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Distributor Arrow Electronics is building a new business unit around Sun Microsystems’ storage solutions.

This move takes advantage of Sun’s growing storage presence following its acquisition of StorageTek last June, Arrow officials said.

The distributor also announced on Feb. 13 a deal with Sun to move the vendor’s StorageTek line of tape storage solutions through its MOCA unit of Sun resellers.

“The idea is to get a robust infrastructure in place to support the entire Sun line and to get the StorageTek legacy resellers who don’t already have an affiliation with Sun engaged to sell the entire Sun [storage] line,” said Kevin Powell, vice president of Enterprise Software for Arrow’s Enterprise Computing Solutions.

“This is a great opportunity for both groups. StorageTek resellers will add to their product portfolio and Sun can leverage a StorageTek footprint, where there is no Sun footprint,” Powell said.

Arrow, based in Melville, New York, is adding eight new employees, including a field director for Sun storage sales, as well as storage specialists on the engineering and sales side, to “beef up” its current Sun storage resources.

Click here to read about Sun’s “try-and-buy” program for its new Sun Fire T2000 system.

The as yet unnamed unit will be led initially by Bill Page, currently senior vice president of MOCA’s services business and an Arrow veteran.

Arrow’s first task, Powell said, is to convince StorageTek resellers to sign on as Sun resellers. Once on board, StorageTek legacy VARs will receive an orientation and training in the balance of the Sun line, he said.

Sun acquired the tape storage provider in June 2005 for $4.1 billion to fill out its nascent storage practice and round out the portfolio as the Santa Clara, Calif., company prepares to compete with EMC, Hewlett-Packard and IBM for position in the data center market, where bundled servers and storage are the foundation of the grid computing concept.

Sun also announced plans the week of Feb. 6 for an OEM business unit, which officials said it created to take advantage of the continued migration in data centers away from proprietary hardware and software and toward more open- and industry-standard products.