Sun's new open Storage 7000 range surfaces
Sun Microsystems' long-rumoured "FISHworks" storage servers have finally surfaced in the form of the new Sun Storage 7000 range of open hybrid storage appliances, which the company hopes will stir up the market for network-attached storage. "FISH" stands for Fully-Integrated Software and Hardware and the devices consist of a range of specially-designed rack-mount servers which accept an assortment of drives, running Sun's OpenSolaris Unix operating system, the ZFS filesystem and a whole stack of open-source software providing a broad range of storage types supporting most of the industry's most widely-used protocols. The larger members of the range mix conventional hard disk mass storage with solid-state drives (SSDs) used for caching,
The new family resembles the X4500 server, which crammed two dual-core processors and 48 drives into a 4U server. The new range includes a similarly-proportioned machine as well as both smaller and larger versions, all based around standard AMD Opteron quad-core x86-64 processors. They support NFS v3 and v4, Sun's own implementation of Microsoft's CIFS, iSCSI, HTTP, WebDAV, FTP, and NetApp's NDMP v4. FC and iSER targets (iSCSI via Infiniband) will follow in the first half of 2009, and later, there are plans to add Lustre, Parallel NFS (pNFS) as well as the support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and the SCSI RDMA Protocol (SRP).
The entry-level 7110 is a 2U unit with a single Opteron, up to 8GB RAM and up to 16 SAS 2.5 inch drives at a price of €10,000. The 7210 is based on the X4500 chassis with two processors, up to 64GB of RAM and 48 drive bays on four height levels plus an optional 36 GB of SLC SSD write cache; prices start at €30,000. The range tops out with the modular 7410 high-capacity system, with either individual or clustered pairs of servers with two to four Opterons and 128 Gbytes which can control up to 576 hard disks in 24 Sun Storage J4000-series JBOD enclosures, plus 72 GB of SSD write cache as well as 600 GB of SSD read cache. Prices start at €60,000.
The servers can control either SATA 2 drives or enterprise-grade SAS drives. At present, 2.5 inch SATA drives reach about around one terabyte, whereas SAS disks have smaller capacities, currently reaching a maximum of around 300 GB.
Both the servers and the disk cabinets have an open architecture for other vendors to customise, and Sun also offers the "Fishworks Appliance Kit with OpenSolaris" DIY kit.