Sun Debuts Storage And Server Offerings

Sun's quarterly download of announcements on Tuesday marks the debut of midrange storage products tied together by the company's N1 utility computing model. Sun also is adding entry-level servers that run on its foundation of the Solaris operating system and Sparc processor. Sun is introducing a number of software products in anticipation of Project Orion, a strategy to bundle hardware and software and charge customers only for what they use.

This approach of introducing new and updated hardware and software in large, quarterly installments is being done to communicate a consistent message, says Mark Canepa, Sun's executive VP of storage products. "Sun isn't in the business of providing separate components that the customer has to stitch together," he says.

Sun's new StorEdge 6000 line of midrange storage devices includes the 6120 modular Fiber Channel RAID array and 6320 system. The 6120, priced starting at $24,300, scales up to 12 terabytes and comes with management software and services. The 6320, starting at $67,600, scales up to 45 terabytes and also comes with management software and services.

Sun says it's bundling management software valued between $40,000 and $100,000 along with the 6120 and 6320. The company is looking to win customer support for its storage products and use the midrange offerings to eventually take market share away from leaders EMC Corp. and IBM, Canepa says. "Over the past couple of years," he adds, "it's clear the action is in the midrange market, and that data-center features are working their way into the midrange."

Sponsored post

In addition to the new hardware, Sun's N1 Data Platform is designed to let IT managers allocate and re-allocate storage to different devices as their storage needs change. The N1 Data Platform, a device that sits between network servers and storage devices, culls virtualization and provisioning capabilities from Sun's Pirus Networks Inc. acquisition last year. The platform starts at $112,600 and includes software used to create a virtual storage environment from the servers and storage devices on a network. Sun is also releasing StorEdge Enterprise Storage Manager 1.2, priced starting at $15,000, as well as StorEdge Back-up Software 7.0, priced starting at $2,600.

The Data Services Platform is designed to facilitate the implementation of Sun's N1 utility-computing strategy. Data-services software running on the device lets servers store data based upon class and can prioritize data based upon quality, much the way networks classify data, says Bill Groth, Sun's senior director of storage systems marketing.

"High-availability demands and information digitization are causing storage needs to outgrow capacity and management capabilities," Groth says, adding that this is being driven, in part, by regulatory compliance in a number of industries, including health care, pharmaceuticals, and life sciences.

Sprint Corp., which already uses high-end Sun StorEdge 9960 SANs and low-end A1000 SCSI RAID arrays, is evaluating Sun's new midrange StorEdge 6000 products. The telecommunications provider is particularly interested in the new product line's Fiber Channel features at midrange prices, says Kurt Gastrock, VP of hosting solutions.

Gastrock also likes Sun's integrated approach to selling its products. "I like the opportunity to buy complete package," he says. "Sun doesn't have to be best-of-breed in every category, but it is important that they have a good integration strategy."

Sun is also introducing two entry-level Sparc Solaris servers designed for Web serving and high-availability environments. Available May 20, the Sun Fire V210 server starts at $2,995 and the Sun Fire V240 starts at $3,495. Also on the server side, Sun is upgrading its Sun Fire 280R Server, Netra 20 Server, and Sun Blade 2000 systems with 1.2-GHz UltraSparc III CU processors.

Other product introductions include Auto Diagnosis and Recovery features for the Sun Fire 3800, 4800, 6800, 12K and 15K servers; XVR-1200 and XVR-100 graphics accelerators for workstation-based 3D images; and PCi III Co-Processor Card for certain Sun workstations and servers for running Windows-based technical and productivity applications side-by-side with Solaris at native PC speeds on the same system.

On the software side, Sun is rolling out Trusted Solaris, priced starting at $999 for the standard edition and $2,495 for a Common Criteria certified edition. The Trusted Solaris operating system for Sparc and x86 systems includes enhanced security features such as firewall protection and access controls. Sun also is extending its Sun Open Network Environment Integration Server B2B Edition with its Secure Trading Agent. Priced at $2,000 per host, per connection, Secure Trading Agent is a Java-based client that uses XML, Simple Object Access Protocol, and ebXML Web-services standards to let companies exchange XML, EDI, or other electronic documents between trading partners over the Internet.

Other Sun software being introduced includes: Management Center 3.5 for Sun hardware, Solaris and other apps; Sun One Studio 8, Compiler Collection for developing apps on Sparc and x86 platforms; Sun One Collaborative Business Platform, which uses Sun's messaging, portal, and identity servers to build collaboration and communication apps; Sun One Instant Messaging 6.0; and HPC ClusterTools 5 for high-performance clustering.

This story courtesy of InformationWeek.