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11/15/2004
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Sun Moves Up With NAS, Down With SAN

Besides unleashing Solaris 10, Sun Microsystems on Monday plans to turn the spotlight on new storage hardware and software as part of its quarterly product launch.

Besides unleashing Solaris 10, Sun Microsystems on Monday plans to turn the spotlight on new storage hardware and software offerings as part of its quarterly product launch.

James Whitemore, vice president of marketing at Sun, said the company will introduce the StorEdge 5310 NAS appliance, a midrange upgrade to the entry-level 5210 introduced last quarter. The 5310 brings support for Fibre Channel drives, the ability to cluster two units and a simplified management interface, he said.

Sun's introduction of NAS appliances in back-to-back quarterly product launches starts to make up for a lack of products in that space, according to Whitemore. "In the last four to five years, we've had no NAS offerings. So our channel partners worked with other vendors," he said. "Our partners want a single [storage] source."

The 5310, which slated to ship this quarter, can be configured with up to 23 Tbytes of RAID capacity. The unit starts with a minimum of 2 Tbytes of capacity and carries a list price of $46,995.

Sun also is moving into the lower end of the midrange storage space with its new StorEdge 6130 array, which Whitemore said brings enterprise services such as data snapshots, replication and volume backups to midrange customers.

Available now, the 6130 starts with a minimum of five 73-Gbyte Fibre Channel hard drives and one controller and lists for $46,470. The list price at the array's maximum Fibre Channel configuration of 16.35 Tbytes is $363,460. With a mix of Fibre Channel and SATA hard drives, the 6130's maximum capacity is 41.2 Tbytes, a configuration that lists for $272,460.

On the software side, Sun is unveiling Enterprise Storage Manager 3.0, which Whitemore said includes a simple wizard and a single view of storage to help automate storage provisioning across heterogeneous storage. The software automates the discovery, visualization, monitoring and provisioning of multivendor storage environments, he said.

"Every vendor has its own proprietary software. Managing of enterprise storage environments is very complicated," Whitemore said. "We're taking out complexity. Think of it as a dashboard on your car. [This] gives a dashboard view to all your storage."

Enterprise Storage Manager is available now at a minimum price of $33,000, but the cost for most customers will start at about $100,000, Whitemore said.

Sun is also introducing Compliance Archive Edition software, which allows users to store data in a WORM (write once, read many) format for compliance purposes and apply data retention policies, including audit trails, to stored files.

Initially, the software will be available for the 5130 NAS appliance, but down the road it will become available for other Sun hardware, Whitemore said. The software is expected to be released early next month.

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