Sun storage: changing of the guard or clearing the decks?

Summary:Storage bits critique gets fast response [r-r-i-i-ight]Nice guy David Yen gets out of the storage group, where the rumor mill insisted he never wanted to go, and will now run the Sun's chip group, which also has a checkered history. I suspect his limited tenure was part of his deal to take the job in the first place while other executives sorted out what to do with STK.

Storage bits critique gets fast response [r-r-i-i-ight] Nice guy David Yen gets out of the storage group, where the rumor mill insisted he never wanted to go, and will now run the Sun's chip group, which also has a checkered history. I suspect his limited tenure was part of his deal to take the job in the first place while other executives sorted out what to do with STK.

Want to make a billion dollars in Sun storage? Start with $4 billion. A bunch of StorageTek guys are now in charge of - get this - the StorageTek part of Sun, including Jon Benson, Victor Walker and Nigel Dessau. If one were intent on unloading STK, that would be a very sensible move. Of course, anything that keeps Sun's uncanny ability to shrink storage market share away from STK is smart.

The interesting part: moving NAS into the systems group NAS and storage appliances are moving out of the accursed storage group and into the systems group under John Fowler, a software group crony of CEO Jonathan Scwartz. Why would one move storage products out of the storage group? One reason offered:

By leveraging the expertise and processes used to build servers alongside Solaris, Sun is positioned to build even more innovative, compelling and competitive products for the storage markets.

My translation: by putting some competent software engineering in place, we think we can build some products that might actually increase Sun's market share, which is one innovation stockholders will love. And we'll increase the system group's gross margins, helping them look better as well. We might even build a storage cluster out of our commodity servers and some clever software, something the storage team would never do.

The take It looks like Sun is prettying up STK for a sale while starting a new internal storage group based on software and standard systems. There is no doubt that Sun's software team has the chops to do great things. Now that the systems group earns the storage margin dollars, they have plenty of incentive to do so. This could be the beginning of a successful new chapter in Sun's troubled storage history.

Comments welcome, as always.

Topics: Oracle, Storage

About

Harris has been working with computers for over 35 years and selling and marketing data storage for over 30 in companies large and small. He introduced a couple of multi-billion dollar storage products (DLT, the first Fibre Channel array) to market, as well as a many smaller ones. Earlier he spent 10 years marketing servers and networks.... Full Bio

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