Sun Tackles Storage Provisioning

Storage provisioning refers to the addition and reallocation of storage capacity. Automating the process is a way to improve the administration of storage networks and the utilization of resources.

Sun's storage provisioning plans,part of its N1 architecture, which treats server and storage as components of an entire system based on the network,revolve around the PSX-1000, which Sun gained in its November acquisition of Pirus Networks, said Mark Canepa, executive vice president of storage products at Sun.

The PSX-1000 can automatically create logical unit numbers (LUNs) and data mirrors to connect arrays from various vendors together into a heterogeneous storage pool, Canepa said. "It works with many arrays,all of ours, plus most others. Our intention is to have the most widespread attachment," he said.

The PSX-1000, first unveiled by Pirus early last year, is already in pilot installations, Canepa said. Sun will wrap services around the PSX-1000, which can be deployed by partners or resold by solution providers for deployment by Sun, he said.

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Sun this month also expanded its storage offerings into the entry-level space. The company unveiled the StorEdge 3510 Fibre Channel array, aimed at entry-level SANs. The 3510, OEMed from Dot Hill Systems, Carlsbad, Calif., fits up to 12 hard drives into a 3U chassis and can be scaled to up to 5.2 Tbytes of capacity in 6U of rack space. The array includes up to eight Fibre Channel ports and built-in controller failover capability.

Sun also introduced a new L8 tape autoloader using LTO tape drive technology, as well as a stand-alone SDLT 320 tape drive.

Mark Teter, CTO of Advanced Systems Group, a Denver-based Sun solution provider, said it is too early to consider how Sun's N1 plans will affect the channel. He said, however, that Sun's new 3510 seems to be a great entry-level array, although it should have been introduced last year.

"How long did it take? A year?" Teter said. "They had a SCSI version, but that's not good for SANs. It just takes so long for Sun to go through qualifications. The 3510 ran on Solaris before Sun started offering it. In my opinion, Sun could have erred a bit to get it out faster."