It looks like Sun moved quickly and has finally added their new Open Storage line to the Canadian Try & Buy program. Even better, it looks like our local VAR (value added reseller for those of you unfamiliar with Sun's sales processes) was actually involved with the development and pre-release testing of the arrays. Brand new products and we've already got a relationship with the experts. I've read a lot of grief online about it being too difficult for small companies to buy from Sun. Maybe a good VAR really is a rare treat, but in our case they've been an absolute pleasure to do business with.
I still remember exactly how my first sales contact with Sun went. It was immediately after they announced their x86 product line, and we were interested in checking them out. Being used to Dell's sales process, I hit their website only to find a "quote cart" (despite the fact that the prices were all published on the site). So I configured a bare bones SunFire x2100 and submitted the cart.
The next day I got a call from a company I'd never heard of. They told me they'd received my quote request, told me that they'd send over the quote shortly and just wanted to call to introduce themselves. They then asked if they could come by our office and have a bit of my time to find out more about our company and see if there were other areas they could help us.
Office? What office? At the time we were a two employee company, working entirely out of home, and only buying a single $1000 server. After stating as much I was told it didn't matter, and he'd like to meet with us anyway. Coffee down the street from my condo it was.
A couple days later we met, only it wasn't just the VAR rep who showed up. Knowing the business we were he, he brought along a Partner Development Manager from Sun. We chatted, and eventually ended up joining Sun's Developer Partner Program as a result.
And that's why I don't get these complaints about Sun not caring about the little guys. All that effort over a low margin $1000 purchase, and not just from the VAR but from a Sun employee as well.