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.

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