Wednesday Feb 04, 2009

The Screaming Fast Sun Modular Storage 6000 Family!

Did you know that both Sun StorageTek 6140 and 6540 disk arrays, which belong to our Modular Storage Line, are still leading the price/performance rankings in their class? Feel free to verify at The modular approach and the ability to upgrade from the smallest to the biggest system just by exchanging controllers is very unique and our customers love this investment protection!

The Uniqueness of the Sun Storage 6000 Familiy

Today, the 6000 modular storage portfolio looks as follows:
  • 6140-2 (up to 64 Disk Drives mixed FC and SATA)
  • 6140-4 (up to 112 Disk Drivers mixed FC and SATA)
  • 6540 (up to 224 Disk Drives mixed FC and SATA)
  • 6580 (up to 256 Disk Drives mixed FC and SATA)
  • 6780 (up to 256/448\* Disk Drives mixed FC and SATA)

All 6000 series arrays are using an ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) to do RAID operations. This results in a very low latency overhead and a guaranteed performance. The publicized cache volume is 100% dedicated to the ASIC and can't be accessed by the management CPU, which for example in case of the 6780 has a separate 2GB RAM. In the complete family, you have upgrade protection.

You can start with a 6140-2 and seamlessly upgrade to a 6780 by just replacing the contollers! No configuration changes or exports are necessary, as the complete RAID configuration is distributed to each single disk in the array. You can also move a complete RAID group to a different array in the family. Certainly you better take care that both are running on the same firmware level. ;-)

Sun StorageTek 6780 Array

As of today, Sun announced its latest and greatest midrange disk array. It is completing the modular line as the high end model of the 6000 series. The connectivity of the Storage Array and its features are very impressive and pretty unique in the midrange segment!
  • Replaceable Host Inteface Cards (two per Controller)
    • Up to 16x 4Gb or 8Gb\* FC Host Channels
    • Up to 8x 10Gb\* Ethernet Host Channels
  • 16x 4Gb FC Drive Channels
  • Up to 16x/28x\* Drive Enclosures
  • Up to 32GB\* dedicated RAID Cache
  • RAID 0,1,3,5,6,10
  • Up to 512 Domains = up to 512 servers with dedicated LUN mapping can be attached to the array
  • Enterprise Features:
    • Snapshot
    • Data Copy
    • Data Replicaton
Bellow are some insights about the architecture of the 6780 Array:


The internal flash storage allows longterm power outages without loosing IO that is not yet written on disk. As you can see, each drive chip has access to all disk drives. Everything in the controller and drive enclosure has at least a redundancy factor two. In some cases like the drive chips we have even a higher redundancy factor.


The expansion trays are SBODs (Switched Bunch Of Disks) and therefore limit the impact of a drive failure. Most other vendors still use looped JBODs. In such a case, a loop is vulnerable if a drive fails. In worst case a complete tray could fail just because of a failing drive. Also looped BODs are slower than switched BODs.


Due to the high amount of drive channels, the maximum drive count per dual 4Gb FC loop is 64 (with 448 Drives). With 256 Drives, you will only have 32 drives per dual 4Gb FC loop. Due to this fact, and the dedicated ASICs for RAID calculations, the 6780 array can do up to 175'000 IOPS and 6.4GB/s throughput in disk read operations. This is for sure the top rank in the midrange segment!


Latest by now, you should know that Sun is NOT a me too manufacturer in the storage business. Our modular storage family uses leading edge technology and delivers investment protection by providing an easy upgrade path the the next higher controller level.

\*Will be available after initial release.

Thursday Jul 10, 2008

Blade Computing - CPU Density vs Memory Density

While there are competitive products that have a better Core density within one Rack than our Constellation System, there is simply no blade solution that can compete with our blade memory density.

The question here realy is, what is the best combination! This leads me back to the question, why blades? One of the main reasons why customers choose the blade technology is:
I am sure that you will agree with me that a combination of 8 Cores together with max 16GB RAM isn't realy the way to run a virtualized infrastructure, right?

So, let's look at the solutions and most innovative Sun Blades we have available at the moment!

Sun Blade T6320 UltraSparc T2 Single Socket Server Module
  • 1x 8 Core UltraSparc T2 CPU
  • 16x Dimm Slots = 64 GB Fully Buffered DDR2 Memory (with 4GB Dimms)
Sun Blade X6220 AMD Opteron Dual Socket Server Module
  • 2x 4 Core AMD Opteron CPUs
  • 16x Dimm Slots = 64 GB ECC DDR2 Memory (with 4GB Dimms)
Sun Blade X6250 Intel Xeon Dual Socket Server Module
  • 2x 4 Core Intel Xeon CPUs
  • 16x Dimm Slots = 64 GB FBDIMM Memory (with 4GB Dimms)
Sun Blade X6450 Intel Xeon Quad Socket Server Module
  • 4x 4 Core Intel Xeon CPUs
  • 24x Dimm Slots = 96 GB DDR2 FBDIMM Memory (with 4GB Dimms)
Please keep in mind that all of those Blades fit into the very same Sun Blade 6000 Chassis or the Sun Blade 6048 Constellation Chassis and share the same unique management interfaces.


To summ up the calculations:
One Constellation Rack in combination with the Sun Blade X6450 provides 768 Cores and 4.608 TB RAM. This are 6GB RAM per Core!

Do you need more RAM per core?
One constellation Rack in combination with the Sun Blade X6250 or X6220 provides 384 Cores and 3.072 TB RAM. This are 8GB RAM per Core!

Do you need Sparc Technology?
One Constellation Rack in combination with the Sun Blade T6320 provides 384 Cores and 3.072 TB RAM. This are also 8GB RAM per Core! Now as we talk about CMT - Chip Multi Threading, this would be 1GB per Thread. Also very interesting is the power consumption for this UltraSparc T2 Blade Solution!

Summary, we can deliver an intelligent Blade Design with the right CPU/RAM combination, and this within the single and standardized Sun Blade 6000 Enclosure.

In this blog you can find interesting content about solutions and technologies that SUN is developing.

The blog is customer oriented and provides information for architects, chief technologists as well as engineers.


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