Sun, Hitachi to jointly distribute storage products

Sun Microsystems and Hitachi are extending their storage capabilities through a joint agreement, announced today, which allows the companies to cross-market their products.

The multibillion-dollar agreement allows Sun to distribute some high-end Hitachi Data Systems products. In addition, "Sun and Hitachi Data Systems will cross-license and distribute each other's storage software, both companies will collaborate on the development of storage software, and the companies will work on expanding integration capabilities worldwide," according to the announcement.

Two months ago, Hitachi signed an agreement with IBM to share key interfaces in order to make some of their products more interoperable.

Under that agreement, IBM is licensing the key storage application programming interfaces (API) for its Shark storage array to Tokyo-based Hitachi and the company's Santa Clara, Calif.-based Hitachi Data Systems subsidiary. In return, Hitachi is licensing APIs for its Lightning 9900 storage device to IBM, said the two rivals.

The agreement between Sun and Hitachi says that:

-- Sun will extend Sun StorEdge T3 arrays in direct-attach storage and storage-area network environments with a high-end product for the data center. Sun will also globally sell and support the new Sun StorEdge 9900 series, which is based on the Hitachi Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 products.

-- Hitachi's leading storage software and Sun's leading storage management software offerings will be designed to support the operation of each other's storage hardware products.

-- Sun and Hitachi Data Systems will work together to deliver service and solutions to StorEdge 9900 customers worldwide, and joint mission-critical support centers will be staffed with co-located support engineers in multiple locations worldwide.

-- The Sun StorEdge 9900 series will be certified for use in SunPlex and Sun Cluster environments and will deliver higher levels of availability, scalability and manageability, enabling customers to better manage their service levels. Additionally, Sun's strategic focus is to make the StorEdge 9900 series the leader in performance for enterprise-class Solaris servers.

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