|January 8, 2001|
Sun Aims To Challenge EMC With New Storage Push
Enhanced system will move, store, and manage data on HP-UX, AIX, and Windows NT Systems
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The system will store, move, and manage data on servers running Hewlett Packard's HP-UX, IBM's AIX, and Microsoft's Windows NT operating systems. It's a major departure for Sun, which hasn't supported many operating systems other than Solaris, its version of Unix. The challenge for Sun and its resellers will be to sell and service customers the way an independent storage vendor does. The strategy could cost some server sales because Sun customers will find it easier to link other servers into Sun environments.
Sun's modular approach will let businesses start with 163 Gbytes on a T3 array and add more as needed. Customers will end up with a single system image across the arrays that makes the storage system easy to administer and manage.
Devon Energy Corp. in Oklahoma City, Okla., has taken that approach. The oil and gas company started small and grew its T3 arrays to 11 terabytes of capacity; it expects to have 20 terabytes within a year, says Brad Whitley, a senior network engineer. Devon chose Sun because EMC products were slower and more than four times as expensive, he says. The building-block approach was another plus. "When we add a T3 brick, we double the controllers, the bandwidth, and the performance."
But Sun may still have problems, Giga Group analyst Bob Zimmerman says. "I like that the T3 is open, and I like the storage area network appliances . . . but Sun salespeople still don't know how to sell outside the Sun base."
The StorEdge T3 is available now; a 5.2-terabyte configuration is priced at about $600,000.
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