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Sun fleshes out N1 with storage system

Sun Microsystems is unveiling its latest products forming the second part of its N1 data centre management initiative.

Sun Microsystems is unveiling its latest products forming the second part of its N1 data centre management initiative.

The N1 a family of products is intended to let customers manage their data centres more efficiently and cost effectively by making better use of resources such as storage and computing power. N1 will compete with similar initiatives at IBM and Hewlett-Packard.

The N1 Data Platform will let customers manage multiple storage arrays as if they were a single large system, allocating disc space to applications and databases as needed.

The system is still in the pilot stage and includes only some of the capabilities promised. It sits between a company's servers and storage equipment and includes software for grouping discs into logical units, dividing them into secure zones, and taking snapshots for data protection, said James Staten, director of marketing for Sun storage.

The system supports Fibre Channel but does not yet support Ethernet connections. Capababilities such as automatic provisioning or policy-based automation are planned for future versions.

Sun acquired the N1 Data Platform last year from Pirus Networks and said the system works with storage products from multiple suppliers. It will go on sale before the end of the year, assuming that feedback from three pilot customers is positive, Staten said. Pricing starts at $112,600 (£72,493), with extra fees for implementation services, additional ports and other features.

The product complements the first element of Sun's N1 project rolled out earlier this year, a provisioning server that Sun acquired from Terraspring, said Mark Canepa, executive vice-president of Sun's network storage group.

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