In his blog Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz wrote: "... we will build all products at Sun from Java, Solaris, StorageTek and from our newly unified SPARC and x64 SunFire platforms. I'd like to briefly point to three products that represent the future of such systems innovations. The recently unveiled Niagara servers, the StorageTek Titanium archive platform; and lastly, an upcoming extension to our NAS offerings, code named Thumper."
What is Thumper? "... arguably the best example of the alignment of Sun's systems innovation is a project we'll be announcing in late June - code name Thumper. Thumper is a SunFire server, running Solaris and its 128-bit ZFS file system, that packs 24 Terabytes of storage into a miniature package - allowing Solaris and Java applications to run directly on the storage device at breathtaking speed and price points. It's a perfect example of combining our software and hardware expertise, with an existing supply chain, to deliver a broader market, greater margins, and new customers - leveraging common IP, over a broader opportunity. We'll be announcing complete details at the end of June."
This is going to need applications written for it, 'Solaris and Java applications.' Who will write them? Sun customers and system house partners. Why should they choose to write such applications, or split existing applications with an 'out-sourced' as it were, find-sort-and-process part?
Better performance and better price.... better than what? Existing business intelligence/data warehousing applications? Are we looking at a potential BI appliance?
Doing a back-of-an-envelope mental doodle I think there could be a missing part to Thumper. It's very well having a global namespace based on a 128-bit file system but 24TB is not a lot of storage these days. These Thumper boxes could be linked together in a cluster. Think Isilon-style Infiniband clustering. Then we might have a set of screaming Thumpers.