Sun Sheds Light on Flexibility of Storage Solutions

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In an attempt to expand storage options while enhancing scalability and performance, Sun Microsystems recently rolled out its first ever storage blade — along with three server blades.

According to published reports, Sun’s offering comes only a few weeks after Hewlett-Packard and IBM released new products in the storage blade market.

“[The Sun open storage blade] is optimized to do large-scale consolidations so [companies] can easily consolidate some of their existing infrastructure onto a denser, higher-efficient and more modular infrastructure,” said Francis Lam, product line manager of the Sun Blade 6000.

“[In doing so], they can dramatically reduce their existing footprint and energy consumption and make it a lot easier to use, deploy and manage — and more importantly, on an ongoing basis keep adding new services [and] new capacity. It will get a lot easier to handle, it costs less and it’s faster to deploy.”

According to Lam, the new open storage blade is likely the industry’s most scalable to date.

“In the past, a lot of enterprise customers were migrating onto blades and, in many cases, they [would] use network-attached storage or storage area network,” Lam explained. “They [would] use various forms of input/output connectivity that goes to external storage array for their persistent storage needs.”

Lam said Sun Microsystems is encouraging other organizations to consolidate a significant percentage of their data centers onto the storage blade. The open storage blade can help them to deploy applications that require a large amount of local storage.

“We’re talking about hundreds, even thousands, of server blades in structures,” he said. “They don’t always need to go outside of the chassis.”

While the current blade boasts a storage capacity of up to 1.2 terabytes, Sun anticipates a software update in early 2009 that would further increase the number of disk modules attached to an individual blade, Lam said. This provides for more flexibility.

“For [companies] that are really trying to consolidate aggressively on two blades, there are many applications that would work better and are sometimes mandated by the software to have local storage,” Lam said. “The Sun disk server disk would enable [them] to have a lot more flexibility in a variety of ways in providing storage solutions to different applications.”

– Deanna Hartley,

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Deanna Hartley


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