Hitachi, NetApp in storage agreement

Under an agreement signed last month, storage solution providers Hitachi Data Systems Corp. (HDS) and Network Appliance Inc. (NetApp) will jointly market and sell network attached storage (NAS) solutions.

HDS will offer NetApp enterprise NAS gateway solutions for Hitachi Freedom StorageT environments managed by HDS’s HiCommandT Management Framework tools.

The NAS gateway will be available for Hitachi Freedom Storage high-end and modular products starting early this year.

The partnership will make it easier for customers to deploy a storage pool that can be shared across both storage attached network (SAN) and NAS applications, said Jeff Goldstein, general manager of Mississauga, Ont.-based Network Appliance Canada Ltd.

“Most customers are concerned with doing more with less,” Goldstein said, adding that both companies are committed to an “open and collaborative business model.

Working with HDS to deliver an open-standards-based enterprise NAS gateway solution allows NetApp to offer a more robust array of full-line storage solutions for all types of business, Goldstein said.

The deal plays on the respective strengths of both companies. HDS has been fervently developing its storage solution strategy and market share within the SAN market, while NetApp has been a mainstay within the best-of-breed enterprise NAS solution space.

According to IDC Canada Ltd., the storage market is hot – the Toronto-based research firm has the growing Canadian storage market pegged at about $4.3 billion by 2003, of which about $1.5 billion is external storage.

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