Sun Microsystems will fold its long-wobbling storage unit into its server unit, forming a single entity dedicated to building hardware that benefits man - or at least Sun's bottom line. Current server chief John Fowler will lead the combined unit, Sun said today. This seems to indicate that CEO Jonathan Schwartz has an awful …
Sun Storage is like a bad joke. After years and years of failures, after acquisitions and acquisitions, Sun management still can give a straight face excuse. They can keep putting lipstick on it. But it's still a pig. If Thumper, ZFS, etc.. are the future, then why did they waste so much money to acquire the leading-edge technology of tape? The StorageTek acquisition was as bad as the Cobalt acquisition. If the BoD gave all those wasted money to shareholders instead, the company doesn't need to play games with stock price by doing reverse-split.
David Yen, who failed to make the acquisition successful, is now running Sparc. If that's his punishment, I suppose Sparc will have a cloudy future.
At least Meg Whitman has the decency, humility, intelligence, courage to admit making the mistake of acquiring Skype. Jonathan, on the other hand, is still in spin-mode. Spin, spin, spin.
The systems group at my company got pretty excited about using Thumper and ZFS heavily on a new storage project. Sun sent an army of salesmen to convince us to buy their NAS product for many times the cost per GB. If we wanted that, we would have been talking with NetApp, not Sun!
SUNW, er, JAVA needs to make up a good storage story and stick with it.
why don't they just team up with EMC as Dell did it?
Recent server push
When they announced all the recent server-related stuff that caused such a fuss on El Reg comments (I'm looking at you, Matt Bryant) I thought Sun had taken a fairly big step forward. This, on the other hand, sounds like a step backward. I hope this doesn't stifle the server groups' efforts.
EMC and SUN
.. they tried once, back when Sun was THE server vendor and EMC THE storage vendor..
as you can imagine (if you ever dealt with either company back in those halycyon days) they couldn't find a room big enough for all the egos..
Not such a bad idea.
Much simpler if you can talk the "whole solution" rather than just point products. If not then you're tin-shifting at the IT Manager level and someone else is doing the real design work with the CIO. Sun's problem is it is not perceived as a "proper" storage vendor, hence the purchase of a storage name such as StorageTek. They just chose the wrong vendor - they should have bought NetApp (growing in the areas Sun needs to grow in, x86) rather than a declining tape vendor. And then they also wouldn't have that pesky suit for ripping off WAFL to make ZFS..... ;)
Good move overall
This is an awesome move. The storage group in Sun has still been doing bad with so many failed acquisitions and billions of dollars in waste and this is about time to try something new, at-least there is little to loose. The StorageTek acquisition has a positive effect on Sun's revenue and that is what the analyst community wants to see. While it is true that Tape storage is declining overall, this is mostly in the short-term backup area. The long-term backup is still dominated by tape ,will never go away and will keep growing. And ZFS a WAFL ripoff ? NetApp is feeling the heat from what damage a open-source storage stack based upon ZFS can do to them, and this combined server storage group is a move in the right direction. Sun does not have money to buy NetApp, so why not try to make good use of what they have ? If Sun can make a good storage stack based on ZFS and make good enough commodity x86 storage servers, NetApps of the world will obviously cry fowl.
vaporware, chartware, NDA's, death by powerpoint....its all about the dog and pony show to get current customers to not jump ship
RE: Good move overall
Hmmmm, I haven't see any evidence of NetApp sales being dented by "an open-source storage stack based upon ZFS". I suggest NetApp may be having a harder time trying to convince EMC's, HP's and IBM's enterprise customers to try the NettApp Filers as fibre-channel arrays. As to the WAFL/ZFS suit, unlike the SCO case this is a patents case and nothing else and both parties seem happy to go to court, so I suppose we'll see an outcome quite quickly. I expect a patent-licensing swap to allow both parties to claim satisfaction without a lengthy and messy trial, though what patents Sun has of interest to NettApp I'm not sure.
The StorageTek buy was a poor attempt to fool the analysts and most of them saw through it. Re-alligning the server and storage units as one seems to be getting a better reception as it should actually bring an operational benefit and allow an "efficiency" headcount reduction as well (analysts always seem to think less people means lower costs whereas it ussually means lowered capability to deliver - go figure). Maybe Sun can pull a fast one and offload the StorageTek albatross on NetApp? ;)
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