CBR has printed a somewhat surprising story saying Sun denies persistent and well-founded rumours that storage executive VP David Yen is to leave and become a lecturer at a US university. Yen was appointed VP of Sun's Storage Group when the previous head, Mark Canepa left or was fired by Sun's new CEO, Jonathan Schwartz. Canepa is now CEO of Extreme Networks. They think he did a great job.

Sun has made a relatively minor storage announcement in its latest product quarterly announcement. Device-level encryption will be added to Sun's T10000 mainframe tape drive. Nothing was announced about the well-trailed Honeycomb storage device. Sun has recently announced the transfer of its Puerto Rico-based StorageTek manufacturing to Solectron.

There has been speculation that it's highly intelligent 6920 disk controller may be sold off as it can't be satisfactorily positioned against the OEM'd HDS equivalent. The VSM Open open systems virtual tape project was cancelled and, so far, no replacement product or strategy has been replaced.

It seems that a lot of negative news or non-positive news is coming out of Sun. What seems to be missing is a well-articulated storage vision that embraces both Sun's and StorageTek's strengths and provides an exciting and inspirational roadmap to the future.

The StorageTek product line and name and customer base are being well looked after. But Sun's most exciting storage product is Thumper with its massive capacity and ZFS file system and non-networked storage design. This box seems to have no StorageTek DNA in it. Is there a difference in direction about storage between the Becholstein AMD people in Sun and the StorageTrekkers?

It seems clear that there may be deep and difficult storage product direction and development problems inside Sun's Storage Group. Where are the StorageTrekkers boldly going with Sun's storage Enterprise? Having speculation about the future of the very recently-appointed head of the group adds to a perception of drift and inability to devise a storage strategy in any meaningful detail.