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Oracle/Sun to stop selling Hitachi Data Systems storage arrays

One question about Oracle’s plans for Sun storage was answered today – by its enterprise array partner Hitachi Data Systems.

HDS notified its channel partners by email that its nine-year partnership with Sun will end on March 31. Sun sells HDS’ Universal Storage Platform V (USP V) and USP VM as the StorageTek StorageTek 9990V and StorageTek 9985V.

HDS told its partners it will make its USP systems available to them under the HDS brand. It is still unclear whether Sun will look for another enterprise storage system partner.

Here’s the text of the HDS email:

Dear Valued Partner:
Due to the recent acquisition of Sun Microsystems by Oracle Corporation, there has been much speculation as to the effect the merger will have on the market, product offerings and partnerships. As you are aware, Hitachi Data Systems and Sun Microsystems have enjoyed a successful business partnership. On March 31, 2010, the current distribution agreement that Hitachi Data Systems and Sun Microsystems have been jointly operating under for the past nine years will come to an end.

This relationship has given our partners access to industry-leading storage solutions built on Hitachi technology on which many of the world’s top enterprises have come to rely. With the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Hitachi Data Systems and Oracle agree that the time is right to evolve this relationship into one reflecting the priorities of the new company. We are jointly determining the positioning of the products and solutions based on Hitachi Data Systems that you have deployed with clients. We understand you and your customers have questions and concerns surrounding service obligations to the global install base moving forward.

Hitachi Data Systems will be answering all questions and concerns with solid transition programs and will focus on meeting the demands of the continued excitement in the marketplace around the Hitachi Data Systems technology and the unique leading edge solutions that the Hitachi Data Systems brand has, and will continue to bring to market. These solutions will continue to be made available to you and your customers under the Hitachi Data Systems brand name.

Details will be forthcoming on programs and processes that will help guide you and your customers, as we transition this business moving forward. A new chapter is here, and Hitachi Data Systems sees great opportunities for you that will materialize in the market. Protecting, developing and growing your business is our top priority.

Thank you.

Hewlett-Packard also sells an enterprise storage array – the StorageWorks XP series – based on Hitachi’s technology. There was speculation last year when HP hired former EMC executive Dave Donatelli that HP would also drop the HDS platform, but there has been no indication of that from HP.

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