Sun Unveils New Storage Servers, Services

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Sun Microsystems unveiled its next-generation of storage
products and business continuity services in an effort to lure customers
from HP , IBM and EMC .

Launched in New York as part of its quest
to regain financial services customers, the
products include a mid-range and high-end storage server, a network-attached
storage device and an infrastructure system.

Sun hopes to woo customers with such products as the Sun StorEdge 6920, a
storage system to compete with HP and IBM in the midrange, and the Sun
StorEdge 9990 enterprise storage platform. Both arrays make it easier for
customers to allocate and consolidate data on the network.

Specifically, the 6920 helps users consolidate applications on a single
system that provides scalability, application-oriented storage pooling,
simplified management and centralized services.

It also uses a crossbar architecture to help scale capacity, connectivity
and performance. HDS employs a
similar form of technology for its Lighting arrays.

Sun is looking to hit the sweet spot of flexible pricing for customers,
offering the 6920 array with utility computing pricing. With this
pay-for-what-you-use model, storage costs 80 cents per Sun power unit (SPU)
per month, helping users pare capital expenditures and align their storage
costs to their business needs.

At the high-end, Sun expects the 9990 will help it wrangle market share from
EMC, IBM and HDS with its because the array is fitted with new
virtualization, replication and data movement features that work across
platforms from other vendors.

The 9990 is well timed: EMC and HDS have upgraded their high-end machines
this year and IBM is expected to follow suit before the new year.

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Tony Asaro said in a statement the new
systems arguably give Sun one of the best stories for SAN-based storage. In
a recent interview with, Asaro said customers are
looking to virtualization to help them manage storage more efficiently.

In other storage news as part of its Network Computer ’04 event, the company is unveiling the Sun Content
Infrastructure System, a pre-assembled, tested and configured Sun Fire V240
server, three choices of storage arrays and Sun StorEdge SAM-FS arrays for
policy-based management.

Refusing to ignore its NAS base, the company also unveiled the Sun StorEdge
5210 NAS device, which boasts heterogeneous operating support and can
usually be set up in 15 minutes or less for small departments that need to
share files.

Lastly for products, Ultimate SAN OS Solaris 10 OS will be delivered with
Sun’s integrated SAN software stack, featuring StorEdge Traffic Manager.
This provides customers with automated load-balancing and fail-over for
direct or SAN-attached storage and configures thousands of storage elements
in a SAN environment without manual configuration.

That Sun’s third-quarter Network Computer event is being held in New York
Tuesday is no coincidence.

After weathering months of criticism for falling behind the competition in
the server market, the Santa Clara, Calif. systems vendor is intent on going
back to its roots and winning back financial services customers who had once
so loyally patronized its products.

In conjunction with that effort, Sun announced a new suite of Business
Continuity Services with AT&T, Nortel Networks and SunGard Availability
Services, according to Sun Services CTO Hal Stern.

The goal of the services is to help those IT providers minimize downtime for
their systems in the case of a disaster to avoid revenue loss. According to
IDC, worldwide spending on business continuity and security will top $107
billion by 2007.

Stern told Sun and SunGard are expanding their
alliance to include new offerings for entry-level servers based on the AMD
Opteron chip. The Managed Disaster Recovery Services provide a
cost-effective offering for customers who can’t shell out for a second data

Based on AT&T Ultravailable Computing, the new Data Continuity
Infrastructure Solution from Sun Microsystems and Nortel Networks allows
multiple data centers to act as one data center. This means that if one site
goes down, transactions are automatically rerouted to the alternate site.
The Chicago Tribune deployed this joint solution in March 2004.

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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