By eweek  |  Posted 2006-05-05 Print this article Print

Is it a matter of making storage environments easier to manage? Get bigger, faster and quicker to compensate for a lack of expertise? We must simplify the ability to deliver value. Sun is all about reduced cost and complexity; data management is all about providing more value and better TCO for any given SLA [service-level agreement], because if youve got 100,000 applets on the grid, how many milliseconds of system administration time can you devote to that applet to be able to access its storage environment? It better be zero, right?
The creation and provisioning of storage environments has to become extremely simple—thats the problem. Customers realize that a lot of their dollars are going into system administration. Whenever we design some of the storage provisioning side of this thing, were always mindful of the fact theres a compute side and we want to run the two together. Storage companies dont think about the application because they didnt grow up that way. Systems companies think about the application, because at the end of the day thats what people want. They want applications—everything else is housekeeping.
Does Sun have any plans to aggressively pursue the low-end SMB (small and midsize business) market for storage? Well follow our Opteron. To the extent they go down there, well go down there. But I can tell you what the strategy is. You have no more need if youre an SMB of having your own IT infrastructure than you do having a nuclear power plant in the basement of your house. You have to be nuts [to want that] if youre going to run a small business. Do you have your own cell towers? No. You have a thin client and a network. If youre running a small company you dont install Siebel, you go to Salesforce.com. So our answer is were going to go down so far, but our strategy is to enable Salesforce.com to become incredibly successful by virtual slicing. So well chase it a little bit, but the message to customers is go buy a set of services. Sun has placed a large bet on the future of tape with the StorageTek acquisition. Where is tape going and how will it evolve? There are two problems people tend to associate with tape. One problem is called data protection: I need to take something from my primary storage and make a copy to protect the data. Customers are going to decide how to protect their stuff. Certainly if they want to take the media and remove it, theyre going to move it with tape. People arent comfortable moving a bunch of disks. That market will be OK. Labs Henry Baltazar says Suns StorageTek gamble makes sense. Click here to read more. The other market is not a protection market, its an archival and retrieval market. It is all about not breaking the application paradigm. It is still part of your application environment; your application just needs to have a lot more retrievable data that it keeps around for a longer amount of time. That market is exploding and my guess is its going to be all tape-based. The reason is you cant afford to keep the disks constantly spinning. Next Page: ECMs effect on tape.


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