Sun acquires Pirus, pushes N1 strategy

Posted on October 02, 2002

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By Lisa Coleman

With its upcoming acquisition of Pirus Networks, a hybrid switch-maker, Sun Microsystems is rounding out its Network One (N1) strategy for combining data resources into a single system.

N1 is a plan to allow Sun's customers to provision services--including computing, networking, and storage resources--across multiple applications/environments. Essentially, it will virtualize the physical infrastructure, provision the software stack on top of the virtualized resources, allocate resources to maintain consistent service levels, and maintain detailed accounting records per service.

"I think what they're trying to accomplish with this strategy is really much like Hewlett-Packard and IBM [are doing]," says Jamie Gruener, an analyst with The Yankee Group. "Sun has recognized that a lot of companies today are trying to move toward a utility approach...with both servers and storage."

Pirus' technology includes a network switch that converges storage and multi-protocol access into a single, centrally managed platform.

"Pirus provides us with a single point of view of all storage and allows us to create one logical pool and then provision it across the applications," says James Staten, Sun's director of strategy for network storage.

The Pirus acquisition is a stock-for-stock transaction; however, Sun would not comment on its dollar value. Sun expects the acquisition to be completed by the end of December when it will integrate Pirus into its network storage product group.

Sun officials say they are investigating further acquisition possibilities.

Gruener believes that Sun is focusing on the storage piece of N1 by exploring ways to accelerate the level of storage management automation, much like HP and EMC.

Reinforcing its N1 strategy, Sun recently announced the StorEdge 3310 SCSI array, designed for use with the company's entry-level Linux and Solaris servers. Sun is using Dot Hill Systems to make its StorEdge 3300 series arrays.

The 3310 array is an entry-level, 2U subsystem that comes in 5-drive or 12-drive configurations (JBOD or RAID). It can be configured with one or two RAID controllers and can be expanded with two additional boxes for a total of 36 drives. It will use the Sun Professional Storage Manager software and supports Solaris, Sun Linux, Red Hat Linux, and Windows NT/2000.

The 3310 is the first in a series of products in the StorEdge 3300 family that will include a CIM-enabled Fibre Channel array, a 1U 4-drive subsystem, and a network-attached storage (NAS) array. Sun expects to roll out these products over the next six months.

The StorEdge 3310 SCSI array is priced from $6,999.


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