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IBM Signs Sneaky DataCore Deal

Plugs hole in virtualization strategy, while struggling to make its internal product work

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) has patched the hole in its virtualization strategy via a reseller agreement for DataCore Software Corp.'s SANsymphony software, while it struggles to come to grips with its internal product, codenamed Storage Tank.”

“Clearly, IBM is struggling to get Storage Tank to work, and it’s using DataCore to plug the hole,” says Harsh Kumar, storage analyst at Morgan Keegan & Company Inc. "The whole strategy smacks of confusion."

DataCore announced the multiyear, worldwide reseller agreement Friday, and says it expects it to contribute “significantly” to its revenues next year (see IBM Resells DataCore). IBM spokespeople insist the announcement has no bearing on its internal virtualization strategy -- which is odd, because SANsymphony is generally considered the market leader in heterogeneous virtualization software.

”This agreement is not part of our virtualization software plan, despite what DataCore might be saying,” says an IBM storage systems spokesperson. “We are using it for disk mirroring."

Analysts say disk mirroring is a component of DataCore’s software but hardly the main reason a business would implement it.

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