Sun beefs up services and support

By Kevin Komiega

—In an effort to keep customer confusion and concern to a minimum, Sun Microsystems has been slow and deliberate on its path toward integrating the technology, personnel, and services gained from its acquisition of Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek). Now, one year after buying StorageTek and following the launch of several new software and hardware products [see "Sun ships midrange arrays"], Sun is turning its attention to support and services.

The company announced this week that it has integrated StorageTek's TekCare service plans into its own SunSpectrum Service Plans and that it has launched a pair of data migration services with better support for mainframe and open systems environments.

Sun has integrated the StorageTek support program into the SunSpectrum support portfolio, resulting in the Sun StorageTek Service Plans. The new plans include service options for Sun systems and software, including the Solaris operating system.

The Sun StorageTek Service Plans combine different aspects of both the TekCare and SunSpectrum programs, including integrated hardware and firmware telephone support and hardware on-site maintenance service, as well as providing interoperability support for multi-vendor environments, remote diagnostic and resolution services, firmware updates, and around-the-clock access to Sun's eLearning Library and customer resource centers.

Sun's vice president of storage marketing and business operations, Nigel Dessau, says customers expressed concern over potential post-acquisition changes to their services and support after the deal was made public. Dessau says that is why Sun took extra precautions to make sure the integration of Sun and StorageTek's services and support organization was easy on the end users.

"Customers were concerned about what was going to happen with our services and support. That's why we tried hard to preserve and maintain our service capabilities," says Dessau. To that end, Sun made the decision to maintain the processes and support contacts that customers were used to by keeping the companies' respective support groups separate. Now the company is entering the next phase of its plan.

"With this announcement we're taking the next step in our integration by combining StorageTek's services with Sun's services under one brand to provide more depth of support," says Dessau.

In conjunction with the revamped support plans is Sun's launch of two additions to its Data Migration Services suite—the ESCON to FICON Migration Service and the Host-Based Data Migration Service (which is based on Softek's Transparent Data migration Facility, or TDMF, software). Both services are designed to migrate data from one location to another.

The ESCON to FICON Migration Service provides a three-step process from a migration workshop to an architectural assessment through to implementation.

The Host-Based Data Migration Service facilitates data migrations in both mainframe and open systems environments and supports multiple platforms and vendors, with the ability to migrate locally within the data center or to distant locations.

This article was originally published on September 01, 2006