IN what appears to be a special episode of the Survivor TV show, global storage alliances are being formed in order to vote the strongest player off the island.
IBM and Network Appliance have entered into an OEM agreement and say this will offer a lifeline to clients locked in by EMC.
The deal allows IBM to sell its branded solutions based on Network App NAS and iSCSI/IP SAN technology.
Simon Green, Network Appliance mana-ging director ANZ, says the companies are still in the process of settling the go-to-market plans.
“I don’t have any preconceived ideas about taking out EMC — we’ve done pretty well already,” he says.
According to IDC analysts, the total network storage market is led by EMC with 29% share, followed by HP (23.7%) and IBM (11.2%).
NetApp is the outright leader in the NAS and iSCSI SAN markets with EMC in second position.
With the alliance NetApp will use IBM’s Tivoli software for handling storage management and IBM will be positioned as preferred supplier of tape for NetApp customers.
In a statement, Andy Monshaw, general manager IBM storage systems, says the choice for customers could not be more clear — open solutions from IBM and NetApp that provide systems-level innovations versus proprietary point solutions from EMC.
Monshaw says that EMC is in IBM’s sights. Wall St analysts have predicted the alliance will push Cisco and Dell closer to EMC as competition heats up.
Green says EMC has been the dominant force and it can only expect other companies to aspire to the same level.
“NetApp doesn’t wake up each morning wondering how it can take down EMC. We’re the one creating the threat by gaining market share and EMC is turning hard against us.”
Jordan Reizes, EMC marketing manager Australia New Zealand, says NetApp is performing well in the market.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for IBM to pick up some market share, although it does look as though IBM is saying it isn’t strong in that area and has to align with a company that is,” he says.