Sun’s New Wave of Storage Software, Hardware

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Sun Microsystems announced its broadest storage product launch in years on Monday, unveiling new hardware and software to improve data management at a time when companies are concerned about complying with record retention requirements.

Topping the list is the third release of the Santa Clara, Calif., company’s Enterprise Storage manager (ESM), the company’s storage operating system.

Based on the Storage Management Interoperability Specification (SMI-S), ESM 3.0 allows Sun for the first time to manage heterogeneous devices, providing storage resource management, provisioning and storage network management, according to Chris Wood, chief technologist of the Storage and Data Management Practice at Sun.

“We’ve been pretty good at storage management as long as your were managing Sun-on-Sun gear,” Wood told “This is our major step to manage and discover pretty much anybody’s third-party gear as well as our own gear.”

Wood, speaking ahead of Sun’s fourth-quarter Network Computing ’04 launch, acknowledged that customer demands had pushed Sun along the path to heterogeneous storage management, something other vendors have been taking up in the past year.

ESM 3.0, which competes with EMC’s ControlCenter and Hitachi Data Systems’ HiCommand suite, features dynamic discovery. This function discovers gear from disparate vendors on a storage area network (SAN) and plots out connections between bits on the disk all the way back to the application that uses them, monitoring that path.

Pricing is scalable depending on configuration, but the minimum configuration is about $33,000 for SAN management.

Sun on Monday also launched the StorEdge 6130 array, which, as the little brother to the recently launched 6920, provides advanced data protection and application-oriented configuration for midrange clients. Wood said the system is geared for clients “who may not be ready for the class or caliber of the 6920.”

The key differentiators are that the 6130 uses suites of data services such as snapshot point-in-time copying, volume copy for disaster recovery. The 6130 supports serial ATA and Fibre Channel storage and will work behind the 6920. Available now, the minimum configuration for a 365 gigabyte, one controller tray is $46,470.

Diving back into network-attached storage (NAS) appliances, Wood said Sun is offering the StorEdge 5310 NAS device, which offers enhanced scalability and advanced business continuity to compete with midrange filers from Network Appliance. The 5310 scales to 65 terabytes of raw Fibre Channel capacity or 179 terabytes of raw SATA capacity.

Sun is also providing StorEdge Compliance Archiving Software for the 5310 NAS appliance to ensure that customers meet federal and regulatory data compliance requirements. This pre-configured archival appliance will store customers’ information assets in case they are required for legal and compliance issues.

Wood said the glut of email and other forms of unstructured data is one of the most pervasive and expensive problems Sun’s customers are facing. Both the 5310 and compliance software will be available in December with pricing to be announced at that time.

Article courtesy of

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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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