Howdy, pardner

Partnerships are critical to creating value for customers and companies will partner to demonstrate capabilities, resolve interoperability issues, or sell each other's wares. When I see smart partnerships between companies intended to bring out the strengths of both and their solution offerings, I am encouraged. Recently in the storage market, there have been several notable partnerships announced in the disk storage market.

Coming late to the storage party is Sun. It took Sun a while to figure out that one disk product did not equal a storage strategy. However, its partnership with Hitachi, coupled with its storage announcements last week, has brought Sun well into the storage game.

This partnership benefits both parties because Sun now has an array of storage offerings (all puns intended) it can provide its customers. Hitachi will benefit - EMA's research over the last two years has consistently shown - because customers prefer to purchase storage from their server vendor if the vendor's solution comes close to matching their needs.

A leader in the tape automation and storage market, it's no secret that StorageTek has struggled to gain traction in the disk storage market. Its recent partnership with LSI Logic Storage Systems may solve that problem.

This partnership brings a full line of open-systems disk products to StorageTek, with a sales force that understands how to sell disks. LSI gains a strong channel for selling and supporting its products. Both companies maintain their individual strengths and benefit from the other.

It's exciting to see Sun and StorageTek getting over their "not invented here" syndrome to address new opportunities and provide fuller product sets for their customers.

Anne Skamarock is an analyst with Enterprise Management Associates ( She has worked with networked storage for the last 15 years and is currently focused on the storage practice within EMA. She can be reached at

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