RealTime IT News

Sun, EMC Play Nice For Customers

EMC said it will make rival Sun Microsystems Solaris 10 operating system run on its storage platforms, a symbol of the spirited cooperative competition in the high-tech industry.

EMC will also make some of its storage management software work with Solaris 10. This includes PowerPath data automation and Legato NetWorker backup and recovery software, as well as applications from EMC's Documentum and Smarts product lines.

The goal is to let customers share information between EMC hardware and software and the popular Java-based operating system. The Hopkinton, Mass., storage gear maker and Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun hope the interoperability will lure new customers seeking more options for hardware and software combinations.

Sun President and COO Jonathan Schwartz said in a statement that Sun's growth in the x64 server space has triggered increased demand for Solaris 10. Sun's combination of Solaris running on AMD Opteron-based systems has proven itself a valuable combo.

"Customers expect our companies to be working closely together to take care of their most critical issues and we are delighted to collaborate with EMC on support for Solaris 10."

Separately, Sun and EMC have expanded an earlier Cooperative Support Agreement to allow Sun to offer the original equipment manufacturer version of EMC Legato NetWorker as its backup and recovery software.

The agreement means customers will be mutually handled by Sun and EMC. The extended OEM deal fortifies an existing relationship between Sun and Legato whereby Sun offers the EMC software as Sun StorEdge Enterprise Backup Software.

Looking forward, Sun and EMC will collaborate on Sun's Sun Cluster software and other technologies from both vendors.

Such competitive cooperation is nothing new, particularly in the storage industry where vendors are dueling in bloodthirsty battles for the same customers, large and small. It is not uncommon for rivals to partner to meet customers requirements.

The Sun/EMC marriage is interesting because analysts saw Sun's bid for StorageTek as a shot across EMC's bow. StorageTek is a major EMC competitor: Both posit information lifecycle management (ILM) as the answer for corporate data management woes.

EMC recently buried the hatchet on a major patent infringement case with HP. EMC was the clear winner there, as HP agreed to pay the information systems giant $325 million.

But the rivals are also looking into synergies, inking a five-year patent cross-license agreement to bolster their mutual ILM strategies for managing data from cradle to grave.