Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IBM, NetApp Ink OEM Pact

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) will OEM products from Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) in a move aimed at battling the influence of EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) in the storage market.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is not exclusive to either party. In a joint conference call with reporters this morning, Andy Monshaw, general manager of IBM Storage Systems, and Dan Warmenhoven, CEO of NetApp, described the arrangement as a "standard OEM relationship" in which the following items will unfold:

  • IBM will rebrand solutions based on NetApp's iSCSI SAN and NAS products, including NearStore, V-Series, and associated software, through its channels worldwide.
  • IBM will soon withdraw its 500G NAS product from the market. That product was first announced last August (see IBM Turns a New NAS Leaf Again).
  • IBM will more closely integrate NetApp software into Tivoli Storage Manager.
  • NetApp will get a wider channel network via IBM than it has with any other OEM.
  • NetApp will make IBM its "preferred supplier of tape systems" to business customers.
  • IBM and NetApp will look into "additional strategic opportunities."

The news is the latest volley in IBM's obsessive fight against EMC. It was characterized by both IBM and NetApp today as a move to match EMC's broad-based approach to enterprise storage market (see Tucci Touts ILM). "Customers want end-to-end solutions," says Monshaw. "We have not really had a full set of NAS offerings."

The alliance is also designed to rival the NAS deal EMC has with Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), as well as an earlier NAS alliance between EMC and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). (See Dell & EMC May Do NAS and Cisco & EMC Close NAS Deal.) It follows a slew of other announcements about NAS strategies from big SAN vendors (see Sun Delivers on NAS Strategy and NAS Up Next for Hitachi).

The news raises a lot of questions, many related to how the two companies will deal with potential competitive confusion from their new arrangement. IBM and NetApp have answered some of them open-endedly. Here is a sampling:

  • Q: Is this really the first OEM deal IBM and NetApp have had?
  • 1