BY DAVE SIMPSON
Hoping to eliminate two of the biggest gating factors-high cost and difficult implementation-to acceptance of storage area networks (SANs), Sun Microsystems is bundling "plug-and-play" SANs that start at $97,700. The company also announced it will open up its StorEdge T3 disk arrays and SAN configurations beyond its Solaris platform. Support for Windows NT and HP-UX is due in late May, with support for AIX and Linux to follow "shortly after that," according to Bill Groth, director of enterprise storage marketing at Sun.
"We're packaging our SANs in a way that makes it easy for end users to install and deploy SANs, so that they don't need consulting services," says Groth. "We think that this will have some of the appeals of NAS [network-attached storage]."
Sun's pre-configured SANs are based on Fibre Channel switches that it OEMs from QLogic, although Sun has also qualified Fibre Channel switches from Brocade Communications. The QLogic switches are sold as the StorEdge Network FC Switch Series.
Sun is shipping two SAN configurations: A $97,700 entry-level version includes 327GB of capacity on two T3 disk arrays (18GB drives) and dual 8-port Fibre Channel switches. A configuration with 5.2TB (four T3 pairs with 73GB drives) also includes two 8-port switches. Pricing does not include host bus adapters.
Both configurations come with Sun's Jiro-based StorEdge software management tools, which include volume management with multi-pathing for high availability, and SAN device management. Software options include StorEdge Instant Image and StorEdge Network Data Replicator.