EMC, Microsoft Renew Data Storage Development Alliance

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-02-04 Print this article Print

Microsoft and data storage giant EMC are renewing their product partnership. Fundamentally, EMC provides the storage and data protection elements of the joint products, while Microsoft supplies the virtualization and data management software. Although EMC and Microsoft have been partners in producing individual products since the late 1990s, the companies' previous three-year development, sales and marketing agreement expired Dec. 31, 2008.

Two of the biggest names in IT, storage infrastructure giant EMC and software giant Microsoft, renewed their profitable partnership Feb. 3, announcing an extension of their alliance through 2011.

Although the two companies have been partners in producing individual products since the late 1990s, the previous three-year corporate development, sales and marketing agreement between the two companies expired Dec. 31, 2008. There was never an issue about the two coming back to the table for a second partnership contract.

EMC President, CEO and Chairman Joe Tucci and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made the announcement at an invitation-only event for CIOs and other IT executives at the Plaza Hotel in New York.

Fundamentally, EMC provides the storage and data protection elements of the joint products, while Microsoft supplies the virtualization and data management software.

EMC's VMware division, the world market leader in virtualization software for the enterprise, is not involved in the agreement, because Microsoft-with its Hyper-V hypervisor-is its biggest competitor.

Click here to read about EMC's surprising fourth-quarter revenue results. 

Nonetheless, the extended agreement, while doing an end run around VMware, will entail an increase in product codevelopment involving virtualization, EMC Vice President of Strategic Alliances Mike O'Neill told eWEEK.

"Most recently we announced plans involving integration of data-loss protection capabilities into Microsoft applications," O'Neill said. "The first example, in [the fourth quarter], was a rollout of our most recent DLP offering on top of Microsoft rights-management services.

"So that's the first focus: a security-integrated offering. We're also doing some work in network services management, using a similar approach. We both saw that the opportunity to produce a jointly crafted offering for the market would be beneficial."

For the network services management project, EMC will be using resources from its Smarts division to work with Microsoft's network resources division, specifically for the System Center Operations Manager product.

A previous codevelopment project resulted in linking EMC's Documentum content management platform with Microsoft's SharePoint Server, Outlook and SQL Server to improve efficiency, EMC said in a statement.

Future joint projects will involve EMC's storage (Symmetrix, Clariion arrays), data protection (RSA-branded security) and management of information product lines with virtualized Microsoft stacks that use Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V, System Center and jointly supported mission-critical workload software such as Exchange, SQL Server and SharePoint Server.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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