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Sun moves to subscription-based storage

Sun moves to subscription-based storage

Sun Microsystems will begin offering a subscription-based pricing model on its disk arrays that lets customers pay a monthly fee for use of the hardware plus storage management tools and ongoing technical support.

Sun Microsystems will begin offering a subscription-based pricing model on its disk arrays that lets customers pay a monthly fee for use of the hardware plus storage management tools and ongoing technical support. In addition, Sun announced its first disk array based on low-cost Serial ATA drives for secondary storage applications. The company also introduced a midrange array with enterprise-class features and said it plans to add a line of network-attached storage devices this fall through a reseller deal with Procom Technology Inc. in Irvine, Calif.

Sun's pay-as-you-go storage pricing initially is being offered on its high-end StorEdge 9980 array, although the company said it eventually plans to extend the approach to other models. The monthly cost starts at US$1.95 per gigabyte for a three-year contract.

Companies that adopt the subscription-based pricing will pay only for the capacity they use, eliminating upfront storage costs. "This is not a capital expenditure for customers," said Adam Mendoza, director of strategic alliances for Sun's Network Storage Products Group. "This is intended to be an operational expense."

Sun also announced an upgrade of its policy-based file management software that adds dynamic data archiving capabilities plus a new graphical user interface and management wizards. Version 4.1 of the Storage Archive Manager-Quick File System (SAM-QFS) software can support up to 1 petabyte of data, four times more than the current release supports.

Chris Peterson, vice president of IT at Earth Satellite Corp. in Rockville, Md., has been beta-testing the new release of SAM-QFS for two months, using it to store satellite images of the earth, which his company sells to NASA and other customers.

Each time a backup took place on his old system, the entire file system had to be scanned to determine whether a file had been archived, a process that could take minutes or even hours and eat up 100 percent of his server's CPU cycles.

"Now they've built intelligence into the file system itself, so whenever someone creates a new file, (the software) automatically places it into an archive list," Peterson said. "Then all we do is tell the archiver to archive what's been changed." -- Computerworld (US)

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