Sun Microsystems Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. are both building storage virtualization tools and storage grid technology to help customers drive adaptable intelligence and unified management deeper into multivendor storage environments.
The companies are touting the close ties between their storage offerings and their server portfolios as key in enabling their customers to perform data management and resource utilization tasks easily.
"We dont think of storage as a separate company that just happens to be owned by Sun Microsystems," said Mark Canepa, executive vice president of storage products for Sun, in Santa Clara, Calif. "Just like we dont believe that the strategy to reduce cost and complexity is one of going to a customer and taking over the whole operation."
This week Sun will announce the availability of the Sun StorEdge 6920 and Sun StorEdge 9990 storage devices. The products use virtualization to simplify SAN (storage area network) management by pooling storage and consolidating applications.
To help control compliance woes, Sun will introduce the preassembled Sun Enterprise Content Management System—available in three configurations and including the Sun V240 server as well as Sun StorEdge SAM-FS for management. Sun is also making available its StorEdge 5210 NAS (network-attached storage) offering.
StorEdge 5210 user Chuck Sears, manager of research computing for the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University in Corvallis, said Suns new NAS box blends well into Suns overall management framework, which simplifies administration.
"What Sun has done is introduce a product that adapts itself very well around our business workflow," said Sears. "It not only can scale out to meet our application base, it can scale up as well so we can push it up into higher performance areas."
Sears said he chose Sun for his NAS requirements over storage-only vendors due to forthcoming Sun and Microsoft Corp. products designed to improve directory services and user authentication.
"From a customers perspective, were getting away from classic stovepipes that are never connected and were bringing all of our business units together and storage is a key to the flowing data," Sears said.
To that point, Canepa said Suns Solaris 10 operating system will ship a 128-bit file system called ZFS, enabling massive storage room for data delete and backup relief.
HP last week announced the road map for its StorageWorks Grid strategy. Fueled by the Palo Alto, Calif., companys "smart cells," which store information across a shared infrastructure and can adapt to business requirements, StorageWorks Grid will let customers search 3 billion records in 3 seconds, said Carly Fiorina, CEO and chairman of HP.
"As customers need more capacity, they add more smart cells without scaling and performance limitations," said Fiorina.
Additionally, Fiorina said each grid will be a highly automated and self-managed single entity. Smart cells will enable customers to make their current storage solutions part of HPs StorageWorks Grid.
Over the next year, HP will introduce a series of grid-based solutions for file serving, archiving and management. The next phase of the grid involves technology-downloadable smart cells, block-serving smart cells and integration with heterogeneous storage array controllers.