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Sun Flexes Creative Pricing Muscle For Storage

Using the packaging and pricing model from its Java Enterprise System (JES), Sun Microsystems is offering its storage software as a whole portfolio or four separate suites.

The company also trotted out a managed storage services program and updated its grid storage offering. The news came as part of the company's quarterly Network Computing '05 (NC05Q2) launch in Washington, D.C.

In the nation's capital, Sun will focus on supplying computing infrastructure to the government under the theme "economies of scale," according to James Whitemore, vice president of Sun Network Storage.

"Nowhere is the requirement of scale in computing environments so prevalent and relevant than it is in government sectors," Whitemore said.

To that end, Whitemore said Sun Java StorEdge Software will include software for the "four Cs" of data management: consolidation, continuity, content and compliance.

The consolidation suite provides storage resource management, SAN management and automated provisioning to improve application performance.

The continuity suite makes sure data systems stay up and running, even in the face of disasters that threaten to knock out networks. Back-up, snapshot, mirroring, replication, migration and virtualization are included.

The content suite is a sort of information lifecycle management package that helps customers manage the lifecycle of their data. This suite offers ILM via content and e-mail archiving, content search and file serving. It also stores data according to priorities and frequency of use.

Last but not least, the compliance suite helps customers meet record retention requirements for e-mail and other documents. This suite is designed to help corporations comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA, among other regulations.

This subscription-based approach follows Sun's Java Enterprise System, which Whitemore said has more than 425,000 clients. Clients can license the software portfolio at $400,000 per year for 5 managed terabytes or $350 per-employee per-year.

Customers may also fill in holes in their storage software arsenal by buying any of the components "a la carte."

Sun also provided updates to its Sun Grid storage grid offering of $1 per Gb per month. Sun said it will now offer customers data replication and recovery; continuous access to offsite storage; and unlimited scalability. Sun Grid Storage Utility is scheduled to be available this July.

Sun is also aiming to succeed where storage service providers failed, offering new Sun Managed Storage Services for customers who want to outsource their storage management. With this program, customers can scale staff and resources for storage management, provisioning and data lifecycle reporting.

Separately, Mike Harding vice president of customer of network services, said the Santa Clara, Calif., concern has created a network community. Sun Connection will link customers, partners and developers in the hopes of providing better network services.

One of these services includes Sun Update Connection, a content distribution mechanism for customers to provide fixes, or patches for computing problems. Available at the end of the month, Update will also provide customers new features, Harding said.