Luminex + X4500, Welcome to Mainframe-land
By pmonday on Apr 23, 2007
The Sun Fire X4500 (yes, that box with 24 Terabytes of storage packed into a 4U space that is on sale at the 25th Anniversary Sale for $1/GB) is proving to be an excellent platform for partners to build upon.
On April 17th, Luminex announced their Sun Fire X4500 Data Server for Mainframes. This is a nice little appliance bundle that allows you to FICON-attach a Sun Fire X4500 to a mainframe and achieve wire speed data transfer for use of the massive disk space in the X4500 as virtual tape.
The solution leverages the Channel Gateway Software from Luminex on top of Solaris 10 and ZFS. ZFS provides massive space capabilities (zetabyte) and state-of-the-art checksumming and pool management to provide safe and simple storage management. If you are willing to go just a little bit beyond the native ZFS capabilities into more OpenSolaris capabilities, you can add Availability Suite for Point-in-time Copy and Remote Mirroring. You can also use the built in snapshot capabilities with ZFS if you don't want to expand into Availability Suite, though both solutions are interesting for different scenarios.
Why is Luminex interesting? Well, they have great software that moves the X4500 into the mainframe space...sure. But even more interesting is that the Luminex work shows just some of the benefits a company can gain by looking at our systems as the basis for their own solutions. There is no doubt Sun Microsystems has some of the best servers around, and a completely open operating system. What a great place to start a relationship