This is the last in a four-part series of posts on the Sun Storage 7000 USS storage arrays. Previous posts in this series can be found here:
Previous posts have discussed the physical hardware and what you can do with it. Sun also do a simulator version of the 7000 series array, which can be used to evaluate the technology. The Simulator is available for both VirtualBox and VMware. I chose the VMware version and deployed it on VMware Fusion on my MacBook.
The installation process is remarkably simple. Download and unzip the simulator (link here) and for Fusion, simply use File -> Open to open the file “SunStorage.vmwarevm”. The configuration process then asks for some simple details – IP address, default gateway, password and so on. Once this is complete, the simulator starts up and can be accessed via the standard web interface on port 215. I’ve included a few screenshots at the end of this post that highlight the configuration process.
Once logged into the simulator, a disclaimer is presented to the user indicating that this deployment isn’t for production usage or performance measurement. This is pretty obvious; the simulator shows functionally how things work but will never provide the same performance as a dedicated device.
The simulator provides 15x 2GB drives, which although not ‘real’ are more than enough to do evaluation with. As far as I can tell, the simulator appears to be fully functional.
Sun have provided a simulator package that appears to pretty much mirror a real USS 7000 array. Having a fully functional system like this enables new users to gain confidence with it; although not much training is needed, making the mistakes on a simulator is much more preferable to making them on the real thing. In addition, it’s easy for any potential purchaser to get a real feel for how easy configuring the 7000 Series can be.
The 7000 simulator is probably equal or better than the Netapp simulator, which I’ve raved (and probably ranted) about many times. It’s a shame that Netapp don’t choose to make their simulator open to all users, but that’s another discussion entirely. The Sun 7000 simulator simply rounds out what to me is a great product, offering storage and simplicity in a single device.
Disclaimer: Sun Microsystems provided a USS 7000 series array on loan in order for me to evaluate this technology. The unit has since been returned. I have not been paid by Sun to write this series of posts or received any other benefit or inducement of any kind from Sun Microsystems.