Contrary to Sun UK representative's information Sun has cancelled VSM Open, its open systems virtual tape project. Techworld thought this might happen a few days ago. According to a US Byte & Switch report, Michelle Parkinson, a Sun US representative, said: "With regard to VSM Open, it has not been cancelled. However, Sun has decided not to release the product in its current form."

So two years of StorageTek work and months of Sun work, including a recent enlargement of project team numbers, goes down the drain.

Sun, as expected, is not walking away from the open systems, meaning Windows and Unix, virtual tape market and is "currently evaluating other design and development options."

In other words it's going to resell or OEM an existing supplier's product and may well call it VSM Open.

Sun's marketing and PR on this project is heading into the 'poor' category. Here is an extract from its web site today (13th July):

"Sun will extend its market leading MVS product suite, Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) system, to the open systems environment with its VSM Open solution. VSM Open will help you back up and restore your business data more efficiently and effectively. Your restore performance should be improved since critical and/or current information will be available from the disk buffer. ... VSM Open from Sun is scheduled to be available later this year."

Someone is not running a tight ship here.

Sun's VTL appliance uses Falconstor software so it could base a new VSM Open product on that although an obvious question is why hasn't it done this already? We speculated that Sun might OEM the HDS/Diligent product with its claimed 25:1 compression ratio. FalconStor also has de-duping or compression technology called a Single Instance Repository (SIR). This appears to have a 12:1 compression ratio and not be as fast at its scanning as the Diligent product.

There is a suggestion that Sun considered trying to buy Diligent.

It is a pity that Sun chose not to mention the change in status of its VSM Open product at its quarterly news announcement on the 11th July, the day after a representative was telling US press outlets that the product was not being released in its current form. Such lack of openness is worrying as it contradicts the impression given by Jonathan Schwartz's weblog.