Hitachi, DataCore Sign Licensing Pact

Deal with storage virtualization vendor lets Hitachi customize SANsymphony 5.0 code.

Storage virtualization isnt dead yet.

DataCore Software Corp., one of the few independent leaders of the enigmatic niche, announced this week that Hitachi Ltd. has become its newest OEM partner, adding to a list that already included IBM and Fujitsu Ltd.

The deal involves licensing, which means Hitachi can customize the SANsymphony 5.0 code, instead of just reselling it, said George Teixeira, co-founder, president and CEO of DataCore, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Hitachi officials were unavailable for comment. Its not known whether the company will integrate SANsymphony into the HiCommand storage management suite, include it with its hardware or sell it as a stand-alone product. Hitachi is also a DataCore investor, having led a $37 million round of financing last year.

The deal is good news for users. Because Hitachi is also the high-end storage supplier to Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc., DataCore now covers all the main players, except for Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC Corp., which is reportedly working on its own product.

"We have sold in some [EMC] accounts, but thats because the customer has requested it," Teixeira said.

The deal also helps users indirectly, by getting DataCore closer to its goal of having 50 percent of revenue coming from partners, rather than direct and channel sales.

"We have been increasing revenues 20 to 25 percent per quarter," Teixeira said.

The future of SANsymphony includes more options for rules-based configuration, and partners like Hitachi will have access to new features shortly after theyre launched to DataCores hundreds of direct customers, he said.