Sun CEO sexes up storage

Sun's new open storage device demonstrates how the company can survive and thrive in a downturn.

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay
2 min read

Who would have thought that storage could be so sexy?

In a recent blog post, Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's brainy CEO, makes a valiant effort to show how storage can be innovative, cost efficient, and, yes, sexy. I think he succeeds, and I'm the first to admit I don't think much about storage (until I run out of it).

Talking up Sun's newest open storage device, the very blandly named Sun Storage 7000, Schwartz compares storage to the book market in his neighborhood:

The 7000 has one remarkably interesting attribute: it learns. The longer it's doing its job, interacting with applications and serving data, the faster it becomes. How it accomplishes this relates to the bookstores I first discussed....

It's common sense: if you put the bestsellers on the first shelf a visitor sees when they walk in the door, they're more likely to buy one than if you put them in alphabetical order around the store. As the bestsellers change, so do your promotions and displays - if you adapt to demand, you capture more of it. That's the basic premise behind the 7000, to use systems innovation to drive performance, eliminate latency and radically cut purchase and operating cost.

That behavior might make a bookstore less beloved in my neighborhood, but it makes Sun more beloved in the datacenter. And it makes the 7000 a great candidate to be one of the storage industry's best sellers.

Sun's open storage business is booming, demonstrating the innovation (through commoditization of hardware, of all things) still commands customer interest. As Sun shows more of its "innovation through commoditization" hand, I suspect both customers and Wall Street will perk up to its story.

Sun has not set.

In fact, it may well be the perfect company to showcase how customers can both save and spend through the recession, the perfect antidote to our global recession. Open source provides a way to spend on the initiatives needed by IT while simultaneously saving precious dollars (or Euros, or whatever currency you please). Save while you spend. That's open source, and it's a strategy Sun is putting to good use in its open storage product line.