Sun Forms Division To Unify Storage Products

The announcement comes one day after StorageTek shareholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the acquisition by Sun, Santa Clara, Calif.

Sun's Data Management Group (DMG) will be headed by Mark Canepa, executive vice president at Sun, and will consist of three business units focused on disk, tape and information lifecycle management solutions.

Canepa, who reports to Sun President Jonathan Schwartz, heads a team of 15 legacy Sun and StorageTek executives. One person not joining that team is Pat Martin, who until Wednesday was CEO of StorageTek. Sun executives said Martin has resigned and joined the Board of Directors of Qwest Communications.

First on the agenda is the move to bring StorageTek into DMG, which was formed on Wednesday based on the company's previous Network Storage Group.

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Canepa confirmed an earlier CRN report that Sun plans to phase out its current StorEdge brand in favor the StorageTek moniker.

He also confirmed that StorageTek channel partners will be grandfathered into the Sun storage channel, and will continue to have access to the products they sold before the acquisition.

"Over time, we will look at partners' capabilities and get them dovetailed into the Sun channel," he said. "Our goal is to get to a set of partners who understand the data center and the storage solution. At the end of the day, we want to make the partner community successful."

The addition of StorageTek will enable Sun's channel partners to realize new opportunities, said Canepa. "Over time, we believe there is a lot of upside for partners who have the technology needed for the data center," he said. "There will be opportunities to solve new customer problems. They will be able to reach into places where the Sun channel could not reach before."

Canepa said that the acquisition of StorageTek means a boost to Sun as enterprise data centers move from being application-centric to data-centric. "A lot of this has to do with access and security," Canepa said. "And that means ILM will be important."

StorageTek brings over 17,000 customers and more 1,000 sales people to Sun. And those sales people will be vital to helping Sun get the message to customer that data management requirements are getting more and more complex, Canepa said.

Some layoffs and office closures as a result of the acquisition, he said. However, neither the scope nor the timing of these moves has been set.