Sun has launched two new mid-range, modular disk arrays that the company claimed would double the capacity, memory and throughput of its previous 6500 series arrays.

The Sun Storage 6580 and 6780 arrays are marketed as more scalable, faster and higher performing arrays than Sun's previous models with up to 32GB cache, 16 4Gbit/s Fibre Channel or 1Gbit/s iSCSI ports and up to 448 Fibre Channel or serial ATA drives.

"The 6780 is our new flagship array in the mid-range," said Nancy Hart, group manager for primary arrays at Sun. "The 6780 has more cache, more ports, more performance and more scalability than our previous models."

Sun also added RAID 6, or protection from dual disk failure, to its new midrange line. The arrays also come with Sun StorageTek Common Array Manager software, which allow administrators to manage any Sun storage system from one console.

"These arrays will help enterprise customers scale by reusing their existing assets," said Jason Schasser, senior director of Sun's storage products.

The Sun Storage 6580 Array can scale up to 256 disks or 256TB, and has eight 4Gb FC host ports, and 8GB cache, along with 16 expansion trays per controller, which allows users to intermix SATA and Fibre Channel drives.

The Sun Storage 6780 Array has twice as many I/Os per second as its predecessor, the 6500 class of arrays, and scales to 448 disks or 448TB. It has eight or 16 4Gb FC host ports, 16GB cache, and 28 expansion trays per controller, and also allows an intermix of SATA and Fibre Channel drives.

The Sun Storage 6780 controller without drives starts at $5,995(£11,000) and is available immediately. The Sun Storage 6580 Array controller unit, without disk drives, is available immediately at a list price of $59,995. The Sun Storage 6780 Array controller unit is available immediately at a list price of $89,995.