Hitachi Limited, its wholly owned subsidiary Hitachi Data Systems and Sun Microsystems announced a multi-faceted agreement that includes the following:
- Sun has signed a distributor agreement for the Hitachi Lighting 9900 family, which Sun will market as the Sun StorEdge 9900 series.
- Sun and Hitachi Data Systems will cross-license and distribute each other's storage software.
- Joint-collaboration on storage software development.
- Joint global mission-critical support centers.
Although Sun's primary focus will be on selling to their own customer base, Sun stated that it will offer the StorEdge 9900 series to its customers for non-Sun server platforms. Sun also stated the StorEdge 9900 series would be available to its partners.
StorEdge 9900 Series
The Sun StorEdge 9900 series will include both the 9910 and the 9960, and will certified for use in SunPlex and Sun Cluster environments.
Storage software cross-licensing and distribution
Cross-licensing and distribution rights will include the Hitachi Freedom Software products for the 9900 family, as well as Sun storage management software such as HighGround.
Joint global support centers
The announcement stated that joint mission-critical support centers will be staffed with Sun and Hitachi Data Systems support engineers in multiple locations worldwide.
Evaluator Group comments
This may be one of the most important announcements of the year in the storage market because it will drastically change the competitive landscape in the high-end UNIX storage market segment. Sun customers now have the option of a single source for their high-end server and storage requirements. It is a WIN-WIN-WIN situation for Sun, Hitachi and most importantly the customer.================================================
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