Sun snags another storage vendor

Sun Microsystems Inc. said it signed an agreement to acquire storage software vendor LSC Inc., part of an effort to strengthen its data-warehousing play against rivals like EMC Corp.

Eagan, Minnesota-based LSC makes file systems and data storage software. Sun hopes to add the LSC technology to beef up its own storage networks software to provide simplified, automated data management tools for business customers, Sun said in a statement FridayTerms of the stock-for-stock deal call for Sun to acquire about US$74 million of LSC stock. The deal depends on regulatory and LSC shareholder approval for completion. Sun plans to make the company part of its Network Storage organization, headed by Executive Vice President Janpieter Scheerder.

Sun acquired storage resource management vendor HighGround Systems Inc. in December last year. Sun has upped its storage bid in an attempt to deliver a complete line of hardware to its customers. Sun Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott McNealy believes his company's ability to provide a complete suite of hardware based on Sun's technology, including servers and storage systems, will drive Sun past competitors like storage stalwart EMC Corp.

"Doing separate data storage is not a smart move," McNealy said about EMC in a December interview. "It is a losing battle."

The animated Sun chief contended that EMC will not survive the road ahead because customers will find separate storage systems in conflict with their attempts to create a fail-proof network. EMC is not quaking in its boots just yet.

While a number of tech-mainstays issued somber earnings reports in January, EMC reported that revenue for its full fiscal 2000 soared more than 32 percent year-over-year to $8.87 billion. The company reported a 250 percent gain in revenue from networked information storage systems compared with 1999, as well as a 72 percent hike in sales of storage management software.

Sun Microsystems, in Palo Alto, California, can be reached at +1-650-960-1300 or at http://www.sun.com/. EMC, in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, can be reached at +1-508-435-1000 or at http://www.emc.com/.

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