Sun Microsystems has launched its StorageTek 5800 disk archive box for large digital content storage. The company has already started the shipment of the product, known as Honeycomb.
According to Sun, the storage system optimizes large-scale storage of fixed data. The system is based on Solaris 10 Operating System (OS) and is thought to be the first commercially available fixed content storage system with source code available for developers and customers.
The Honeycomb breaks data contents in order to create a file or object handle that are stored as meta-data alongside files or objects. It also scales across multiple nodes and incorporates automatic mirroring of data and self-healing after disk failures.
Customers can link applications to the Honeycomb through an interface based on the common internet file system (CIFS) and network file system (NFS) file-access protocols. Other CAS boxes offer similar interfaces for connecting third-party applications to their boxes, without the need for modification of application code. However, to use CIFS or NFS on the Honeycomb, customers will be required to buy a third-party gateway that will convert file names and addresses to Honeycomb internally-generated object addresses.
Sun has said that it has already shipped more than 400 terabytes (TB) of StorageTek 5800 capacity to partners and early access customers. These include education institutes, healthcare and science departments such as Johns Hopkins University, Oxford University, Stanford University and the University of Michigan.
The product comes with limited third-party support and lacks certification for mainstream archiving applications from suppliers such as SAP and Symantec. Sun is working with several partners, open source organizations and independent software vendors to develop products and applications to be integrated with the system.
Ovum’s analyst Carl Greiner said that it will be a major disability that Sun will have to put right. ‘It’s going to stop people buying the box, he said.
In the CAS market, Honeycomb system competes with EMC’s Centera box, which dominates this market. IBM, HP, and Nexsan are also expected to enter this market.
One Honeycomb cell of eight or 16 nodes/controllers with a total capacity of 32TB raw will cost around $245,000, including software. Sun claims that its pricing is 20% lower than equivalent EMC Centera box.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates