Sun Acquires Storage Vendor Pirus, Looks To Beef Up N1 Initiative


Sun Microsystems Thursday announced plans to acquire Pirus Systems, a developer of hardware and software technologies that enable virtualization across a heterogeneous environment.

The deal was unveiled at the SunNetwork 2002 conference, held here. Pirus' virtualization technology is a critical component to making the N1 strategy work, said Mark Canepa, executive vice president, storage products at Sun.

Acton, Mass.-based Pirus is a privately held company with about 100 employees focused on the creation of "very intelligent" storage virtualization platforms. Terms of the deal, which is expected to close in six to eight weeks, were not disclosed. The Pirus employees are expected to become part of Sun's network storage organization.

"They're going to become key factors in helping us develop a new set of products and technologies to provide an intelligent platform for storage and storage management as part of N1," Canepa said.

Sun has made several acquisitions in the past few years to get key technologies and products, so integrating Pirus into its storage business should present few challenges, he said.

"We're really getting a very smart group of people with a set of core competencies who really understand intelligent storage platforms, how to create virtualization hardware and software that can be part of our future storage development effort," Canepa said.

Sun hasn't decided about what to do with the Pirus name, Canepa said. "That's going to be a function of time," he said. "We'll see how we want to integrate their technologies within the Sun family."

All customers have solvable business problems that can be characterized as needing a broad selection of storage arrays surrounded by another set of capabilities, and Sun has not hesitated to acquire technologies to develop those capabilities, Canepa said.

Sun acquired a very capable file system with the ability to have hierarchical storage management when it bought Egan, Minn.-based LSC in February 2001, he said. While typical file systems support up to one terabyte, Sun can use the LSC technology to support up to 200 to 500 Tbytes of storage, he said.

Another business problem--the need to create business continuance, including point-in-time copies and network replication and the need to move data to backup sites and get it back--led Sun to acquire Red Cape about four years ago, Canepa said. Red Cape is a developer of storage management software, much of which has evolved into heterogeneous management standards such as the Common Information Model (CIM), he said.