Feeds

Sun's storage boss offloaded in reorg

Server shuffle too

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

In its first major shift since Jonathan Schwartz took over as CEO, Sun Microsystems has reworked its hardware organization in an obvious bid to revitalize a flagging storage business.

John Fowler, Sun's previous head of x86 servers, will now head up the entire server business, including SPARC systems. Previous SPARC chief David Yen will move over to handle storage systems, and previous storage chief Mark Canepa has "decided" to leave Sun.

Under Canepa's leadership, Sun's storage business did nothing but underperform. Sun's storage sales have fallen just about every year, despite constant efforts to freshen up the business with improved software and hardware and via acquisitions. Yen, of course, will have the major task of making sure the StorageTek buy progresses as hoped.

Yen, however, doesn't have a sparkling track record either. The SPARC processor group has been plagued by product delays, cancellations and overall poor performance from the core UltraSPARC product. But, in our experience, Sun executives view Yen as a real guru of sorts, so he must work some serious magic behind closed doors.

Fowler, by contrast, has pushed Sun's x86 server business with a firm hand, showing 100 per cent year-over-year revenue growth. By this time next year, Sun could be approaching a $1bn x86 server business.

"John, Andy Bechtolsheim and our network systems team have done a spectacular job growing our x64 industry standard server business," Schwarz said. "Similarly, David's accomplishments have been outstanding, leading the revitalization of our SPARC server line, and the introduction of the world's highest throughput systems. We are thrilled with the rapid adoption of our Coolthreads T1 and UltraSPARC IV+ SPARC-based servers – which have received 16 world-record benchmarks to date - driven by David and his team. Both John and David have proven to be 'A' players at Sun and are ready for new and exciting challenges.”

There's no question that Yen is a bright guy, but his 'A' grade doesn't seem to include the cancellation of the UltraSPARC V chip, along with recent cancellations such as the "Jupiter" co-processor meant for Rock boxes. In addition, Yen's team took a long time getting the UltraSPARC T1 out the door. Leading Sun's struggling storage group will be a huge challenge for the exec.

Similarly, Fowler will have to face a new set of tough decisions. His previous roles have been all about pushing into new areas and driving growth. With UltraSPARC, Fowler will need to find the right balance between R&D investment, partnership and competition with his own, rival x86 line.

We'd still love to see Sun hire a true outsider to come in for the now vacant COO post. The company could use some fresh blood and a real operations hard ass. Neither Schwartz nor McNealy are fond of that suggestion, but there it is. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.