Sun ships midrange arrays

By Kevin Komiega

—Sun Microsystems' acquisition of StorageTek recently bore new fruit in the form of a new family of modular midrange disk arrays—the Sun StorageTek 6140 and 6540.

The arrays mark the first new disk-based storage products to come out of Sun since StorageTek came into the fold and, according to Sun officials, the 6000 series combines technologies from both companies with a common management platform.

From a hardware perspective, the 6140 is an RoHS-compliant, 4Gbps Fibre Channel array for either direct-attached or SAN-attached storage. The system has a redundant architecture with the ability to mix-and-match different classes of hard drives, including Fibre Channel and Serial ATA (SATA) drives. The 6140 has eight 4Gbps Fibre Channel ports, 4GB of cache, application-oriented management, switched drive connectivity, and a maximum of 112 drives.

The larger 6540 array is also an RoHS-compliant, 4Gbps Fibre Channel array aimed at users running large databases and high-performance computing environments. The system has the same connectivity, cache and drive options as the 6140, but features twice the capacity with support for up to 224 drives.

Sun added multiple layers of software to the subsystems, including instant volume creation and the ability to configure volumes on-the-fly, as well as data-protection features such as replication, snapshots, and full-volume copy.

There is also a new tool called Profile Cloning. Sun included 15 application profiles with the management software that have pre-configured storage settings for popular applications to cut down on provisioning time. Setup wizards enable administrators to provision storage for specific application workloads or create custom application provisioning profiles.

The Sun StorageTek 6140 and 6540 are expected to compete directly with similar 4Gbps disk arrays from other vendors, including IBM's System Storage DS4000 family, EMC's Clariion CX arrays, and Hitachi Data Systems' AMS family.

The 6140 and 6540 are priced from $25,000 and $85,000, respectively.

This article was originally published on August 15, 2006