Sun has extended its global enterprise storage distribution deal with Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) for another two years.
The move comes 12 months before the existing agreement was due to expire, and will give Sun access to HDS's enterprise data centre storage technology until 2006.
Sun has claimed that, since the original distribution deal was signed, it has supplied more than 5 petabytes and 90,000 drives of Sun StorEdge 9900 series systems, which are based on the Hitachi Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 V Series platform.
Simon Welch, group marketing manager at Clarity Distribution, said the deal was fantastic news for the channel.
"The original agreement gave us access to markets and companies which we couldn't get to before. But this is only the start, and it gives us sustainable return on the products," he said.
He added that it took time for the channel to learn how the products fitted together, and there were service revenues to be made from specifying, supplying and installing the systems.
Mark Chippendale, Sun business unit director at InTechnology, said he welcomed the extension, but would prefer an OEM deal that gave resellers more scope for margin.
"Sun needs a high-end solution and does not have its own. The benefit is not necessarily revenue; it's more Sun keeping control of its major accounts. I'd like to see the channel participating more," Chippendale said.
Under the new deal, the firms will extend their collaboration for hardware, software and services to provide improved integration and ease of management in data centre environments.
Collaboration between the companies consists of marketing, sales support, services and joint customer support centres.
Dave Robertson, president of HDS, said the deal would allow his company to expand its customer base through Sun accounts.
"This agreement provides proof that both of our firms are committed to driving forward the concept that collaboration is vital in an industry where customers require open, interoperable, storage solutions," he said in a statement.
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