Compaq and EMC will cross-license APIs in order to co-develop and deliver storage-management products. Users of one vendor's products will be able to manage the other vendor's storage products from a single console. The two vendors also agreed to support each other's storage systems at a service level.
Compaq says it expects to tightly integrate its own management functionality with EMC's so customers can reach the highest levels of performance and flexibility. EMC considers it a first big step in its WideSky storage-management initiative, which promises to provide customers with open integration between multivendor storage systems. The two vendors plan to offer co-developed products this winter.
Meta Group analyst Rich Evans says the cooperative effort can be traced to the fact that EMC has 40% market share. "EMC is in the driver's seat, and Compaq has no choice but to get on board," says Evans. "Now they both have to add the necessary bells and whistles to stand out and still feel they can both beat up on IBM." Evans doesn't expect any fuss from Hewlett-Packard, which has its own storage-management software and announced a planned acquisition of Compaq in September. "In the long run," he says, "HP will roll along with it whether they like it or not." There has been no comment from HP.