EMC, Sun Strike Hardware, Software, Support Deal

EMC and Sun Microsystems yesterday announced agreements on several hardware, software and support initiatives designed to help customers more easily deploy their technologies together.

The companies will work to ensure compatibility between the EMC family of networked storage platforms and Sun’s Solaris 10 operating system. EMC also intends to port key storage management software to Solaris 10, including its PowerPath and Legato NetWorker, as well as software from its Documentum, Legato and Smarts product families.

Once these efforts are complete, the companies said their customers will be able to cost-effectively manage, protect and share information, using EMC storage systems and software with Solaris 10 on both SPARC and AMD Opteron x64 processor-based systems.

Sun Shines on EMC

Howard Elias, executive vice president of corporate marketing, Office of Technology at EMC, said, “As Sun delivers Solaris 10 across multiple platforms, EMC will be a key enabler for our joint customers to deploy it as part of an information lifecycle management strategy that drives efficiencies and productivity and helps reduce the total cost of ownership for information technology and business operations.”

Sun President and COO Jonathan Schwartz said with Sun’s growth in the x64 server space, there is increased demand for the most storage enabled OS on the market, Solaris 10.

“Sun believes that customers deserve choice when making their IT decisions,” Schwartz said. “We provide that choice through Sun’s own complete line of data management and storage technologies, partnering with leading vendors like EMC, and leadership in open standards.”

Forging Relationships

Mike Kahn, managing director of The Clipper Group, told TechNewsWorld that Sun is beginning to open up to new partnerships with rivals it would never have previously considered. Before EMC, Sun partnered with Microsoft, the company it once despised. Kahn said Sun needs to grow, and therefore it is making friends with old enemies.

“Customers and prospects are looking for companies that play well together and not those who just want corporations to buy it all from them,” Kahn said. “The more open you are the more likely prospects are to consider your solution as one that works and plays well with other products.”

Of course, EMC and Sun are both large companies with many divisions. Analysts noted that this arrangement is between Sun’s server division and EMC’s storage division only. And it’s not an exclusive arrangement: Sun will still sell its own storage solutions whenever it can and EMC will sell other vendors’ servers.

“When you partner with an enemy, you always have to ask yourself if you are opening yourself up to being raided or if you are opening yourself up to new revenue,” Kahn said. “It tends to fall somewhere in the middle. The companies are opening themselves up to opportunities, but there is no guarantee this will generate new revenue.”

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