U.K. Warms to Sun’s Grid Storage


Grid is good. That’s the message Sun Microsystems is spreading as it hurtles
toward next week’s final quarterly batch of news for 2005.


The systems vendor today unveiled two new software services for U.K.-based
customers keen on using the Sun Grid Storage Utility: Sun Grid Remote Backup
and Restore Service (RBR) and Sun Grid Remote File Vault (RFV).


Sun Grid RBR provides remote data backup for desktops, laptops, and
basically any server, charging customers per month based on their use the
way customers might pay for electricity or water.


The software, designed to avoid the cost of traditional tape and data
replication, is delivered through a telecommunications link, ensuring data
is regularly copied to a remote data center facility.


Available as a complementary service to Sun Grid RBR or as a standalone
option, the Sun Grid RFV triggers long-term remote archiving on a
pay-per-use basis.


Again, like the electricity or water, customers store only what they need,
without the costs of running extensive backup processes on a user’s system.


Customers will receive monthly bill statements and have access to a portal
detailing daily consumption with Sun Grid RBR and Sun Grid RFV, which are
being offered with the help of data management specialist InTechnology.


Sun and InTechnology will begin piloting the two services for U.K.-based
customers in December.


Sun said in a statement such storage services are necessary at a time when
corporations are moving away from the traditional practice of manual backup
over distributed networks.


After all, the more humans that handle the data, the greater the chance for
errors and data loss. Lost data is a problem today because compliance
regulations ask for stringent record retention.


Sun Grid RBR and Sun Grid RFV eliminate the risks and costs of backup and
archival infrastructure and processes, and they scale according to the customer’s increases in data.


“This new model of storage on demand addresses the challenges of limited
budgets and dispersed data-center staff — prompting companies in every
industry to reexamine data center management,” said Stuart Wells, executive
vice president of utility computing at Sun.


Wells also said Sun is seeing “explosive demand” for utility computing from
major financial institutions, oil and gas companies, making the sector a
multi-billion-dollar market.


To wit, Sun also announced that Houston’s Virtual Compute Corporation has
boosted its agreement with the Santa Clara, Calif., systems provider.

The computing service provider pledged to use more than 2 million hours of
central processing units (CPUs) on the Sun Grid Compute Utility, an increase
of 1 million CPUs from the previous agreement.

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