Sun’s N1 Data Platform fortifies storage family

Sun Microsystems is promising users of its N1 Data Platform a lower total cost of ownership, improved provisioning capabilities and a flexible, heterogeneous, on demand storage environment.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  April 28, 2003

Storage story|~||~||~|Sun Microsystems is promising users of its N1 Data Platform a lower total cost of ownership, improved provisioning capabilities and a flexible, heterogeneous, on demand storage environment. Delivering these benefits are the virtualisation, pooling and consolidation functionalities of its Data Platform, which incorporates storage arrays and a management console.

The N1 Data Platform is designed to reduce network bottlenecks and improve the management of storage environments through the use of virtualisation, provisioning and pooling. These, in turn, should deliver cost and time benefits.

“It [N1 Data Platform] really gives users the ability to provision and deliver applications in a much more timely fashion… which is a significant cost saving,” says Paul Gullett, director of storage technologies, Sun Microsystems, Europe, Middle East & Africa.

Sun’s N1 storage vision was also facilitated by its acquisition last year of Pirus Networks, which has seen the latter’s network switch incorporated into Sun’s Data Platform.

“The initial rollout of the N1 Data Platform services are developed around the PSX1000, which is the base platform that we acquired from Pirus. It is a very high performance network edge switch, which runs the software that gives us the data services and the capability to do pooling and provisioning,” explains Gullet.

Furthermore, Sun has strengthened its storage hardware portfolio with the initial release from its midrange SunStor Edge 6000 family. The 6120 array and 6320 system are designed to deliver efficient network computing and, according to Sun, offer higher performance levels than rival products.

“The Sun StorEdge 6000 family fill a significant need for customers seeking innovative ways to maximise their network computing resources. The SunStor Edge 6320 system alone provides more than 25% better performance at nearly 20% less cost compared to HP’s EVA offering,” claims Mark Canepa, executive vice president, Sun Network Storage.

Additionally, Sun believes the 6000 product family adds the missing pieces of its hardware portfolio and enables it to firmly concentrate on delivering its N1 vision into the storage environment.

“We announced the 6000 product family, which bolsters our midrange and means we now have a fairly consistent product family across the hardware segment. [We have] the 3000 at the low end, the 6000 in the midrange and then the 9000 series at the high end,” says Gullett.

“What we are now looking at is how to integrate that into the whole N1 vision,” he adds.

Adding further weight to its storage offering, Sun claims its 6120 model is a prime competitor to EMC’s Clariion CX400, and suggests that while other vendors are merely talking about virtualisation, Sun is actually delivering it.

“The key thing today is that we can deliver it [virtualisation], we have the N1 Data Platform. They [HP and IBM] are still talking about some nice concepts. If you look at HP their [solutions] are based on Terraspring and of course we now own Terraspring. They have based an architecture on a technology that is part of our N1 story… that really supports our heterogeneous approach,” explains Gullett.

Sun has been carrying out initial beta testing in the US and has established a test site for its Data Platform in its storage centre in Scotland. With the N1 storage products expected to be rolled out locally sometime between July and September, Gullett says there have already been a number of interested parties from the region visiting the centre.

“We already have one of these Data Platforms for our customers to come in and work with and we have had some customers in from the Middle East already to have a look at it,” he confirms.

“We have some of our most demanding technology customers in the Middle East and they will take these products as soon as we put them on the price list,” Gullet adds.||**||

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