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Sun Microsystems Storage Launch Raises Bar for Digital Repositories

Previously offered in a limited release, Sun's "Honeycomb" technology aims to provide a "third generation," new category of object storage systems for institutions facing the challenges of very large-scale digital repositories. Early access higher ed customers that have already sampled the technology include The Alberta Library, Johns Hopkins University, Oxford University, Purdue University, Southampton University, Stanford University, and the University of Michigan. Sun has already shipped more than 400 terabytes of StorageTek 5800 capacity, first offering the "Honeycomb" technology to its early access customers representing a range of industries, before finalizing product for this week's general release of the technology.

The storage technology combines compute and storage functions and is designed to provide an extraordinary degree of data protection. Various elements of the storage system -- including a check-sum strategy -- work to protect data distributed across an array of disks and allow repair on the fly. The storage system is also built on a foundation of open source technologies, so it can evolve with the increasing demands expected to be generated by extremely large digital repositories in the future. "[The StorageTek 5800 system] simplifies how objects are stored, retrieved, and processed, yet with inherent data protection," says Graham Lovell, senior director, storage servers and appliances at Sun Microsystems. "[It] has raised the technology innovation bar -- allowing enterprises to create petabyte-scale, safeguarded, intelligent digital repositories."

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