Sun Sets on StorageTek

Sun reveals new storage structure after closing StorageTek deal, but specifics are scant

September 2, 2005

3 Min Read
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StorageTek the company is gone, and though product direction remains up in the air, the nucleus of the acquired company's management team will play a major role in shaping the future of storage at Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW).

Late yesterday, Sun announced management changes and revealed plans for an expanded storage group, as it closed its $4.1 billion acquisition of StorageTek (see Sun to Acquire StorageTek for $4.1B and Sun Closes on StorageTek ). As for the product roadmap, Sun storage boss Mark Canepa says thats at least a few weeks away from being made public.

“Internally, we’ve decided what products we will keep,” Canepa said on a call last night. “The close just happened. We’ll be communicating first to our sales force.”

Canepa did not say when he will announce the product roadmap, but Sun will address storage in a September 12 quarterly product launch in New York. He did say all Sun storage will be sold under the StorageTek brand. “We’re going to be retaining the StorageTek brand name and put it alongside the Sparc, Solaris, and Java brands."

The StoreEdge designation Sun uses now will eventually go away. For instance, the StorEdge 6920 system will be known as the StorageTek 6920, although it will take time to physically rebrand the boxes.Canepa maintains there is little overlap between the two product lines, which means most of StorageTek storage will be retained. StorageTek’s tape business will likely survive intact. On the disk side, there is overlap in archival products and in midrange systems -- both companies sell products based on Engenio Information Technologies Inc. controllers.

StorageTek recently announced its IntelliStore fixed content system, and Sun is getting ready to launch an archiving system code-named Honeycomb (see StorageTek Rolls Its Own CAS and Sun Pushes Into NAS ).

As for management software, Canepa says Sun will gradually combine its Enterprise Storage Manager (ESM) with StorageTek’s Global Storage Manager (GSM) acquired from Storability, as well as technology that Sun licenses from starup AppIQ Inc. (see Storability Promises Viability and Sun Shines on AppIQ). “As of today,” he says, “we have no plans to alter our relationship with AppIQ.”

StorageTek CEO Pat Martin will not join Sun, which is no surprise. Before the deal was announced in June, Martin said he would retire when his contract expires next June (see StorageTek CEO Eyes Exit). Other former StorageTek execs will play a prominent role in Sun’s revamped storage division as it tries to make up ground it has lost in recent years to storage rivals.

StorageTek becomes part of Sun’s Data Management Group (DMG), which was formerly called Network Storage Group (NWS). The DMG consists of disk, tape, and Information Lifecycle Management Solutions (ILMS) business units.Specific management appointments include: Kathleen Holmgren as VP of disk business, with Nigel Dessau heading the tape unit and Brenda Zawatski running ILMS. Michael McClay is VP of data management sales and Eula Adams is VP of data management services. Dessau, Zawatski, and Adams come from StorageTek. Jon Benson, who ran StorageTek’s automated tape library business, will be responsible for overall product development of StorageTek products at Sun.

Sun also went outside of StorageTek by recruiting storage analysts to help beef up its strategy. Randy Kerns, former senior partner at the Evaluator Group, is Sun’s new VP of strategy and planning. Former Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. analyst Nancy Marrone-Hurley recently joined Sun as senior director of storage software marketing.

Canepa says Sun will keep its storage sites in Burlington, Mass., and Newark, Calif., and will maintain both its Broomfield, Colo., and StorageTek’s Louisville, Colo., facilities for now. The two Colorardo sites are about a mile apart. No layoffs have been announced, although overlapping jobs are expected to be eliminated.

— Dave Raffo, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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