Sun fires third legal cannon at NetApp

Brings Onaro acquisition into play

Sun has filed a third patent infringement case against NetApp, claiming that its Onaro-sourced SANscreen and NAS Insight products use IP owned by Sun.

NetApp bought Onaro and its SAN management software in January. That software has now been rolled into the scope of Sun’s IP claims against NetApp. This third suit was filed on Wednesday, 26th March, at the north California district of the US Federal Court in San Francisco.

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Blu-ray to be eclipsed by flash

Memory drives, not optical disks, for movies

The chief scientist of LucasFilms THX unit thinks it’s too late for Blu-ray to become the default storage media for movies.

The THX chief scientist, Laurie Fincham, reckons that DVDs are good enough for now and higher capacity thumb drives or memory cards are coming. By the time Blu-ray drives become affordable by the mass market, larger capacities will be available in flash and customers could walk out of film shops with movies in their pockets rather than a bag full of Blu-ray disks.
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Hitachi reducing DRAM exposure

Thanks for the memory

Tech-on reports that Hitachi is selling some its shares in DRAM-maker Elpida. A Japanese media outlet says Hitachi wants to exit the DRAM business altogether.

Hitachi and NEC jointly formed Elpida in September, 2005, from their own DRAM operations. Mitsubishi placed its DRAM operation into Elpida subsequently. NEC sold some shares in September last year, leaving it with about 6 percent of the concern. Hitachi has just lowered its holding from around 11 percent to 10 percent, with a spokesperson saying: “It’s time to recover our investment.” It is still Elpida’s largest shareholder.

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Xyratex and solid state disks

In active development with customers

Disk drive array manufacturer Xyratex is already actively engaged with OEM customers in developing solid state drive (SSD) arrays with a Solar brand name likely to be involved.

In the earnings call transcript Paul Mansky of Citigroup asked: “… can you talk a little about your plans relative to support for solid state store technologies. Are you looking at it? Are you already in development or are you going to pass at this point?”

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De-dupe is his Data Domain

EMC and NetApp running scared

Frank Slootman is Data Domain’s fast-moving and fast-talking CEO. We had a chance to talk with him about whether de-duplication is a feature or a technology worthy enough to stand on its own, plus a couple of other topics.

The background to this is that suppliers such as EMC and others have indicated that data de-duplication is not a technology strong enough to justify storage products on its own. Instead it is a feature or attribute of particular types of storage such as disk-to-disk backup targets (D2D), virtual tape libraries (VTL) and disk-based archives.

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Atrato V1000 – first picture

Drive and some I/O details added

Atrato’s revolutionary Velocity1000 array does not use 1.8-inch drives and nor does it use InfiniBand.

On announcement day yesterday physical format disk drive information wasn’t available and nor was information about the I/O channels.

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Hitachi to go it alone in hard drives

Having posted its first quarterly profit in hard drives after seven consecutive quarters of losses, Hitachi has ended talks with private equity company Silver Lake about it taking a stake in the Hitachi HDD unit, according to Reuters.

The ending of the talks has exposed a faultline at the top of Hitachi. The hard disk drive (HDD) unit was bought from IBM in 2002 for $2 billion and has not made an annual profit since then. Hitachi Chairman Etsuhiko Shoyama (pictured) presided over the acquisition. It made Hitachi the number three HDD manufacturer globally.

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It ain’t over till the fat lady sings

But who is the fat lady; Rambus or Micron?

What is a reasonable person to think? Rambus implies that DRAM manufacturers are ripping off its intellectual property (IP) and should be paying it license fees. Hynix, Micron and other manufacturers say that Rambus is unfairly demanding license fees after indulging in anti-trust practices. Micron also asserts than the Rambus patents are invalid.

That’s a stretch. You don’t own the patents in the first place and you shouldn’t be able to enforce them if you do. How on earth did it come to this bitter pass?

Once upon a time, in the 1990s and in a land called JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) interested parties sat down and hammered out various standards pertaining to DRAM manufacture. Hynix, Micron and Nanya were there because they manufactured DRAM using IP. Rambus was there because it invented IP to be licensed for said manufacturing.

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Application-aware storage selling

One storage size does not fit all applications

Having storage attuned to an application so that it both delivers crisp application storage response and high utilisation, meaning less money spent spinning empty space, sounds like a very good idea.

Pillar, funded by Oracle boss Larry Ellison’s Tako Ventures, has just announced a sales with with ScanSafe, a web services company using an Oracle 10g database. The appeal of Pillar, or one aspect of its appeal, was that Pillar’s Axiom storage is better attuned to Oracle than any other storage product.

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Juniper Networks Names David W. Yen, Ph.D. Executive Vice President, Emerging Technologies

Most distinguished technology luminary

David Yen, he who fled from Sun, has been taken on by Juniper as its EVP for emerging technologies. Both Juniper and Yen talk of a ’paradigm shift in the global information infrastructure’ at the intersection of high-performance computing and networking.

Here is the Juniper statement:

SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 26, 2008 — Juniper Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: JNPR), the leader in high-performance networking, today announced the appointment of David Yen, Ph.D. to the position of executive vice president, emerging technologies.

Dr. Yen joins Juniper Networks from Sun Microsystems, Inc., where he served in a number of executive assignments over the course of his nearly 20 year tenure. Most recently, Dr. Yen served as executive vice president of the Microelectronics group at Sun overseeing the company’s developments in network, cryptography and high-performance computing.

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