Schwartz: Tape isn't sexy but it's real money

Summary:Continuing as one of the few executives making good use of blogs, Sun President and COO Jonathan Schwartz just posted a justification for the StorageTek acquistion and an invitation to Apple to adopt Solaris 10. Regarding StorageTek, Schwartz provides deeper logic for making the deal, which brings in money but primarily in a slow growth, non-sexy area--tape.

Continuing as one of the few executives making good use of blogs, Sun President and COO Jonathan Schwartz just posted a justification for the StorageTek acquistion and an invitation to Apple to adopt Solaris 10.

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Regarding StorageTek, Schwartz provides deeper logic for
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making the deal, which brings in money but primarily in a slow growth, non-sexy area--tape. I expected Sun to do something more bold than StorageTek, but what's left on the table within Sun's budget? However, Schwartz trumpets the "drag effect," arming StorageTek's salesforce with Sun storage products as well as other parts of the product portfolio.

Do we believe StorageTek's 17,000 customers and partners (who, from our dilligence, seem to LOVE Storage Tek) will want to invest in a broader storage infrastructure from Sun? Absolutely. Will they want to learn about access and identity management, 6920's, SAM-FS/QFS and ZFS along the way? I was with one of their largest customers on Friday, and they were thrilled with the deal, and open to whatever we had to offer. Large customers are trending toward wanting to buy from consolidated vendors, with global reach and a systems approach. Sun can now connect those dots - and again, we're not acquiring STK to give them new business cards. We're doing it to become a stronger combined force. (We even like their name and brand.)

I can see the drag effect working for storage, especially with companies requiring more end-to-end data lifecycle management to meet regulatory requirements and keep cost down. This is a sweet spot, given data keeps doubling every year or two. The byproduct of consolidation is that vendors can offer more complete solutions and systematic approaches for managing heterogeneous environments. But will this deal, which adds about 1,000 sales people, result in more server and enterprise and desktop Java software sales? Not likely.  

Schwartz goes on to say that the future of the Internet is in data, not in any particular component.

But in my view, if there is a future of the internet, it's not a computer, a storage device or a piece of software. Customers leave those behind every day.

But they never abandon their data.

In most cases, it's the law. In all cases, it's the center of attention. It's certainly ours.

He's really stretching now. Yes, data is the blood that courses through the Internet's veins, but calling it the "future of the Internet" compared to a storage device or piece of software sounds is more of a rhetorical device alluding to the StorageTek acquistion than a reality.

Schwartz also posted a letter to Steve Jobs, encouraging him to join forces on Solaris 10, which runs on SPARC and x86, as a 64-bit platform for the next generation Mac. Choosing Intel processors over the Power PC architecture is one thing but not having his own operating system to control would drive Steve Jobs nuts. That said, Solaris 10 is open source and Apple could add its own bells and whistles as it has to BSD Unix without huge disruption.

Topics: Storage

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