Sun Makes Splash in Entry-level Storage

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Sun Microsystems this week unveiled the value-priced Sun StorEdge 3510
Fiber Channel array and 3310 NAS product, both of which are designed to provide
best-in-class storage density, more standard ports for increased configurability, NEBS certification, and Mil-Spec compliance for broader flexibility in installation.

“Sun continues to set the pace in the industry for open standards,
density and price performance,” said Mark Canepa, executive vice
president of Sun Network Storage. “The 3510 FC array supports 1024 LUNs
and eight ports, more than four times what Dell offers for the same
price point. Sun Fire Blade Platform customers will benefit from the
3310 NAS solution, the first ultra-dense storage solution optimized for
blade environments. Best of all, customers will be able to manage their
storage in an N1 virtualized and automated environment.”

Both products provide common GUI interfaces that enable consistent storage management across all arrays in the Sun StorEdge 3000 family, simplifying management and speeding implementation from hours to minutes. In support of multi-platform environments, the Sun StorEdge 3000 family of products supports the Solaris Operating Environment and
the Windows, Linux, HP/UX and IBM AIX operating systems.

Truly Entry-level Products?

Analysts appear to agree that the Sun products provide good price-performance, but there is some disagreement over whether or not the new products are truly entry-level storage hardware.

“The features designed into Sun’s StorEdge 3000 family of products are a
good fit for the needs of the entry-level marketplace,” said Randy
Kerns, senior partner, Evaluator Group. “Sun has done a good job of
delivering high-density arrays that offer solid performance and high
availability that fit the market at attractive price points.”

Mike Karp, senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, said,
“These are not really entry-level machines in terms of price,
features or performance. More like the low end of the mid-range from my
perspective. My perspective is that the low end is primarily interested
in price, not price-performance.”

That said, Karp contends the NEBS compliance of the boxes “is a clear
differentiator for both the 3510 FC and the 3310 NAS arrays. This level
of bullet-proofing has previously not been available in a widely
available machine at these price levels. For companies needing that
level of reliability, its a pretty clear choice.”

The performance of the machines appears competitive, Karp said. “The
high point may be the number of disks they can cram into a small space,”
he said, and driver density appears to be higher on the Sun machines
than on comparable offerings from EMC, HP and IBM for the 3510 or Dell,
Snap Appliance and NetworkAppliance for the 3310.

Karp said Sun “doesn’t really build these machines, but rather OEMs them
from a small San Diego-based vendor, Dot Hill.”

Sun StorEdge 3510 FC

Sun said the Sun StorEdge 3510 FC array provides reliable, affordable
fibre channel storage for entry-level Storage Area Networks (SANs).
Starting in a 2U, 12 drive form factor, the Sun StorEdge 3510 FC array
can scale to accommodate up to 5.2TB of storage in a 6U form factor.

“This makes it an ideal solution for mobile applications and
high-density environments,” Sun said. Contributing to lower total cost
of ownership, the ability to use up to eight standard FC ports on the 3510 FC array
increases available performance and reduces the need for external edge
switches, Sun said.

The feature-rich array offers a transparent controller fail-over capability that improves availability without the need for more software on the attached servers, the company said. The array is designed to complement and work seamlessly with the Sun Fire
V480, V880, and just-announced V1280 systems.

The StorEdge 3510 FC array has a starting price of $22,995 for a 5x36GB
1 RAID controller unit and will be available at the end of February.

Sun StorEdge 3310 NAS

Sun said the Sun StorEdge 3310 NAS product is a rack-dense, entry-level
storage offering that is optimized for the new Sun Fire Blade Platform.
One Sun StorEdge 3310 NAS product will support a rack of Sun Fire
Blades. The StorEdge 3310 NAS product has a starting price of $18,995
for a 5×36 GB 1 RAID controller unit and will be avilable in the second

Sun also announced expanded data continuance storage solutions with the
Sun StorEdge L8 AutoLoader tape product and SDLT 320 standalone tape
drive. The L8 Autoloader, which includes Linear Tape Open drive
technology and is bundled with Sun Solstice Backup software, starts at
$9,600. The SDLT 320 tape drive starts at $5,195. Both products are
available immediately.

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Paul Shread
Paul Shread
eSecurity Editor Paul Shread has covered nearly every aspect of enterprise technology in his 20+ years in IT journalism, including an award-winning series on software-defined data centers. He wrote a column on small business technology for, and covered financial markets for 10 years, from the dot-com boom and bust to the 2007-2009 financial crisis. He holds a market analyst certification.

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