Sun Pushes Storage Management

Sun Microsystems Inc. is rolling out a four-pronged storage software plan that touches upon such areas as data continuance and data access, and will also manage the hardware of its competitors.

Sun Microsystems Inc. on Wednesday is rolling out a four-pronged storage plan that touches upon such areas as data continuance and data access, and will also manage the hardware of its competitors.

Under the umbrella terms StorageONE and Integrated Management Suite, the Palo Alto, Calif., companys approach, first reported in December, also will deal with performance and resource management.

"Its kind of a sister architecture to our Sun ONE (Open Net Environment) Web services architecture," said Mark Canepa, executive vice president for networked storage for Sun. "Its essentially [EMC Corp.s] AutoIS done right."

But unlike AutoIS, which EMC announced last fall in conjunction with news of trading application programming interfaces with rival Compaq Computer Corp., Suns new StorageONE and IMS initiatives dont yet have API partners. Canepa said those will come soon, but declined to give a timeframe. However, signs point to an imminent announcement of such partners: Mark Lewis, vice president of the enterprise storage group at Compaq Computer Corp., last week told eWEEK that he believes "that you will see additional announcements of API agreements between Compaq and other major storage vendors sooner then youll see them from EMC. I think others are more comfortable dealing with us in this regard." He declined to elaborate.

Meanwhile, on the hardware front, Sun on Wednesday will announce its commitment to the mid-market segment, after months of criticism from EMC and others that its high-end solutions are too much of a hodgepodge. The three new sets include the StorEdge 3900, which has "four times the bandwidth," at 1.6 GB per second, compared to EMCs Clariion, Canepa said.

They also include the 6900, with 512 nodes of logical unit numbers, and an upgrade to the existing 9900, moving from 73 GB to 180 GB drives, he said.

"Over time, more and more of the data center functionality is going to shift into the mid-tier," he said, citing host-based functions like mirroring and replication. Canepa also confirmed what sources told eWEEK late last year—"Youll start to see more, truer storage ... virtualization," as the result of Suns prior acquisition of Eagan, Minn.-based LSC Inc. a year ago and its partnership with Vicom Systems Inc., of Fremont, Calif.

"The stuff that were announcing today is all shipping today," Canepa said. Also, he said, Sun will expand its professional services offerings, and "were going to be licensing a number of [them] to our channel partners."

Suns relationship with virtualization software maker Veritas Software Corp. is still intact and doing well, he said, although the Mountain View, Calif.-based Veritas will announce next week that it will sell the ServPoint product stand-alone, without Suns hardware.

"Like a marriage, weve had our relationship problems over the years. Theres probably points of conflict," said Howard Silver, vice president and general manager of Veritas appliance software division, said this week.