Sun to Unveil New Servers, Storage

Sun on Tuesday will roll out a collection of hardware, software and services, the second round of a policy of massive quarterly product launches that started in January.

Sun Microsystems Inc. on Tuesday is rolling out a collection of hardware, software and services, the second round of a policy of massive quarterly product launches that started in January.

Among the releases are two low-end servers, the Sun Fire V210 and V240 systems, armed with the Solaris 8 operating system and one or two 1.2GHz UltraSparc IIIi chips. Also, the servers, designed to compete with Wintel systems, come complete with the Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) software stack, four integrated Gigabit Ethernet ports and an integrated SSL card, said Mark Canepa, executive vice president of Suns Network Storage Products Group.

"The idea is that we can really put good Solaris systems into the market with x86 [systems]," Canepa said.

Both systems will be available May 20. Pricing for the 1U (1.75 inches high) V210—which is designed for an enterprises front-end Web infrastructure, is $2,995. The more robust rack-optimized V240 starts at $3,495.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company also is bulking up its Sun Fire 280R and Netra 20 servers and its Sun Blade 2000 workstation with the new 1.2GHz UltraSparc III chip, while at the same time dropping prices by as much as 40 percent, Sun officials said. All three upgrade systems will be available April 30.

At an event in San Francisco on Tuesday, Sun also will announce two midrange storage products, the StorEdge 6120 array and StorEdge 63320 System, the first products in the companys 6000 family of midrange storage offerings. The goal of the 6000 family is to bring data center capabilities into the midrange, Canepa said. The 6120 is a Fibre Channel RAID array, while the 6320 can scale up to 45 terabytes, he said.

Key to the storage products is the N1 Data Platform, which gives users virtualization capabilities. The technology, which Sun acquired through its purchase last year of Pirus Networks Inc., is currently in beta, Canepa said.

At the event on Tuesday, Sun Chairman and CEO Scott McNealy said that the new products play into customer demands for innovation and flexibility for a good price.

"The real focus is on affordability," McNealy said. "When I go to talk to customers, the top three or four items are cost, cost, cost and cost. ... This is where the integrated environment is really important to them."

Suns integrated computing environment, called N1, has similar goals as Hewlett-Packard Co.s adaptive infrastructure and IBMs on demand initiatives—to ease the management of the data center by pooling the resources together and automating much of the work, such as provisioning servers and storage devices.

Other new storage offerings include the StorEdge Enterprise Storage Manager 1.2 for management of storage-area networks, StorEdge Enterprise Backup software 7.0 and a service to help users migrate to Sun storage products.

Sun also is offering its HPC (high performance computing) ClusterTools 5, which is a tool set that enables users to manage their complex parallel computing applications on Suns high-end Sun Fire 6800, 12K and 15K systems. The company also is combining the tool set with its Sun Fire Link interconnect technology and Sun ONE Grid Engine to create its Sun Fire Superclusters platform, aimed at government, education and research institutions, said Chris Kruell, director of outbound marketing for Suns Enterprise Systems Product Group.

"Its a customer-ready package," Kruell said.

The 6800 can hold up to 24 1.2GHz UltraSparc III chips, while the 12K can scale up to 52 chips and the 15K up to 100, with memory capabilities ranging from a high of 192GB for the 6800 to more than half a terabyte for the 15K.

Among the new services are Sun Infrastructure Solutions, which are a combination of methodologies and tools that officials said are designed to ease deployment and management of computing networks. Four new offerings are aimed at helping keeping businesses up and running, offering an e-mail management system for Lotus Notes environments, easing data center consolidation and protecting network identities.

(Editors Note: This story has been updated since its original posting to include comments from Scott McNealy.)

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