Sun builds new platforms to take storage initiative

Sun Microsystems this month took a big step toward re-establishing itself in the storage arena with the launch of three new products and a different way of approaching data management.

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By  Dylan Bowman Published  May 14, 2006

Sun Microsystems this month took a big step toward re-establishing itself in the storage arena with the launch of three new products and a different way of approaching data management. The vendor’s announcements mark an expansion of the ‘Sun StorageTek’ brand following its acquisition of the storage rival for around US$4billion. Since the StorageTek purchase in June 2005, Sun has been working to integrate the two companies’ products into its platform for overall data management. The launch, on May 2, came only a few weeks after the company’s founder Scott McNealy stepped down as CEO (See IT Weekly 29 April – 5 May 2006). However, the Sun chairman was still on hand to headline the announcements at Sun’s quarterly Networking Computing event in Washington DC. “It’s really all about the data, not the storage. It’s about retr- ieval, conditional access and id- entity management,” McNealy said at the conference. Sun’s new platform is being marketed as the ‘information management maturity model’ (IM3) and will focus on four key areas — identity management, virtualisation, encryption and software integration. The release of the Sun StorageTek Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) system 4e and 5 for mainframe environments is an important piece of this approach, increasing tape drive cartridge capacity to 100% and reducing backup windows by as much as 50%, the firm claimed. Sun said its VSM family provided the building blocks for its mission to ‘virtualise everything’ by storing data on a virtual disk buffer and migrating it to a tape device based on user-defined policies. “Virtualisation is one of the keys to harnessing the value of an enterprise’s most valuable asset, their data,” said Nigel Dessau, vice president and general manager for Sun’s tape business unit. “VSM has been an industry-leading virtual tape solution for more than five years and is a key element in Sun’s effort to help customers large and small deal with massive data growth, while reducing the cost and complexity of data management,” Dessau went on to say. Sun also unveiled the Sun StorageTek 5320 NAS Appli- ance, its first network attached storage (NAS) appliance based on AMD’s Opteron processor model 252, and the Sun Managed Operations for Storage service. The firm claimed the 5320 increased performance by 55% compared to Sun’s previous generation of NAS Sun StorEdge products while its managed operations for storage allowed customers to reduce storage management costs, improve performance and increase efficiency.

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