EMC Corp. and Microsoft Corp. announced an expanded partnership Monday, resulting in new low-end storage hardware, a software licensing agreement, and new technical support options, officials of both companies said.
Along with a presentation scheduled later today by EMC CEO and President Joe Tucci and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the news is the first from EMCs Technology Summit, an annual user conference in Las Vegas.
NetWin 200, running the Windows Server Appliance Kit, will use Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMCs Clariion CX 200 as its backend storage hardware. The device will start at $50,000 and will ship in the third quarter, EMC officials said. It can be administered by the users choice of Windows or EMCs ControlCenter software, they said.
NetWin models using the Clariion CX 400 and CX 600 models will come later this year, officials said. EMC partner Dell Computer Corp. will be allowed to sell NetWin, officials said. However, EMC does not plan to compete with Dell by building its own Windows-powered NAS using stand-alone drives, officials said.
ControlCenter will also be integrated with Microsofts storage-related application programming interfaces, officials said. The interfaces apply to snapshot software and multipath input/output, they said.
The software improvements will come in a product called Resource Pack for Windows, a free plug-in to existing EMC software, also in the third quarter, EMC officials said.
Several companies specializing in backup software have already announced similar relationships.
Joint sales, marketing, and technical support plans were also announced today.
The NAS move in particular makes EMC more of a competitor to its sales and manufacturing partner, Dell Computer Corp., of Round Rock, Texas. “Todays announcement underscores the power of the Windows platform and importance of networked storage in meeting business-critical requirements for customers of all sizes, today and in the future,” Dell President and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Rollins said through EMCs statement today.
For EMC, “Some customers Im sure are comfortable with one company as their vendor,” noted Evaluator Group Inc. analyst Dennis Martin, regarding NetWin 200 and future Windows NAS products. But EMC “needs to be and is going to be careful” not to intrude on Dells customers, he said, in Greenwood Village, Colo.
Todays announcements could help make EMC a more attractive acquisition target for Dell, another analyst said, asking not to be named.
Seperately, EMC on Wednesday will announce new software to help customers build and troubleshoot storage networks. The new products include SAN Architect, similar to Computer Associates International Inc.s Netreon tool, and AutoAdvice, a Web-based tool for comparing technical glitches to past issues in a knowledge base, officials said.
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