Sun Aims Virtualization at SMBs

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Sun Microsystems is filling gaps in its mid-range storage server portfolio with its StorEdge 6130 array. The system's lower entry point is aimed at smaller businesses.

Billed as the "baby brother" to the StorEdge 6920 launched last month, the server is also designed to provide powerful virtualization functionality to medium-sized companies and divisions within large businesses.

James Whitemore, vice president of marketing for Sun Network Storage, said the core value proposition of the 6130 lies in providing data services previously only offered in high-end machines.

These include virtualized storage pooling capabilities, gleaned from the company's acquisition of Pirus Networks two years ago. The application-based pooling is done through pre-set storage profiles for different application workloads and performance tracking and automated diagnostics.

There is also potent data protection in the 6130, leveraging Sun StorEdge Data Snapshot and Sun StorEdge Volume Copy software. The 6130 is built to be used as primary and secondary storage. That is, the StorEdge 6130 array facilitates disk-to-disk back-up, giving customers as much as a 400 percent faster data restore and back-up than tape-based products.

The array acts as a cache between the primary storage and tape subsystems, eliminating lengthy back-up jobs needed to stream to tape. The machine also runs the gamut of storage classes, including Fibre Channel and more cost-effective Serial ATA , a flexibility offered in most information lifecycle management (ILM) scenarios today.

ILM proposes the complete management of information from its creation until its disposal. EMC , IBM , HP and Sun are all trying to fetch new customers with their ILM-based storage strategies.

Virtualization capabilities are also playing a key role and helping companies manage several operating systems, or storage pools, through one console. IBM and Hitachi Data Systems have recently brought new virtualization features to the fore.

"We are a systems company and we believe that the true advantage of Sun in the storage world is from our approach to systems and the ability to design and implement systems which enable data management from the creation of data all the way through the storage and deletion of data," Whitemore told internetnews.com.

The 6130 release, slated for November 15 along with Solaris 10, will be the latest product in a string that is the StorEdge 6000 family, which made its debut more than a year ago. The 6130 is a higher performing machine than the company's 6120, which will be phased out.

Sun will demonstrate the StorEdge 6130 array and the StorEdge 6920 system in the Storage Networking Industry Association's Interoperability lab at the SNW conference this week.

Pricing of the 6130 will be announced at the time of availability. The Santa Clara, Calif., company introduced the server at Storage Networking World 2004 in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday.


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