The companies indicated that their customers pushed them to cooperate more closely because many of them have storage products from both EMC and IBM. Said Dave Donatelli, EMC's executive VP of storage platforms and operations, "We have a lot of mutual customers who made it very clear that this was the direction they wanted both of us to go in."
This development comes on the heels of IBM's decision several months ago to gradually turn over its unprofitable HDD hardware business to Hitachi and concentrate on its growing line of Shark storage servers and FAStT servers. "We're competitors," said Donatelli, "and we're going to continue to compete, but we're going to make it easier for our customers."
The agreement calls for EMC to pay a licensing fee to IBM for use of its patented technology in the area; eventually, the companies are expected to roll our products based on the agreement announced Monday.
More specifically, IBM licensed its TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Services interfaces to EMC. Also included in the accord are functionality from IBM's FlashCopy, Multiple Allegiance and Parallel Access Volumes. EMC will support the IBM offerings on its Symmetrix DMX storage systems. The functionality is aimed at conforming with the Storage Management Initiative Specification.
In addition, the companies said they're expanding an existing agreement to cover a wider range of servers, storage, and software products that they have been cooperating on previously.