Sun Goes Up And Down With Storage

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company late last month introduced the StorEdge 5310 NAS appliance, a midrange upgrade to the entry-level 5210. The 5310 brings support for Fibre Channel drives, the ability to cluster two units and a simplified management interface, said James Whitemore, vice president of marketing at Sun. Sun also moved into the lower end of the midrange SAN space with its new StorEdge 6130 array, which brings enterprise services such as data snapshots, replication and volume backups to midrange customers.

While the new 6130 will fill a niche for customers with strong Sun relationships, its 5310 may be too late for the company, said Ed Gogol, director of enterprise systems at Solarcom, a Norcross, Ga.-based solution provider. In addition to Sun's products, Solarcom also carries NAS appliances from Network Appliance, which targets entry-level customers, and EMC, which is the first choice for customers already employing EMC, Gogol said. "We kind of look back and wonder where Sun is going to fit," he said. "Even where customers are solid with Sun servers, they have a mix of storage [platforms]."

Sun's new NAS appliances are an attempt by the company to make up for a lack of products in that space, Whitemore said. "In the last four to five years, we've had no NAS offerings, so our channel partners worked with other vendors," he said. "Our partners want a single source."

The 5310, slated to ship this quarter, can be configured with up to 23 Tbytes of RAID capacity. The unit starts with a minimum of 2 Tbytes of capacity and carries a list price of $46,995. Available now, the 6130 starts with a minimum of five 73-Gbyte Fibre Channel hard drives and one controller, and lists for $46,470. The list price of the array's maximum Fibre Channel configuration of 16.35 Tbytes is $363,460. With a mix of Fibre Channel and Serial ATA hard drives, the 6130's maximum capacity is 41.2 Tbytes, a configuration that lists for $272,460.

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