Sun claims to revolutionize storage with new array

Three new arrays as well as an "all-new software stack" kick off Sun's effort to change the face of storage.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

Sun on Monday announced storage arrays and software that the company described as "the biggest thing to happen to storage in decades".

Three new storage arrays were launched with prices starting at £7,000 (US$10,963) for a 2TB array.

Will Trotman, marketing manager for open storage, told ZDNet Asia sister site ZDNet UK that Sun's approach differs from other vendors in that it "includes the whole software stack with the hardware, so you won't have to add those services to the price". Sun's storage software development strategy is called Project FishWorks and these are its first results, the company said.

The software has been "completely re-written for this launch", Trotman said. "This is all-new software developed by the Project FishWorks team, and the first in what will be a continuous stream of new products."

The three arrays are the Sun Storage 7110, 7210 and 7410, which scale up in capacity to 576 TB. Trotman said that one of the leading features of all the arrays will be their cost, and pointed out that a 48 TB drive would cost £20,000 (US$31,320). The arrays will also use solid-state storage to help performance. Trotman agreed that "solid-state is expensive", but he said the array used "only a very small number of them at the front end" to achieve its aims.

The company is including an "all-new software stack", Trotman said, with support for Solaris, Linux and Windows and other operating systems, which includes standard networking and tape connectivity, open source MySQL database, management software and analytics tools.

This is "the biggest thing to happen to storage in decades," said John Fowler, executive vice president for Sun's systems group, in a statement. "The new Sun Storage 7000 family offers a radically simple way to use storage at a fraction of the cost of traditional systems."

The 7110 comes in a compact unit with 2TB of storage. The 7210 mid-range storage unit has up to 48TB of storage capacity in what Sun calls the "Thumper" format configurable with solid-state storage disks optimized for writes. The 7410 is configurable up to 576TB with "several" read and write optimized solid-state drives.

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