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
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
"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
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