Sun's bid to win storage market

In a bid to increase its share in the rapidly growing network storage market, Sun Microsystems has launched new systems and software for the net economy which will be supported by a team of additional staff in Australia.

The new family of storage arrays which will be available in July include scalable storage building blocks promoting cost efficiency, data protection software and will support host environments from a variety of vendors such as Sun's Solaris, Hewlett Packard's HP-UX, IBM's AIX, Microsoft Corp's Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Linux.

Sun's national product sales manager, John Fennell, told CW a team of Australian managing data consultants is being established to support its drive into the growing $30 billion plus network storage market.

Fennell said the present team of four consultants will reach 12 by August and is evidence of the explosive growth trends in storage for solid backup and recovery support.

"Enterprises are tired of being hijacked from choice; monolithic, mainframe-like architectures for storage will not be able to keep pace with the net," he said.

"As everything with a digital heartbeat connects to the Internet and data explodes from text to graphics, audio and video, our customers are clamouring for a more modern, open and networked-based solution."

The Sun StorEdge T3 arrays focus on scalability and with an expansion range of 162G bytes to 88T bytes users can utilise building blocks by buying disk racks as the need arises.

The other feature is continuous availability with no single point of failure with features such as redundant hot-swap components and dual paths to the host.

IDC estimates the disk storage systems market will reach $46 billion by 2003, an increase of more than $16 billion from 1999.

Fennell said open storage can deliver the same functionality as traditional storage, but can provide it far more cost effectively through a network of services that allow better access and use of constantly growing pools of information.

"This approach is similar to the one Sun used to migrate traditional datacenters away from mainframes to open, network-based servers," he said.

Prices for a 162G-byte Sun StorEdge T3 array start at $A53,600 and the 2.4T-byte configuration for large enterprises is $A768,400.

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