Sun Microsystems will outline its long-term
storage strategy in early April following the completion of the
company's US$4.1 billion acquisition of storage vendor StorageTek
back in September last year.
"There's going to be a big launch that we're going to have on
April 12," Randy Kearns, vice president of Sun's new
Data Management Group told ZDNet Australia last week. The
division was set up in the wake of the acquisition and used to be
called the Network Storage Group.
"What we're going to do in April is we're going to explain a
lot about what value we're going to have in the marketplace,
we're going to talk a lot about the individual products, and then
we're going to have a statement of strategy for our direction for
the next three years," the executive said.
"We've got product roadmaps that are fairly detailed and go
out for about 18 months."
United States-based Kearns -- in town to speak with local staff, partners
and some customers -- also outlined some of the product changes
that users can expect to see in the near future.
"We're going to be announcing a lot of new disk products," he
said, noting a June time frame for their release into the
"In the tape world, we announced last November our Titanium
drive, and on March 1st, that goes into volume production."
"Right after the middle of the year, we're going to release
another version of that tape drive, with encryption. We think
that encrypting removable media will be something that customers
will say they absolutely have to have," he added.
"For our Information Lifecycle Management solution called
Intellistore, we're going to start disclosing some more about the
roadmap for that," Kearns said.
"There's another version of that coming out in the June
timeframe that will have integrated archiving software for tape,
to manage data movement between tiers within the product all the
way to tape."
Kearns said Sun's storage product line would also be
influenced by the 2002 European Union Restriction of Hazardous
Substances Directive (RoHS).
The directive takes effect on 1 July this year, and
restricts the use in electronics manufacturing of six substances,
among them lead, mercury and cadmium.
"What's that done is forced a lot of product transitions to
meet those requirements," said Kearns.
"Quite obviously we don't want to carry two product lines, one
for Europe and one for everyplace else, so you're going to see
coming up a lot of product transitions for us because of that,"
The StorageTek integration is going well for the most part,
according to the executive.
"The execution is not without a lot of mistakes, and false
starts, and everything -- not as fast as you'd like, but we're
really working hard at it, and we've got pretty good people," he
According to Kearns, changing people's mindset about Sun's
business model is probably the hardest thing about the
"We've got to convince customers that storage is a serious
business for us and we're really in it, because they're so used
to thinking of Sun as servers and Solaris only," he said.
"The customers I've been talking with, we were just waiting
until the smoke cleared, and now we can start meaningful
dialogues about how we can help them with their business."
Kearns' division will certain preside over a large part of
"If you look at it from a revenue standpoint, the storage
business is one-third of Sun's revenue," he said. "And one-fourth
of all Sun's people are in storage."