So, is Sun trying to make good on taking the wrong bet back in 2001? "I don't want to read too much" into Sun rekindling its relationship with EMC, King said. "Sun's alliance with HDS made sense in 2001, and the move with EMC today makes just as much sense."
EMC and Sun said that they are also beginning to talk about further collaboration in other areas, notably in relation to Sun's Sun Cluster software. Sun's Saliba explained that the companies already have an engineering relationship centered around Sun Cluster and EMC's PowerPath, but that they hope to get even closer cooperation in the future.
The pair are also offering customers a one-call support system so that EMC/Sun customers experiencing problems will only need to put in a single call to one of the companies, not calls to both. Neither company thinks it will have to increase staff to support the system, but they will need to do more cross training of their respective support staff on each other's products, according to the executives.
Despite all of the friendly behavior, EMC and Sun pointed out that they remain fierce rivals in the storage hardware business. "There's no change in our or EMC's posture," Saliba said. "We continue to compete on storage systems," keeping what may be termed a "firewall" between their storage hardware efforts and their partnership work, he added.