Skip the navigation

Honeycomb takes on Centera

Sun calls the 5800 (Honeycomb) an application-aware programmable storage product.

By Chris Mellor
November 22, 2006 12:00 PM ET - Sun Microsystems Inc. has quietly launched its Honeycomb storage product through a partner, Kodak, although it is not formally available and still listed as a "project" on the Sun site.

Sun's StorageTek 5800, known as Honeycomb (see "Honeycomb to sweeten Sun NAS line"), will be used by Sun's OEM partner, Eastman Kodak Co., for a health care product. Kodak's Carestream product is for Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) in the medical market.

Sun calls the 5800 an application-aware programmable storage product. It cannot be used on its own but must be coupled with an application that uses either Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) or an application programming interface (API) to reference the data objects stored on it.

The system uses a symmetric cluster of eight or 16 nodes with a management server. Each node has four 500GB Serial ATA (SATA) drives and an embedded Opteron 993 server. The maximum capacity 16TB or 32TB respectively. The nodes are connected by Gigabit Ethernet, and two load-balancing servers ensure that the cluster load is spread evenly, Sun said.

The 5800 runs Solaris 10, and data (files) are stored as fragments spread across the nodes with associated system-defined and user-defined metadata. There is no internal file system.

System metadata includes creation date, data length, its value and so forth. Examples of user metadata items could include patient name, doctor’s name, reason for visit, deductible, medical record number and insurance company. The on-board embedded server would be used to search stored objects for matches against selected metadata items and values. This offloads application servers.

Sun said that the 5800 is self-healing and can cope with multiple simultaneous component failures without the need for immediate servicing. The system can cope with the loss of up to two missing data or parity fragments, similar to RAID 6.

EMC's Centera design also uses a redundant array of independent nodes with one Intel processor for each tray of four SATA disk drives. Centera is also found in PACS applications. The Kodak 5800 PACS product is expected to be available in 2007. No pricing information is available.

Reprinted with permission from Copyright 2012 IDG, all rights reserved.
Our Commenting Policies