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NetApp, Microsoft Up The Ante

Expanding beyond its well-known storage management skills into a more virtualized mode, NetApp is tightening its relationship with Microsoft under terms of a new strategic alliance that makes the two firms a force to reckon with in key emerging technologies.

Renowned for its Network Attached Storage (NAS) products, among others, NetApp said its new deal with Microsoft deepens product collaboration and technical integration, while extending joint sales and marketing activities to customers worldwide.

Under terms of the new agreement, the two companies will collaborate and deliver multifarious technology solutions that "span virtualization, private cloud computing, and storage data management," enabling customers to increase data center management efficiencies, reduce costs and improve business agility.

There is plenty of fertile ground for the two to till. When it comes to virtualization, while some people may look at current industry revenues and say, "That's a company, not an industry," there is nothing but positive growth on the horizon. For its part, private cloud computing may be the biggest, baddest technology ever to shoot off the charts before anyone knew just exactly what the heck it is. And judging by the number of new products coming out, the data center management movement is more like a freight train than a bandwagon.

As part of the new strategic alliance agreement, NetApp and Microsoft will expand product collaboration and technical integration activities, including the following areas:

  • Virtualized infrastructure solutions based on Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, Microsoft System Center, and NetApp storage systems. According to the companies, these solutions will provide reliable data availability and streamlined data management, and can help maximize server and storage utilization by using 50 percent less storage compared to a baseline of traditional storage.
  • Storage and data management solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, and Microsoft SQL Server that improve communications and collaboration, enable faster, better-informed decision making, and greatly accelerate software development and testing.
  • Efficient and flexible cloud computing and hosted services that provide integrated data protection, always-on data access, and a flexible, cost-effective infrastructure.

In addition, relying on its global presence, Microsoft and NetApp will enable customers to experience firsthand the value of joint solutions at Microsoft Technology Centers around the world, as well as at industry events. The two firms will also reportedly participate in engagements with channel partners and "industry-leading" systems integrators.

What it all comes down to is two companies that are already clicking -- NetApp is the 2009 Microsoft Storage Solutions Partner of the year -- are combining their vast resources and practiced innovation skills to target a ripe marketplace with lucrative potential.

Question: Is virtual storage hot or not?

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 12/08/2009 at 12:48 PM


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