Sun Is Banking On Its Upgraded Storage Business

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2006-06-01 Print this article Print

News Analysis: One of the main ways Sun will try to get out of the red is by focusing on storage. But can it win in such a competitive space?

If Sun Microsystems is going to pull itself out of a five-year financial nosedive, one of the three key areas in which it will need to perform well is data storage—a very competitive market for which the company is not well known.

Jonathan Schwartz, speaking in his first public financial briefing as CEO on May 31, specifically cited his company's open-source enterprise software franchise, the server hardware business, and data storage as the areas upon which Sun will build its business in the coming years.

With the worldwide data storage market expected by several analysts to reach nearly $65 billion by 2010, the Santa Clara, Calif., IT giant believes it can grab a good share of that income if it plays its assets correctly.

Sun has forged a beachhead into the space, led by its $4.1 billion acquisition of StorageTek (Storage Technology) in 2005.

At the time of the deal, Sun cited increasing federal and state compliance, archival and data management requirements for its customers—and potential customers—in deciding to add StorageTek's tape and backup products into its modular systems management approach.

With the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ) and dozens of other laws and regulations coming into play in the United States in the last few years, the requirements for more—and more accurate—information for auditors is indeed mushrooming.

"We will be using a different approach to network storage, because our customers are demanding it," said James Whitemore, Sun vice president of marketing in network storage.

"With our new 'Thumper' and 'Honeycomb' infrastructures, we'll be able to leverage basically our entire portfolio to put together exactly what our customers require."

"Thumper," codename for an NAS product package that includes AMD-driven Galaxy servers and StorageTek backup, will be announced later in June, Whitemore said.

"Honeycomb," a product package which includes a new data-capture process, was announced earlier in May of 2006. StorageTek Titanium archive platforms are also part of the lineup.

Storage an 'intense' focus

"Storage is an intense focus at Sun," Whitemore said. "This is a huge issue for our customers—the ability to store, secure and access all their data within an enterprise.

Click here for more details on Sun's new storage strategy.

"With our entire product line, we can supply anything a business needs in the way of storage and data management. We will do it differently, and we will do it well."

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Sun Is Banking On Its Upgraded Storage Business


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