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IBM/NetApp Deal Blossoms

IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) today began shipping products from an OEM deal with Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) and announced that it is sticking with an older OEM partnership with Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT) for now (see IBM Ships NetApp NAS).

IBM will rebrand the NetApp FAS270 system as the IBM TotalStorage N3700 beginning Aug. 26. The system is a NAS filer with iSCSI capability and will be the lowest-end NetApp system that IBM will sell as part of an OEM deal announced in April (see IBM, NetApp Ink OEM Pact). Charlie Andrews, director of IBM TotalStorage, says IBM will add NetApp midrange products in the fourth quarter.

IBM scrapped its own unsuccessful NAS systems in favor of selling NetApp gear, and there is speculation that it will drop the DS300 iSCSI and DS400 Fibre Channel low-end SANs it starting selling through an OEM deal signed with Adaptec last September (see IBM Slips iSCSI Into SAN). Financial analysts point to poor sales of the systems as one of the reasons for Adaptecs lackluster financial results last quarter (see Storage OEMs Set to Shuffle Deck).

Andrews says Big Blue hasn’t soured on Adaptec, and the DS400 is part of a new bundle, along with a 10-port switch that IBM calls a SAN Starter Kit.

“They’re delivering what we need,” Andrews says of the Adaptec systems. “We’re not dissatisfied with their performance. There are a variety of rumors out there, but we don’t have any specific plans of replacing them...

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