Sun expands open archiving products

By Kevin Komiega

—Sun Microsystems has introduced a slew of new products designed to store, manage, and secure data for long-term archiving. The latest additions to its archiving portfolio include a new midrange tape library, a family of fast-access tape drives, an archiving appliance with storage tiering capabilities, and an open-source key management system to aide in the encryption of archive data.

Like many of its storage devices, Sun's archiving products leverage the open-source community in an effort to simplify data management and avoid vendor lock-in. Alex North, group manager for tape and archive solutions, Sun, says the company's archiving systems leverage open-source technology—namely the Solaris 10 operating system and the Solaris ZFS file system—to bring unique and different approaches to solving data-protection and archiving problems.

"Today's archives are hugely inefficient, single-tier systems. In a perfect world, everything would reside on high-performance disk with multiple copies, but there are virtually no customers who can afford to maintain that approach," says North. "That is why we have extended our open-source philosophy to storage in general and to archiving in particular."

Sun's new archiving products include the following:

  • The Sun StorageTek SL3000 Modular Library System, a new midrange library based on the same architecture as the Sun StorageTek SL8500 library. The SL3000 library allows for upgrades up to 3,000 slots without downtime and offers "Any cartridge, Any Slot" technology to enable consolidation and leverage legacy tape media in customer environments. In addition, the SL3000 allows for multiple partitioning options to consolidate existing library assets and offers support for open systems and mainframe environments.
  • A new family of fast-access tape drives designed for nearline archive applications. The new drives, dubbed the Sun StorageTek T9840D Tape Drives, tout an average data access time that is up to four times faster than conventional capacity-centric tape drives. The T9840D also delivers built-in encryption.
  • The Sun Crypto Key Management System (KMS) 2.0, which is Sun's first key management product to deliver a single, centralized key encryption architecture for multi-vendor tape drives, including HP LTO, Sun StorageTek T9840D, and Sun StorageTek T10000 products. With KMS 2.0, Sun has begun open sourcing its key management technology.
  • The Sun CIS Infinite Store Archive System, a multi-tiered archiving appliance equipped with policy-based automation of archive data movement across tiers of storage. The CIS system has been built around Sun's Storage Archive Manager (SAM) software to provide optional tiers of performance and capacity disk along with tape storage for less active archive data.

The Sun StorageTek T9840D tape drives are available now at a cost of $38,000 per drive. The Sun StorageTek SL3000 Modular Library System will be available in early April with a starting price of $68,000. The Sun CIS Infinite Store Archive System and Sun Crypto Key Management System 2.0 will be made generally available later this year with starting prices of $130,000 and $8,000, respectively.

This article was originally published on March 21, 2008