Schwartz: Sun to focus on storage business

CEO Jonathan Schwartz will merge the company's storage and server units into one team in its push into an expanding market.

Sun Microsystems plans to increase its focus on storage through a major internal reorganization, the company's chief executive has announced.

Writing on his blog on Monday, Jonathan Schwartz revealed the planned merger of Sun's server and storage teams into a converged systems team. The move, he wrote, would take advantage of Sun's existing "talent and assets" in its push into the ever-expanding storage market--a market set to be increasingly indistinguishable from the server world thanks to virtualization.

"The systems team will focus on the evolution and convergence of computing, storage and networking systems," Schwartz wrote. "Talk to any data-center administrator, and that's what they want to hear--they live in a world managing the (often idiosyncratic) interactions of that trinity (computing, storage and networking--and just wait until they're virtualized). We want to be in a position to innovate on their behalf, at the system level, beyond the boxes--across blades, racks, disk and tape."

Schwartz also reiterated Sun's enthusiasm for tape as a long-term storage medium: "In our view, the market for permanent data will only grow. Today, only tape can maintain the integrity of that data without electricity. And, for the data centers we serve, many are seeing the cost of electricity threatening to eclipse their hardware budgets (yes, I'm serious). For disk storage, over a decade, that's easy to see--just look at the power bill to run a SAN."

"Tape, with effective indexing and retrieval, represents the most economically responsible (that is, eco-responsible) archive platform for long-term storage. Broadly speaking, tape (and, in the future, other forms of removable media) are a core part of Sun's archive plans," Schwartz wrote.

Sun announced in August that it would lay off some of its workforce during the second half of this year. But it remains unclear how many job losses have already occurred and how many affect its server and storage teams.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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