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Sun's Heating Up

5:55 PM -- Nobody's surprised by recent figures from market researchers Gartner and IDC showing hefty growth in storage networking, including sizeable outlays for iSCSI SANs. (See iSCSI Strides On.) There is a surprise tucked into Gartner's report, though: The firm has identified some healthy storage growth at Sun Microsystems, which is currently in the throes of a major reorganization effort. (See Sun Issues Growth Plan, Down Is Not Out, and Uncertainty Shadows IT Spending.)

Of the seven major vendors surveyed, Sun's revenues experienced the largest uptick between the first quarters of 2005 and 2006, leaping up 29.8 percent to $227.9 million. This happened even as new CEO Jonathan Schwartz took the helm. He announced mass layoffs last week. (See Schwartz Shakes Up Sun.)

Much of the uptick comes from the products acquired through Sun's $4.1 billion StorageTek acquisition. (See Sun Closes on StorageTek .) "If you take away the StorageTek piece of it, there is some organic growth, but it's more of a flattish trend upwards," explains Donna Taylor, Gartner principal research manager.

Any uptick is welcome. "It's a step in the right direction that they are focusing more on storage than they have in the past," says Taylor.

Schwartz recently promised to make the vendor's storage division one of his top priorities, though users have voiced concerns about Sun's long-term storage roadmap. (See Sun Takes Action Amidst Concerns and StorageTek Users Voice Support Fears.)

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