There is an “industry movement” afoot according Steve Stavridis, Sun Microsystems’ Product Manager, Storage. The era of open storage is dawning and Sun Microsystems is there as it breaks. Stavridis explains: “Open storage is the combination of open source software and industry-standard hardware to really create some unique and innovative storage solutions that are basically going to deliver breakthrough economics.” He further states that Sun Microsystems is the largest contributor to open source software in the industry and has a great developer community behind this movement.
Sun Microsystems launched its open storage offering at the end of February and says it will give customers a lot more flexibility in their storage as they won’t be tied in to a “traditional architecture”. David Tse, New Zealand Partner Manager, notes that “a lot more people would buy more storage if they could afford it” and this is what open storage can offer, reducing costs by up to 90%.
“It is such a radical offering that we are heavily into the awareness-building stage at the moment, because there is a fair bit of skepticism,” Tse continues. Sun Microsystems’ go-to-market strategy is directly through the partner channel and the company is interested in forming new relationships in the market at present. Tse comments that in the past there has been vendor lock-in for a lot of storage and the open source concept is very different, so he expects it may take some time before it is generally accepted. “Not charging for storage software licences is something unheard of in the storage industry,” adds Stavridis.
Nonetheless, the company fully expects other vendors to follow suit. Stavridis says: “We would welcome that, and what you’ll find is that this is an industry movement, with Sun leading that movement.” The server industry opened up some time ago and now it is the turn of storage.