New Storage Array from Sun
14, 2000 [Source: Sun Microsystems]
Sun Microsystems Inc. introduced the Sun StorEdge T3 family of network
storage arrays. The product line delivers scalable high-availability storage
solutions for entry-level workgroup to high-end enterprise requirements
and everything in between. Delivering on Sun's open systems-based managed
networks strategy, the product line will support multi-vendor host environments
including Sun Solaris and current versions of HP-UX, IBM AIX, Windows
NT, Windows 2000 NT, and Linux/Intel.
exploding data requirements of the Net economy have brought about a new
storage paradigm that requires dynamic, intelligent, network-based storage
services for heterogeneous environments," said Denise Shiffman, vice president
of marketing for Sun Network Storage. "Customers need to be able to scale
capacity, performance and availability at the same time, and they need
to be able to do it quickly and cost-effectively. Sun is the first to
provide this three-dimensional scalability in a highly flexible product
family designed for the network that can be affordably deployed at the
workgroup level, yet can achieve massive scale to address high-end enterprise
requirements as well."
has designed the Sun StorEdge T3 array for continuous availability with
no single point of failure and features such as redundant hot-swap components,
dual paths to the host and mirrored cache. In the event of a component
failure, the system is easily serviceable. Components can be accessed
and swapped out without interrupting data availability.
the performance strengths of the Sun StorEdge T3 array are the system's
redundant 100 MB per second Fibre Channel arbitrated loop (FC-AL) host
interface and dual 100 MB per second back-end FC-AL drive loops, which
deliver extremely high data throughput and bandwidth. In addition, the
system speeds performance by using an end-to-end Fibre Channel hardware
RAID controller with an optimized mirrored cache. The cache reduces mechanical
disk seek and latency periods, optimizing physical disk I/O access patterns
and reducing the number of drive accesses, which are the bottlenecks in
most RAID storage systems.
The system scales capacity, performance and availability in a linear and
predictable fashion, with a capacity expansion range of 162 gigabytes
(GB) to 88 terabytes (TB). As capacity increases, performance increases
by a predictable amount, and availability scales as additional data paths
and redundancy are added. This provides for higher performance as capacity
grows and delivers a measure of performance and availability that customers
can count on.
StorEdge T3 array customers will be able to take advantage of Sun's new
Capacity on Demand leasing program. The program features a lease option
that eases the financial impact of explosive growth with a starting price
as low as $.01 per megabyte (MB) in the first year for certain configurations
larger than one TB. The payment plan increases to $.04 to $.09 per MB
depending on configuration in the second and third year providing the
customer easy and predictable budgeting.
Sun StorEdge T3 arrays for the workgroup and the enterprise are targeted
for availability to U.S. and international customers beginning July 11,
2000. List pricing for a 162 GB StorEdge T3 for the workgroup starts at
$32,500. The T3 for the enterprise is list priced at $91,450 for a 327
GB configuration, while a 2.6 TB configuration is list priced at $465,900.
Pricing and availability are subject to change without notice.
the coming months, the Sun StorEdge T3 array will be among Sun storage
systems and management software introducing support for Jiro technology.
Based on the Java 2 platform, Jiro technology increases integration among
storage systems, management software and network devices, and is seen
as an important enabler of next generation storage networks.
This will increase Sun's presence in the storage market, although we do
not expect them to supplant EMC, Compaq, or IBM anytime soon. However,
the StorEdge T3 does have at least a couple of things going for it:
very large presence in Web infrastructure, giving the StorEdge an installed
base into which it can sell
- Its professed
scalability to 88 TB, far in excess of anything from EMC or IBM
options are potentially attractive, as low as $0.01 per MB for a leased
system for the first year
downside to the above is that the low entry cost inflates to $0.04 and
$0.09 per MB in years 2 and 3. This means that as the disk drives are
becoming outdated, a lessee is paying almost 10 times as much. Unless
we are missing something, this is similar to the practice known as "lowballing".
technology" and "Managed Storage Network" (MSN) announcement is of potentially
greater impact. The MSN is supposed to allow heterogeneous servers and
storage to coexist on the same large-scale (or small-scale, we expect)
network. This is not unlike Compaq's Enterprise Network Storage Architecture
(ENSA) or the product that Dell/ConvergeNet is trying to develop (we use
"trying" because the product is currently about six months behind schedule,
and may slip further).
If Sun can
make their MSN (Scott McNealy must hate that abbreviation) work as promised,
then we believe Sun will move into the ranks of heavy-duty storage system
providers. But that's a big "if" - the other big three (EMC, IBM, Compaq)
have been doing this a little longer, and should have a slight advantage
in technology delivery.
Although Sun says the T3 will support multi-vendor host environments,
their expectation is that a customer will attach this array to a Sun server,
preferably a new StarFire E10000. Per the discussion above, customers
considering leasing the T3 should look at the entire lifecycle cost of
the equipment, not just the initial price. For certain >1 terabyte (TB)
configurations, the cost may increase more than $80,000 - not a tremendous
amount for a very large ISP, but a big chunk to swallow for the smaller
is our habit, we advise caution with any new technology. Sun's engineering
record is strong, but movement into a new area always increases development
risk. Customers who can't wait for the next release should be sure to
get a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with which they feel comfortable.