Looking Back: Top 10 Storage Stories for 2009By Steve Wexler | Print
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
As we wrap up a troubled 2009 and look towards a brighter 2010, a number of storage-related stories stand out as the top news candidates, ranging from increasing demand for capacity coupled with decreasing price tags to the ongoing soap opera that is poor Sun Microsystems. The following are Channel Insider's choices for the top 10 news stories for 2009.
#4 Sun Still Waiting For The Fat Lady To Sing
Unlike Data Domain -- and SPSS -- there was only one company stepping up to buy the innovative but long-suffering Sun Microsystems. However, while Oracle made the interesting announcement in mid-April, we're still waiting for the deal to be approved by EU regulators, which just this week signaled that it was likely to give the thumbs’ up. In the meantime, Sun's storage sales have continued to sag, and competitors like IBM have been picking at the helpless vendor as it waits -- and waits -- for its future to be settled.
There are a number of likely winners and losers in this deal, from employees to shareholders to reseller channel partners. Based on Oracle’s projections of how much more profitable it can make Sun’s operations, analysts are predicting the company will cut between 5,500 and 10,000 jobs. While share prices have fallen from the heady days of the announcement, they're still more than double what they were prior to the news.
The channel appears to be in both camps. Some channel partners say demand has remained steady for the company’s solutions, but the times have not been happy for everyone. And Oracle has never been viewed as the most channel-friendly vendor in North America. Sun partners will likely see their channel program absorbed into Oracle’s. Channel partners that demonstrate loyalty to Oracle’s vision of an end-to-end solution for end customers will likely be rewarded. But keep an eye out for how Oracle, which has a strong direct sales force in North America, handles channel conflict.