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View from the Hill - #11

Things to do during an eclipse of the Sun.

During most of recorded history, astronomers believed that the Sun rotated around the Earth. The mathematician Copernicus (1473-1543) operating a hundred years before the invention of the telescope thought a better explanation was that the Earth actually revolved around the Sun. Teaching this theory got Galileo into a lot of trouble, in the early 17th century. This and other new ideas were part of the intellectual development we now call the Renaissance, in which great sceientists abandoned the received doctrines from classical antiquity, in those cases where their own experience and measurement suggested better theories.

Zsolt Kerekes - Publisher
Zsolt Kerekes has been editor and publisher of the SPARC Product Directory since 1992. Before that, he managed a number of Sun reseller and oem organizations, and before Sun was born, in the early 1980's he founded a venture capital backed startup in the factory automation market. Zsolt is also editor of STORAGEsearch.
Megabyte saw great potential for speeding up his quest using infinitely strong rubber band technology.
Articles on STORAGEsearch

Squeak! - The 10 biggest storage companies in 2003...

Developing a Disaster Recovery Procedure - by BakBone Software

A Storage Architecture Guide - white paper by Auspex Systems

LVD, SE, HVD, SCSI compatibility - or lack of it - by Paralan

The Cost of Owning and Storing Data - by Overland Data

SAN Applications - by Peripheral Concepts

The Return of Removable Hard Disk Drive Architecture - white paper by DataZone

Squeak! - Breaking the SAN Babble

May 22, 2001:- This is an occasional column by Zsolt Kerekes publisher of the SPARC Product Directory.
See also:- Articles about SPARC, SPARC News, STORAGE News, Articles about STORAGE

In the SPARC systems market you could say we're in the Renaissance, where most people are quite comfortable with the idea that everything revolves around Sun Microsystems. So Sun's planned shut-down of operations during the first week in July, as a cost cutting measure designed to save jobs, could be the first time that people in this market get a chance to see other companies which are usually outshone by the strength of Sun's powerful marketing machine.

Just as the solar system would be a pretty dull place if you took away the planets, comets, and other stuff swirling around the center or the photons and other particles which are passing through, the same can be said of the markets for compatible products which revolve around Sun Microsystems.

If you were to take away the software which has been developed by thousands of independent software vendors which solve useful problems, or the specialised hardware developed by hundreds of independent manufacturers which let you use the operating system in more diverse physical situations, or connect to a wider range of external systems, the result would be a computer system which, while elegant, had little practical value except to computer scientists.

Sun has always known this, which is why it has invested in partnership programs, starting with the Catalyst in the 1980's, licensing the SPARC architecture via SPARC International in 1989, and more recently the Solaris Ready marketing programs. And let's not forget the resellers who historically have actually sold SPARC systems to more customers than Sun Microsystems. These thousands of partnerships have made the SPARC platform the powerful data factory it is today.

So, is the SPARC market going to screech to a grinding halt, while the people at Sun take an enforced sabbatical in July?

Are new Solaris product introductions going to wait in limbo for a week because they couldn't get the signoff from a marketing angel in Sun?

In the modern era of astronomy, we realise that the Sun is just one star in this galaxy. It's significant to us, beacuse we're close to it, but actually it's part of a much bigger system, we call the universe, which is drifting and may (or may not) be expanding. If you look at projections for the size of the computer market in as little as 3 years time, the segment which we currently call "storage" will be worth more than 10 times as much in annual revenue as Sun's entire revenue today...

Although people will still need servers and PC's they'll spend more on storage systems and a whole bunch of storage related networks and services which are still emerging from new companies. A recent press release from EMC, quoted research company Meta Group's estimate that storage-related costs will constitute up to 80 percent of server purchases through 2004 The gravitational effect from that all dark matter will change all parts of the computer market more strongly than any one company... even if that company is Sun, Intel or Microsoft.

Companies which still want to launch new products for the Sun compatible market in the first week in July should remember that during an eclipse, you can see halo effects clearer than at other times. Send your press releases here and you may find you can loosen that marketing umbilical cord more easily than you thought.

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