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Sun Microsystems is shifting engineering support for its 6920 midrange storage virtualization array to HDS, deepening the storage ties between the two.
As part of the agreement, HDS will support Sun StorageTek 6920 customers for five years, said Sun spokesperson Michelle Parkinson. Sun will provide customer support, with HDS engineers on the back end.
When 6920 customers are ready to upgrade, they can choose between the 9985 which Sun OEMs from HDS for virtualization, and the 6540 modular array (a Sun product with LSI controllers) for a lower-cost option.
"The combined success of the 9900 series and our Sun StorageTek 6540 modular array has minimized space in Sun's portfolio for the 6920, and as such we've decided to stop selling the 6900 series," Parkinson said.
The 6920 came out of Sun's 2002 acquisition of Pirus Networks.
Greg Schultz, founder and senior analyst at StorageIO, said the deal is a good one for both companies, but he added that it could raise concerns about virtualization products and vendor lock-in.
Schultz said the 6920 "joins a long list of other Sun and STK products that have had less than stellar adoption, including the A7000 and STK SN6000, among others. While some might come down hard on Sun for switching to an OEM-based model at least for disk storage, Sun has demonstrated in the past, with prior success, that they can service their customers and partners needs with Sun 'integrated' OEM solutions from STK, LSI/Engenio, Dot Hill and HDS. Perhaps we are seeing the rise of the Sun storage phoenix."