Sun, HDS Extend Storage Pact

In addition, an HDS spokesperson told CRN the company expects to unveil a heterogeneous data-replication solution in the near future.

The company also plans to introduce its next generation of scalable storage architecture, a utility solution for "pay-as-you-grow" storage, new professional services aimed at compliance and data life cycles, and a program for solution providers to deliver those services, the spokesperson said.

The original reseller agreement, signed in August 2001, signaled Sun's first entry into the enterprise-class storage space. Prior to that, solution providers that sold Sun servers generally brought in EMC to handle the storage.

The agreement, originally expected to expire next year, has been extended until August 2006, said Mark Canepa, executive vice president of worldwide network storage products at Sun, Santa Clara, Calif.

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The relationship has helped both companies expand their enterprise presence, Canepa said. "In the last couple of years, we've gone from very little presence in storage in the data center," he said. "Hitachi helped us grow strongly in this space. Sun also helped HDS grow in this space."

Hank Johnson, vice president of the Infrastructure Solutions Group at Stonebridge Technologies, a Dallas-based solution provider, said he is a big fan of Hitachi. "I'm a bigger fan of Sun for working with Hitachi on the 9900," he said.

The relationship with Santa Clara-based HDS has made a big difference for Sun and its solution providers, Johnson said. "Sun is a premier provider of enterprise computing, and that means both servers and storage," he said.