IBM, Compaq to Cooperate on Open Storage Networks

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IBM and Compaq Computer Corp. have formed a strategic agreement designed to accelerate customer acceptance of open storage networking solutions, the companies announced yesterday. Both are committed to interoperability of each company's storage hardware and software and plan to sell products from each other's storage portfolios.

During the course of the long-term agreement, the details of which were not completely disclosed, the companies expect to invest $1 billion combined. They plan to work together to ensure that their storage products work seamlessly together.

In addition, the companies said they would share their knowledge with the industry to help create standards for open storage networking solutions such as storage area networks, or SANs, making storage networks more flexible and easier to deploy and manage.

Compaq will augment its portfolio with IBM's Shark Enterprise Storage Servers and select Tivoli systems management software. IBM plans to augment its portfolio with Compaq StorageWorks Modular Array storage systems and software, which will include IBM 10,000 RPM hard disk drives.

Each company will provide equipment, software and staffing to support each other's open storage networking/SAN customer centers. At the centers, customers will be able to see the interoperability of both companies' technologies and products where the real-world testing demonstrates the value of open storage networking solutions.

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