Sun to unveil low-end storage system

Sun Microsystems Inc. will announce new storage system later this week that brings some high-end features for protecting data to the low end of its storage line.

Sun, based in Santa Clara, California, will start shipping the StorEdge 3300 Series systems in mid-October. The storage servers will fit under Sun’s StorEdge 9900, 6900 and 3900 Series systems, and are designed to provide a data store for low-end and midrange servers, said Mark Canepa, executive vice president of storage at Sun.

Sun competes against companies such as IBM Corp., Dell Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. at the mid and low ends of the storage market. Storage has been one of the weaker parts of Sun’s hardware line-up, analysts have said, but the company has worked hard to revamp its storage systems.

The StorEdge 3300 Series will start at just less than US$7,000 for a five-drive JBOD (just a bunch of disks) system. Higher-end features available on some models in the 3300 Series include level 3 NEBS (Network Equipment Building Systems) compliance — related to how well the system can withstand disasters such as earthquakes and fires — and configurations that include single to dual RAID (redundant array of independent disks) controllers, Canepa said. Systems start at $13,000 with a single RAID controller.

“Some of our customers like the more mission-critical or rugged types of capabilities we can provide,” Canepa said. “They feel good in terms of putting it to work in areas where a traditional white box type of system might not be enough.”

The StorEdge 3300 was built to store data used by servers running on one to eight processors, Canepa said.

The new system will also ship with a Web-based GUI (graphical user interface) for controlling management tasks.

Sun will support its own Solaris and Sun Linux operating systems as well as Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 2000 and NT OSes and Red Hat Inc.’s Linux OS.