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Storage Shades Sun's Q4

Weakness in US spending and storage OEM issues blight vendor's quarterly results

Despite the well-publicized challenges in integrating the $4.1 billion StorageTek acquisition, Schwartz said that this part of Sun's portfolio was not to blame for its poor storage performance. (See Sun to Acquire StorageTek for $4.1B and Sun Reveals Roadmap.) "We're running the business as expected on the archive and tape side -- we feel that that business is going well."

In the NAS space, Schwartz took the opportunity to sing the praises of the X4500 server/storage hybrid, which is better known as 'Thumper.' (See Sun Thumps Storage-Server Hybrid, Sun Signals Say 'Storage', and Sun Reshuffles Storage... Again.) "Thumper has only been in the market for less than three quarters [and] we're already at a $100 million run-rate."

Although Schwartz kept his product roadmap cards close to his chest on last night's call, he hinted that more server/storage hybrids are in the offing. Thumper "lays the foundation" for a new family of data warehousing appliances, he said, but did not go into specifics.

The exec was a little more forthcoming on Sun's "Project Crossbow," which he described as a technology to virtualize network traffic. "Crossbow lets you take a general purpose platform like Niagara [processors] and build networking products out of it." Crossbow will be the vendor's next big product launch, he said.

Sun is not the only vendor experiencing a slowdown in storage spending at the moment. HP, for example, recently noted weakness in its storage business, as did NetApp and Overland. (See HP's Storage Slowdown, Storage Spending Knocks NetApp, Overland Struggles With 'Softness', and Federal IT: Casualty of War.)

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