Sun has agreed to acquire tape storage vendor StorageTek for $4.1bn in a move which would create a storage giant to rival IBM and EMC.
The deal is expected to be completed within the next few months and will see StorageTek's assets acquired by Sun.
However, in an internal document leaked to CRN, Pat Martin, chief executive of StorageTek, warned his employees that "some positions will be consolidated".
James Whitemore, vice-president of marketing for network storage at Sun, said that the acquisition would open new windows for partners of both vendors. "With this acquisition we've created a unique company with great differentiation in products for partners. There will be no changes to channel relationships and the combination is a win-win situation," he said.
Until now Sun's most recent acquisition was of Tarentella for $25m, but this latest acquisition helps to add weight to the argument that storage tape technology is still important.
"Seventeen years ago people said tape was dead, it isn't, it will always be part of users' archive infrastructure," added Whitemore.
Paul Talbut, European chairman of the Storage Networking Industry Association, said: "This is a sign of continuing consolidation in the market. It is a natural move and proves that tape is still a strategic part of many users' infrastructures."
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