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Sun Guns Midtier Box

Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) is back at the benchmark trough less than a month after being forced to withdraw test results on its high-end storage array because of a flawed benchmark -- but this time, Sun is claiming that its newest midrange storage system kicks butt (see Sun Tests Out StorEdge 6320).

The company says benchmark results for its StorEdge 6320 system, tested using the Storage Performance Council (SPC)'s SPC-1 benchmark, shows it offers better performance in terms of I/O operations per second (IOPS) than other midrange storage systems, including the Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) model 2C12D. Sun started shipping the StorEdge 6320 last month (see Sun Thickens Up in the Middle).

In May, a bug in the SPC benchmark test negated results that would have crowned Sun's StorEdge 9980 -- a rebadged version of Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) Lightning 9980V storage array -- the fastest storage system in the world. Sun vowed to redo the test, promising it would show performance as good as, if not better than, the first one (see Sun Bit by Benchmark Bug).

But first, it's touting the test results of the 6320. The company says the latest test, which was done in conjunction with a Sun Fire 4800 server, had been slated for this month all along. While the company has already received a patch for the bug on the previous 9980 test, Steve Guzowski, group marketing manager for Sun, says it's taking time to get the entire $1.5 million configuration back together for testing.

"That's a fairly large piece of equipment," says Guzowski. "We borrow it for tests, but it's been shipped back to another division... It's fully our intention to have the 9980 [test results] up there [on the SPC site]."

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