I have been a bit remiss in not mentioning Cleversafe before. It's a company with a very, er, clever idea, which has been open source from the start. It's just released a new version of its free code, and this gives me a good opportunity to to make up for past sins of omission:
Cleversafe Inc., the leading provider of Dispersed Storage technology, announced it has released the next generation of its software into open source on its www.cleversafe.org site. The company is challenging software developers to build their own Dispersed Storage Networks (dsNets)—from open source code available at the company’s community project and contribute to new projects that are being defined to enable additional methods for utilizing Dispersed Storage.
And if you want to know what Cleversafe does, and how it does it, try this:
The dsNet technology divides digital content into “slices” using Information Dispersal Algorithms (IDAs) and disperses the slices, via secure network connections, to multiple storage nodes on a dispersed storage network. Each individual slice contains too little information to be useful, but any threshold of the slices can be used to perfectly recreate the original data. A dsNet can tolerate multiple simultaneous failures of hardware, administrators or storage locations, while keeping data secure and easily accessible. The Dispersed Storage software can deliver limitless scalability, security, reliability, longevity, all in an extremely cost-effective manner compared to traditional storage architectures.
This is another great example of open source producing innovative solutions – contrary to the old canard that free software only copies. We also see the classic business open source strategy of using two licences (commercial and GNU GPL), and two sites – one for commercial solutions, and one for the open-source community.