Sun’s New Wave of Storage Software, Hardware

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

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 days before Sun’s fourth-quarter Network Computing ’04
(NC04Q4) launch, acknowledged that customer clamoring 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 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 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 mid-range 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, 1 controller tray is

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 in court.

Wood said the glut of e-mail 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.

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