Sun Quarterly Product Launch To Focus On Storage


Much of what is happening with the new products is a result of Sun’s move to combine its network management technology with the storage technology from its StorageTek acquisition, said Larry Singer, senior vice president and strategic insight officer at Sun.

Security is becoming a big part of Sun's new storage lineup as it introduces native tape encryption and releases details about a new appliance aimed at storing data for compliance purposes.

The Santa Clara, Calif., vendor plans to add encryption technology to its T10000 line of tape drives to protect data as it is archived, Singer said. “We own both the encryption and the tape technology, so we can do what others can’t.”

The T10000 encrypts data as it's written to tape. The encryption keys are stored on a token--not on the drive--so that the encryption keys can be used to read data off a tape if the drive is replaced later on. The drives can be assigned to a storage pool, which can have its encryption keys stored on a token. The keys can be sent to a remote site if needed in order to read the data in case of a failure at the primary site.

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Mark Teter, CTO at Advanced Systems Group, a Sun solution provider in Denver, said customers have been waiting for the T10000 tape drive with encryption for some time.

“The alternative to encryption in the tape drive is software, which creates processing overhead, or an in-line device that creates another point of management,” he said. “I’d rather have it in the tape drive.”

Sun also plans to introduce its new Sun StorageTek 5320 NAS appliance based on Advanced Micro Devices’ Opteron processors. A Sun spokesperson said the 5320 can access up to 179 Tbytes of data, with prices starting at about $49,000.

The 5320 is Sun's first storage product to be included in its Try-and-Buy program, which enables customers and solution providers to evaluate a product for up to 60 days at no charge with the option of purchasing the system at the end of the trial period.

On the software side, Sun is integrating identity management with its Enterprise Storage Manager software, Singer said. This embeds information about who created data and who is authorized to access it into the metadata field to control and audit access to that data from a single Web-based enterprise platform, he said.

By integrating identity management into data management, Sun is simplifying the ability to manage data for compliance and other efficiencies, Teter said.

Sun this week also plans to release details of Honeycomb, a storage technology aimed at securely storing data in a format that, for compliance purposes, cannot be modified for the life of the data. The technology is expected to compete with EMC’s Centera compliance appliance.

Honeycomb is the latest in a series of products resulting from Sun's acquisition of Kealia, a server technology firm founded by Andy Bechtolsheim, one of the original co-founders of Sun. Kealia also brought Sun its Galaxy family of AMD Opteron-based servers, currently one of the industry's fastest-growing server lines.

Also expected are details about Sun’s Thumper project. According to channel sources, Thumper is a high-performance file server based on Sun’s Galaxy line of Opteron-based servers, offering room for up to 48 hard drives. Thumper also is Sun's first hardware to come embedded with its new Zeta File System, which is part of the Solaris 10 operating system.

Sun also is adding two models to its lineup of StorageTek Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) series of tape arrays, which are aimed mainly at the IBM mainframe market. The VSM 5 has double the capacity and performance of the VSM 4, and the VSM 4e is a lower-cost version of the VSM 4. The VSM 4 currently has a capacity of 1.25 Tbytes to 14.9 Tbytes and can be divided into as many as 256 virtual tape drives.