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Sun Microsystems Announces Subscription-Based Storage

Java StorEdge Products Accompanied by Sun SSP

Sun's  new Sun Java StorEdge software and suites "are designed to provide customers greater choice and flexibility for managing their storage assets, reducing cost and complexity and getting the most out of their data.," said Mark Canepa, the company's executive vice president of Network Storage. The company announced that storage can now be purchased on a subscription basis, while still purchasing support services from the company.

"When customers purchase storage hardware, software and services from separate companies, they have difficulty making it work all together," he said. "On top of that, they have to deal with complicated pricing, support and licensing structures, which just make it even more confusing to manage. With our new offerings, Sun is dramatically simplifying how customers locate, acquire, and manage solutions to meet their data challenges while reducing overall costs."

Modeled after the Sun Java Enterprise System, which has almost half a million subscribers today, the new Sun Java StorEdge Software and suites are designed to be a breakthrough in storage software pricing, licensing, delivery and service.

The Sun Java StorEdge Software and suites package is available with two different subscription pricing options, per-employee and per-terabyte (TB), and is suitable for customers of all sizes.

For the complete Java StorEdge Software package, customers can pay either $350 per employee per year, or purchase storage capacity beginning at $400,000 for five TB per year. Each suite also has it's own similar subscription model. This new model offers customers a potential cost savings of at least 30 percent in comparison to typical, point-product offerings, according to Sun. During the term of the subscription customers will receive new products and upgrades at no additional cost.

The new Sun Java StorEdge Software and suites package can be purchased in its entirety, or in its four separate software suites, each designed to address customers most significant data management challenges:

-- Sun Java StorEdge Consolidation Suite simplifies storage management by
     bundling core Sun StorEdge software products that address heterogeneous
     storage resource management, Storage Area Network (SAN) management,
     application-aware modules and automated provisioning to provide
     customers with improved application performance and availability.

-- Sun Java StorEdge Continuity Suite ensures continuous access to
     business data with software that performs back-up, snapshot, mirroring,
     replication, migration and virtualization.

-- Sun Java StorEdge Content Suite helps customers manage the lifecycle of
     their data, based on its business value, with core functionality that
     includes:  content and email archiving, content search and high
     performance file serving, policy-based data management across storage
     classes and the ability to create policy-based archiving in a
     heterogeneous environment.

-- Sun Java StorEdge Compliance Suite helps customers satisfy requirements
     for record retention by packaging tools such as e-mail and document
     retention software into a suite that enables policy-based data
     management across heterogeneous tiers of storage and provides the
     ability to automate policy-based migration and archiving.

All suites include the main console, which allows for complete heterogeneous SAN management of all devices and systems.

In addition to this new offering, Sun will also continue to offer each of the component software products a la carte, including: heterogeneous storage management, application management, content archiving, data availability and more -- all with the goal of providing customers a greater choice of purchasing options to meet their requirements.

For customers who prefer to outsource their storage management needs, Sun is expanding its managed services portfolio with the new Sun Managed Storage Services offering. Sun Managed Storage Services give customers customizable ways to outsource their biggest storage problems including daily storage management, "on the fly" provisioning, data lifecycle reporting and SAN infrastructure management. Sun Managed Storage Services leverages Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) certified staff and Sun StorEdge monitoring and management software for remote storage management.

With Sun Managed Storage Services, customers can scale their resources to meet unique and evolving needs, without the cost and time of adding or reducing head count, or buying new software, all with a phone call to Sun. Customers reduce the risk of over- or under-hiring storage management personnel, buying software they don't need, human error due to lack of experience, and also avoid the weeks of delays inherent in the hiring process.

"One of the reasons the old SSP utility model never caught fire was that they always coupled outsourced storage management with outsourced capacity, often by sharing infrastructure," said Adam Couture, principal analyst at Gartner. "This posed serious security concerns and limited the customer's voice in infrastructure choice. Discrete storage management services keeps storage infrastructure control and decisions in the hands of the customer."

"Our research supports user demand for bundled storage software solutions; users want to reduce the complexities associated with purchasing and maintaining software," said Nancy Hurley, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group. "Sun is providing a cost-effective, simple way for customers to acquire comprehensive, end-to-end storage and data management solutions."

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