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Sun Thinks Small on Storage

Amid its broader Network Computer 03 product launch today, Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) will roll out new members of its low-end SAN and NAS family, as well as a new blade server platform (see Sun Expands Low-End Line).

Sun has now put together a credible entry-level storage lineup, which analysts expect to be the fastest growing segment of the market. The new StorEdge 3510 Fibre Channel array starts as small as a 2U-high chassis with five 36-GByte drives for $22,995. The StorEdge 3310 NAS system, which starts at $18,995, is designed to complement Sun's new blade server system, says Bill Groth, senior director of storage systems marketing at Sun.

The new storage systems, which will be shipping next month, are "really tailored to roll out with the entry-level servers we're rolling out," Groth says. "We can now provide products that can compete head-to-head with anything in this class."

Also today, Sun will launch its first blade server platform, which will support multiple servers, running either Sun UltraSparc or Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) processors, in a rack-mounted chassis. To manage the system, Sun will introduce N1 Provisioning Server 3.0 Blades Edition, based on software from its TerraSpring acquisition last year (see Sun to Pilot N1 in Q1 and Sun Bounces on Terraspring).

Sun developed the new storage subsystems with Dot Hill Systems Corp. (NYSE: HIL), which built the base arrays to Sun's specifications. The 3510 and 3310 are the follow-ons to the 3300 SCSI array Sun rolled out in September 2002 (see Dot Hill Becomes Sun Worshipper and Sun Rolls Downmarket).

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