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Oracle: Storage trouble in store

Sun's 7000 top of the class - who's getting expelled?

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6000 line looking a bit peaky

The latter, the 6000 line, looks underwhelming as it faces intense competition from every other storage vendor and his brother. The gist of Sun's system storage development has been to closely integrate storage with servers and software, the 7000s and the 4000 storage servers for example. That leaves externally-attached dumb arrays like the 6000 out in the cold.

It is hard not to conclude that, until Oracle/Sun says convincingly otherwise, the 6000 line is treading water, and it's the same with the workgroup 2000 line. These two lines face intense competition from Dell, EMC, HDS, HP and NetApp, not to mention Compellent and Pillar and 3PAR's F Series for the 6000.

The Sun pair don't have any stand-out features and, with Dell and HP surging ahead with iSCSI array sales and HP having an EVA refresh coming, it's easy to see a cold-eyed Oracle exec staffer saying we're not in the volume x86 server business, so why should we be in the volume mid-range and low-end storage array business, especially when we don't have the volume?

What about the storage servers, the 4000 products like Thumper? Will Sun want to sell such products to companies wanting to run apps on them that compete with Oracle ones, particularly if they have no place in Oracle's own integrated IT flatpack? The Oracle line here might well be shape up and ship profitably without damaging Oracle's own sales - or die.

We might also say that Sun's preferred storage software is already in the 7000 software set, so everything else in the storage software line is not. Chances are that all these non-focussed products are going to get less investment, will fall further behind the competition and then wither. Oracle backs winners - it's not a support agency for products that aren't match fit. ®

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