Sun revamping low-end storage systems

The company launches the first of a new range of lower-end storage setups, the fruit of a partnership with storage-system maker DotHill.

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Sun has launched the first of a new range of lower-end storage setups, the fruit of a partnership with storage-system maker DotHill.

The new 3300 line of storage systems is designed to be paired with Sun's lower-end servers, everything from its eight-processor V880 down to its LX50 Linux server, said Bill Groth, head of product marketing for Sun's storage division.

DotHill is developing the systems to Sun's specifications, Groth said. Sun liked DotHill's hardware features, in particular its compliance with Network Equipment Building System (NEBS) standards required by telecommunications companies for computing equipment that withstands shocks, smoke and high temperatures.

Sun has a long history of partnering with other companies in the storage market, where its products haven't always fared well. Two weeks ago, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced plans to acquire Pirus Networks to boost its storage offerings. Sun also relies on a deal with Hitachi Data Systems for its top-end storage systems.

The first member of the 3300 line is the 3310, a 5.25-inch-thick system with 12 hard drives. It starts at $7,000 but is more likely to be purchased in configurations costing about $12,000 to $13,000, Groth said. The product is shipping in limited quantities now but will be generally available Oct. 15, Groth said. Sun will formally announce the 3310 Wednesday.

A 3310 also can control two other 3310s for extra capacity, Groth said.

Future products will include a 1.75-inch-thick system as well as higher-end models that can share files as a network-attached storage (NAS) storage system or use Fibre Channel high-speed storage network technology.

All the new 3300 products will debut by the end of the first quarter of 2003, Groth said. The 3300 line will eventually replace Sun's S1, D1, A1000 and D1000 products, Groth said.