Sun extends virtualisation to EMC storage

Sun hopes that by adding support for EMC storage products to its virtualisation array, it will become a more attractive proposition for anyone looking to make the switch

Sun has upgraded its StorEdge 9990 enterprise storage server, to enable it to virtualise rival EMC's storage products.

Sun says it now offers virtualisation support for EMC Symmetrix DMX 800, 1000, 2000, 3000 and Symmetrix 3000, 5000 and 8000 series storage devices on the StorEdge 9990 system. Support for EMC CLARiiON CX products is expected at the end of the month.

Storage virtualisation, in which several physical disks appear to be one logical disk, or a section of one physical disk can be seen as a physical disk on its own, is becoming increasingly important as storage arrays increase in size. Analyst Gartner calls the technology 'real-time infrastructure', referring to the way that it allows organisations to dynamically add or remove storage.

Sun hopes that by enabling a single, logical view of both storage systems, it will make Sun a more attractive option to EMC customers.

"Sun can offer virtualisation of external storage in both the high-end of the enterprise with the StorEdge 9990 system, and in mid-tier with the linearly scalable Sun StorEdge 6920 system," said Randy Kerns, an analyst at the Evaluator Group, in a statement.

Stephen Prentice, general vice-president of hardware research for Gartner, said last year that companies could make massive savings by using virtualised networking in favour of some hardware devices.

"As the price of hardware has fallen, it has encouraged us to invest in more hardware," said Prentice. "But the cost of managing devices is unbearable and we need something to sort it out. Virtualisation is a step towards that -- it's flexible and has an automated environment -- a primary request for a complete IT infrastructure. The challenge is in building it."

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