Hitachi and Sun make peace not war
By Alan Earls
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Early last month, Sun Microsystems, and Hitachi Data Systems, announced what they termed a ?far-reaching agreement.? Sun has signed a distributor agreement for high-end Hitachi Data Systems products; Sun and Hitachi Data Systems will cross-license and distribute each others' storage software; both companies will collaborate on the development of storage software; and the companies will work on expanding integration capabilities worldwide. In addition, according to the press statement, Sun and Hitachi Data Systems will work on expanding their joint-supplier relationship and ?invest in joint global mission-critical support centers.?
What are the implications of this agreement for the industry? "This agreement enables us to augment the success of the Sun StorEdge T3 array in the midrange and the enterprise with the new Sun StorEdge 9900 series. With the Sun Enterprise 10000 and the newly introduced MidFrame servers, we are now delivering open, end-to-end Sun systems into high-end glass house environments," said Mark Canepa, executive vice president, Sun Network Storage. "We're investing heavily in storage and this relationship extends our strategy for customer success across an even broader front," he added.
For his part, Dave Roberson, Hitachi Data Systems chief operating officer noted, "With the vast reach of Sun's sales and marketing organization, the benefits of Hitachi Freedom Storage reliability and scalability will become available to far more customers worldwide than ever before.? Moreover, he said, ?our existing customers will gain the benefit of using Sun's storage software.?
All well and good but, say analysts at Illuminata, Inc., there?s probably much more to the alliance, which they call the worst-kept secret in the industry ? in particular, an effort to gang up on EMC.
Strategically, they say, Sun's software contribution will include the HighGround SRM product line plus other Sun StorEdge products as well as SAN virtualization and management. Further, Illuminata suggests the two companies will actually work together on existing product modification and new product development. ?While we hate to use the hackneyed 'win-win' to describe this deal, it fits here,? said Illuminata.
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About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, MA.