StorageTek used to have an excellence centre at Toulouse. Sun closed it down. Sun partner FalconStor has opened it up again, and Sun may be sued for a financial penalty by Toulouse.

FalconStor is now using part of the old StorageTek facility as its new Virtual Tape Library Competence Centre.

It has equipped the centre with all the hardware and accessories needed to replicate typical and atypical VTL configurations. The centre will provide a lab environment for building enterprise-class virtual tape library (VTL) and Single Instance Repository (SIR) de-duplication products, as well as proof of concept (POC) configurations to customer specifications. It will also be used to write specifications for new VTL features, for testing and stressing those features, and will also develop best operating practices and white papers.

But Sun may not be completely separated from this facility yet and its Toulouse experience may be costlier than anticipated. When StorageTek started up its Toulouse operation it received 7.31 million euros of state aid in return for creating 470 jobs along with some other conditions. The Toulouse mayor, Jean Luc Moudenc, has claimed that these conditions haven't been met, there never having been more than 230 employees, and wants 3.8 million euros back as a penalty - from Sun. The issue may come to court.