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Sun introduces its own storage management product

Quoting eChannelLine

Why did Sun choose to introduce its new Sun StorageTek 9990V Enterprise Storage System, a week after Hitachi Data Systems, introduced its similar Universal Storage Platform V?

The Sun storage product and Hewlett-Packard's XP24000 are both based on Hitachi's product. The three of them share storage virtualization and thin provisioning features. HP introduced its own version around the same time as Hitachi.

"Unless Sun did not want to get in the shuffle or in the shadows of HP and HDS and needed something to make news this week," stated Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst of Storage I/O.

At the same time Schulz had some positive comments to make about the new Sun offering. He stated it will give Sun "an enhanced and more scaleable high-end storage to compete in the ultra high end of the market against players like EMC, Fujitsu and IBM."

"This also signals and reinforces that Sun and HDS are still working together on the high end, similar to how Sun and LSI are working with in the mid-to-upper end of the enterprise," he added.

Among the major features in the Sun StorageTek 9990V, reported Graham Wilson, product marketing lead for Sun's workgroup disk storage business, is that it will alleviate some of the difficulties encountered by systems administrators in managing SAN technology.

"[We] make sure they don't have to mess with their SAN anymore more than they have to."

Also, Sun has embedded the storage virtualization feature into Sun StorageTek 9990V.

"This does break the mould. Some customers deal with it as a separate device out of the controller. We believe that virtualization works better when it is in the DNA of the array itself," added Wilson.

But David Hill, an IT storage analyst, disputed the originality of the second announced feature.

"The storage virtualization is inside the storage array for all three vendors [HDS, HP and Sun], even though that may be hard to discern," stated Hill, principal of the Mesabi Group.

John Webster, principal IT advisor at Illuminata, told echannelline.com, he expects Sun will do well among clients of StorageTek, which Sun acquired and renamed as Sun StorageTek (Sun-STK).

"Sun-STK's customers base is heavily mainframe oriented. This is a very interesting device for those kinds of customers. STK has had a presence for decades in Fortune 200 and their sales people are well known to those buyers. STK's support people are well known to those buyers and this puts a very powerful product in the hands of those people."

Webster noted that STK had some success with an earlier virtualized disc array based on its Iceberg technology.

"But STK pretty much discontinued that product line. So now they are going to move forward with this high end virtualized storage product, as opposed to the original Iceberg and its derivatives."

Meanwhile, Richard Villars, vice president of storage systems at IDC, stated that all three vendors, Sun, HDS and HP, can make money with a similar storage product.

"The best way to think about this is as a way to broaden paths to market for this approach to delivering storage virtualization. Each company has its own installed base and target customer base. The extent and use case for selling the same underlying storage virtualization technology will vary by company."

Channel conflict is a possibility, he added. "It is something [they] and [their] partners need to continually monitor."

Read the original, here.

 

Published Monday, June 04, 2007 5:33 AM by David Marshall
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