide files with no read permission by the user.
Shares content can't be different depending of the connected user, no trashcan is provided, files are deleted forever and it's impossible to block access to share for a given set of IP addresses.

5.4 Advanced security

A brute force attack on ssh is possible, we tried it with success, a solution like fail2ban could have been integrated easily.

5.5 Software installation

If your 2 system disks are down, you simply can't reinstall the system, the install CD/DVD is not provided.
In case of emergency , we would like to be able to plug a CD drive in the USB case and start the reinstallation.

5.6 Improved alert notification

The server can send alerts by email, this feature requires an internal SMTP. You can only specify the IP address and the port of the SMTP service. There is no support of authentication, so you can't use an external SMTP server.

5.7 Software customization

On this appliance, it's not possible to install or compile priceless software like rsync (for transfert automation), nano (a human usable text editor compared to the default ‘vi’) and all the surviving kit of the smart administrator. There is no 'C' compiler and access rights are too limited to allow even a small system customization.


SMS gateway are more and more affordable, to be notified on mobile phone when something goes wrong will soon become a "must have" that Sun should consider. (From the storage server side, it's nothing more than sending an http request).