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Sun beefs up modular arrays

To 448TB but no SAS or SSD

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Sun has upgraded its StorageTek modular array line with two new products using tried and tested ingredients to take capacity up to 448TB.

After launching its Sun-branded 7000 unified storage line last November the company has now refreshed its comparatively bare modular arrays with the StorageTek 6580 and 6780.

The 7000 line includes ZFS, rendering HW RAID redundant, NFS and CIFS file access and iSCSI block access, plus solid state drives and SAS and SATA hard drives. In comparison the StorageTek 6000 products are straight modular arrays with SATA (up to 1TB) and FC drives, RAID hardware controllers and Fibre Channel interfaces.

Sun resells HDS-based 9900 high-end arrays above the 6000 and 7000 lines.

Before today the mid-range 6000 line consisted of the 112TB and drive 6140 entry-level array and the 224 TB and drive 6540 high-end system. This Sun product set is comparable with EMC's Clariion line, updated with flash SSDs and thin provisioning last August, HDS' AMS arrays, updated last October, HP's EVA products, and NetApp's FAS 3000 range.

A refresh of the EVA line is expected in March with new 6440 and 6840 models.

Sun has introduced the 6540 256TB and drive mid-range system, effectively replacing the 6540, and a 6780 448TB and drive product that pushes its mid-range arrays to higher levels of performance and capacity.

The 6580 has eight 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel (FC) ports, 8GB of cache, up to 16 expansion trays per controller, SATA and FC drives (as before) and RAID 6 (as before) to protect against a double drive failure. The replaced 6540 offered RAID 0, 1, 3, 5 and 1+0 but not RAID 6. The 6140 already offers RAID 6.

The 6780 has 8 or 16GB of cache, 8 or 16 4Gbit/s FC ports and up to 28 expansion trays per controller. Like the 6580 it offers both SATA and FC hard drives and RAID 6. It provides, Sun says, twice the IOPS of the 6580 and four times its throughput.

Neither array offers either SAS disk drives or solid state drives, and nor do they offer thin provisioning, which Sun's 9900 enterprise arrays do. Both are managed with StorageTek's Common Array Manager software which offers volume expansion.

The 6580 has SPC-1 benchmark results and the 6780 SPC-2 throughput-oriented benchmark numbers. Sun says it offers the best SPC-2 performance of any system costing less than $250,000.

Both new boxes are available now, the 6580 controller unit for a list price of $59,995 and the 6780 controller for a list price of $89,995. ®

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