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Sun Sings New Storage Song

Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) today announced a revamped storage product line and focus, aimed at snapping the vendor out of a slump that dropped it far behind the leaders in the field.

Sun detailed plans for a NAS system, a SATA SAN, utility computing, intelligent switching, and an enhanced file system designed to improve information lifecycle management (ILM). Whew! If nothing else, Sun has the latest buzzwords covered.

Remember that song, ‘My boyfriend’s back and you’re gonna be sorry?’ ” says Chris Wood, director of technical sales and marketing for Sun Network Storage [ed. note: uh... no, actually]. “We’re back and we’re bad.”

Lately, Sun has been just bad. The company lost $760 million last quarter, and its storage has dropped market share and received blame for dragging down its partners (see Storage Sales Soar Entering '04, QLogic Dives on Shortfall, and Sun Dogs Dot Hill). It has a long way to go to catch the likes of EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), but today’s announcements can be considered a start.

“Sun’s certainly in a catchup mode in storage,” analyst Arun Taneja of Taneja Group says. “But I’m seeing some signs of rejuvenation there. At least they’re filling in all the gaps.”

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