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Acopia Hitched to HP's Grid

Acopia Networks Inc. has been picked by Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) to add its virtual filing system to HP's StorageWorks Reference Information Storage System (RISS). (See Acopia Works With HP RISS.) The move widens the scope of specialized file systems -- and broadens Acopia's outlook.

At this stage, Acopia is describing the deal as a "technology partnership," and the startup would not be drawn on product roadmap specifics, such as whether the vendors will be reselling or reference selling each other's kit. "We're working with their folks towards an integrated technology solution, and that's all that we can say for now," says Joe Wisniewski, Acopia's product marketing manager.

However, Acopia has confirmed that it will link its Adaptive Resource Switch (ARX), a product that extends a virtual file system across multiple data storage platforms, with HP's RISS, which archives and manages stored data. RISS is based on technology acquired through HP's acquisition of Persist Technologies back in 2003 (see HP Buys Archive Guys). HP's product competes against the Centera content-addressed storage system from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC).

Acopia's switches will provide a global namespace for RISS, allowing users to manage files stored on RISS systems as one big pool. Further, and perhaps more importantly, users will also be able to have a common file system among RISS and standard Unix or Windows file servers and/or network attached storage (NAS) boxes, according to Lowell, Mass.-based Acopia.

The deal represents a move into a new area for Acopia, which up to now has mainly provided virtual file systems for use with NAS. "This is taking us into the data archiving space," says Wisniewski. "It legitimizes what we are doing -- for the last year people have been asking for this capability."

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