Sun revamps storage line

Sun Microsystems has announced its first near-line arrays based on Serial Advanced Technology Attachment disc drives, which it...

Sun Microsystems has announced its first near-line arrays based on Serial Advanced Technology Attachment disc drives which, it said, will offer 70% more storage capacity than similarly priced fibre channel-based disc arrays.

The company will also sell a network-attached storage line of arrays and will begin offering customers a subscription-based pricing model for storage. 

Sun's utility computing model is based on the StorEdge 9980 array and includes storage resource and device management software from Hitachi Data Systems and installation services. The package also includes platinum services and support starting at $1.95 per gigabyte per month with a three-year contract. 

"This is not a capital expenditure for customers. This is intended to be an operational expense," said Adam Mendoza, director of strategic alliances at Sun's Networked Storage Group. 

Sun said it is expanding its StorEdge 3000 line of arrays to include Serial ATA drives for near-line storage.

The StorEdge 3120 is a 1U SCSI storage server based on JBOD (Just a Bunch of Discs) technology with 5TBytes to 8TBytes capacity. It costs $5,000 (£2,700) to $11,000 depending on configuration.

The StorEdge 3511 array comes with 3TBytes to 16TBytes of capacity, can be configured for Raid and costs $27,000 (£14,600) to $50,000. 

Mendoza said two new arrays are part of a tiered storage model that includes high-end, midrange, low-end and tape storage which will all be managed by under Sun's N1 platform. 

Sun will also use intelligent switching technology to pool storage within heterogeneous storage-area networks (San) based on the storage industry's SMI-S standard. Sun acquired storage virtualisation technology when it bought Pirus Networks in 2002.

The Sun StorEdge 6920 virtualisation engine will be available in the next 45 days and include software for point-in-time, remote replication and data migration - as well as for centralised management for business applications such as online transaction processing, data warehousing and enterprise resource planning. 

Sun will release an upgrade to the switch by the end of the year, which will include mirroring and other functionality that can be added via a software upgrade without disrupting the existing system. 

Sun also announced Version 4.1 of its Storage Archive Manager/Quick File System (SAM/QFS), a high-performance file-sharing system which gives multiple users access to a centralised file-sharing pool based on a caching schema as well as hierarchical storage management. 

Sun StorEdge SAM-QFS software affords policy-based file management for more than 2,000 remote sites worldwide. It includes continuous dynamic archiving, which automatically archives new or changed files; a new graphical user interface and wizards for easier management and configuration; and the capacity to scale a file system to one petabyte, or four times greater than the previous version.

Lucas Mearian writes for Computerworld

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