STME signs partnership deal for full Sun solution

STME has signed a partnership with Sun Microsystems that allows the regional storage implementer to offer the vendor’s full solution set to the Middle East market.

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By  Dylan Bowman Published  May 21, 2006

STME has signed a partnership with Sun Microsystems that allows the regional storage implementer to offer the vendor’s full solution set to the Middle East market. The announcement was made at the Storage World conference in Dubai last week and builds on the current partnership STME has with StorageTek, which Sun brought for around US$4 billion in June 2005. STME has also announced a major customer win for its StorageTek product range this month, supplying Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) with StorageTek’s Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) system. The announcement of the new relationship with Sun comes a month after STME split with storage giant EMC due to ‘incompatible’ regional strategies after 16 years of working together (see IT Weekly 29 April – 5 May 2006). Sun storage sales manager Dave Beck said the partnership would allow customers the ‘comfort’ of having an end-to-end solution from a single vendor. “Rather than cherry picking the different products from various vendors, now customers can get an entire Sun solution so the customer has the comfort factor that it is all from one place and STME delivers the whole thing,” Beck told IT Weekly. “Obviously choice is still available, but in this part of the world customers want the single supplier to supply everything,” he claimed. Sun has 250 storage customers in the region across all the main industries such as oil and gas, banking, telecommunications and government. STME deputy CEO Jocelyn Al Adwani said the partnership encompassed Sun’s whole solution set and allowed the integrator to give complete offerings to the customer. “Obviously the partnership with Sun is very important, but we will still be doing integration using our other products because how we operate is based around the customers’ business requirements,” she stressed. STME also said at the conference that it was ramping up its regional strategy with partner Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) to capture enterprise and small- to-medium-sized business (SMB) market share in the region. Al Adwani also said that in a deal worth around US$1million Saudia has replaced its IBM’s 3494 Automated Tape Library system and VTS1 subsystem with StorageTek’s Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) system. StorageTek’s local implementation partner STME announced the deal last month (see IT Weekly April 15 –21 2006) and the firm is currently migrating data over to the new system, which is expected to take around six months. Saudia technical support assistant general manager Nasser Al Bassam said the company decided to revamp its tape storage infrastructure for performance reasons. “We decided to revamp our tape storage infrastructure due to operational and availability reasons, capacity and performance bottlenecks that existed in the old environment, lack of functionality and flexibility options in current IBM VTS1 subsystem,” Al Bassam told IT Weekly. He said the new system would also speed up backing up Saudia’s data and therefore reduce costs. “The cost saving will come in terms of turnaround time for jobs, which will be much reduced. For example backup jobs that usually take seven or eight hours have now been reduced to two or three hours,” Al Bassam went on to say.

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