The N1 Grid DSP allows pool storage assets for greater utilization, increased agility, and lower TCO. Virtualization technology and director-class data services provide the foundation for reducing complexity and lowering administrative expenses by consolidating management.
N1 Grid Storage Architecture
In today's environment, IT users are faced with finding ways to do more with fewer resources. They must do this while continuing to meet the needs of their customers the end users who are tasked with deriving value from their IT assets. Corporate IT departments are looking for partners and trusted advisors to help solve the business problems they face. Sun is meeting these needs with an end-to-end IT architecture that works as well in small environments as it does in the largest data centers. Sun is building this architecture, known as the N1 Grid, today.
With the N1 Grid software, users specify their application requirements in terms that make sense within their business environments, enabling them to optimize their IT infrastructure to best meet application needs. In an N1 Grid operating environment, users are able to set service resource priorities for applications across their corporate infrastructure.
Sun's N1 Grid storage architecture breaks through current limitations and addresses concerns by providing a new kind of architecture with unlimited scale that spans a user's entire data infrastructure. This architecture provides access to data, through a logical pool of storage that encompasses multiple arrays, while being managed and directed from a common control mechanism. Sun's N1 Grid storage architectures create unified pools of storage that can be allocated by performance, scale, and capacity to meet the needs of applications.
Traditionally, file systems have been one of the key mechanisms for data access. In the referenced white paper, Sun describes its vision and plans for delivering files and data access within the N1 Grid enabled data center, providing users with the level of data services they need to meet their business requirements.
For an expanded view of Sun's N1 Grid storage architecture, go to:
The Promise and the Reality of Virtualization
The potential of virtualization, leveraging storage area network (SAN) connectivity by creating an abstraction layer between the servers and the SAN and enabling servers in the SAN to view physical storage as a common pool of capacity, has caused great excitement in the storage industry. However, storage technology providers are at odds about how to realize this potential. While many solutions for virtualization of storage across heterogeneous vendor products are being proposed today, none are complete, and none fulfill the promise of virtualized storage resources.
Sun now has virtual storage ports and host storage domains in the Sun StorEdge 9970 and 9980 arrays. These storage systems are equipped to overcome virtualization challenges. In addition, Sun is taking an open, network-centric approach to virtualization, which concentrates on the virtualization of storage management. This open approach provides enterprise storage customers with the choice of best-in-class solutions and lends itself to collaboration among multiple storage technology providers.
For more virtualization promises and reality, go to:
Intelligent Storage Platform
The explosive growth of data is driving organizations to adopt newer, more cost-effective approaches to data storage. Storage networking solutions, such as SANs and network attached storage (NAS), have enabled organizations to deploy large amounts of storage more effectively for use in various application and computing environments.
Although these first-generation solutions have offered efficiencies and cost savings over traditional direct attached storage (DAS), they represent two distinct approaches that require organizations to deploy and manage two separate infrastructures: a SAN for block-oriented storage and a NAS for file-oriented requirements.
To move beyond the shortcomings of first-generation storage networks, a new generation of more intelligent and more capable storage networks must be constructed. The addition of network-based intelligence enables storage services, such as automated provisioning, advanced security services, storage virtualization, storage pooling, and remote storage services, to be deployed.
For a detailed overview of the intelligent storage platform, go to: