There's life in the old blog yet. Just when you were beginning to think Nigel Dessau's blog was end-of-lifing, with nothing written since July 16th, up pops a very interesting posting.

Nigel is Sun's senior VP of storage marketing and business operations and has posted more information about the Sun deal with Diligent over de-dupe software, which has been interpreted as putting the Sun-FalconStor relationship at risk.

Nigel says it does not: "The Diligent relationship does not change Sun's commitment to its relationship with FalconStor or the current Sun StorageTek-branded VTL roadmap. The Sun VTL roadmap integrates FalconStor base software with Sun software and hardware IP into an end-to-end Sun-tested and manufactured solution. The agreement with Diligent also does not change Sun's commitment to integrate FalconStor's de-duplication software (SIR) into the roadmap which we are working on with FalconStor."

The Sun VTL product is a fully-integrated Sun product meaning that Sun supports every aspect of it with no hand-off to third-parties.

How does the Diligent software deal differ from this?

Sun has added the Diligent software to its Professional Services third-party software price list. It is a standard Sun reseller agreement; that's all.

Why was the deal with Diligent signed?

The de-dupe market is growing. Customers may want an in-line de-dupe product (which Diligent supplies) or a post-processing de-dupe (which Sun/FalconStor supplies). By signing the Diligent reseller deal Sun's sales channels can satisfy both markets. Also the FalconStor SIR de-dupe needs more time before it is integrated with Sun's VTL products. To this extent the Diligent software is a stop-gap. Nigel Dessau puts it like this: "The Diligent agreement provides Sun with expanded access to market opportunities for de-dup until we have SIR available on our price list and supporting Sun's VTL solution."

How will the Diligent software supplied through the deal be supported?

If a customer buys Sun hardware and operating software plus the Diligent software and the customer gets problems then, (1) Sun supports its products in the customer system and, (2) Diligent supports its product in the system. There is a lot less integration between Sun and Diligent than between Sun and FalconStor.

It is no big deal.

Nigel states that Sun supplies many different software packages; multiple backup products for example. No-one would expect Sun to supply just one. It doesn't support just one ERP vendor. There is no threat to FalconStor.

It helps build the X4500 ecosystem.

The Diligent deal is part of a bigger picture; Sun's drive to grow the software development world focused on its X4500 product. The more software there is available for it the better. It's choice that counts here.