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Sun finds Hitachi's fresh, fat storage box

Thin on the inside and on details

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Sun Microsystems will vend Hitachi's latest high-end "virtual" storage system as the Sun StorageTek 9990V.

The StorageTek 9990V supports a wide range of operating systems including Solaris and features thin provisioning software, which Sun has decided to dub "Dynamic Provisioning," — with capitals. The new unit joins Sun's StorageTek 9900 line as its highest-end storage gear.

Thin (Dynamic) provisioning allows physical disk capacity to be allocated only when needed for virtual volumes. Traditional methods use fixed portions of storage space allocated to volumes, regardless if they are used or not.

The hardware holds up to 1152 drives and handles 3.5 million I/O operations per second. A 4GB/sec Fibre Channel Switch backplane connects disk drives and hosts. The array supports 16 controller pairs for a total of 224 front-end Fibre Channel ports and 112 FICON or ESCON host ports.

Internal storage totals 332TB. Virtual external storage has an enormously roomy 247PB.

Sun doesn't have the pricing information ready for the 9990V. If it's any indication, Hewlett-Packard, which also resells Hitachi's USPV platform, has its act together enough to say the equivalent box will start at about $395,000. Sun said their unit should be available this summer. ®

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