NetApp, Microsoft Team Up on Cloud, Storage


NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) on Tuesday announced a new three-year pact that will improve the technical integration between the two companies' cloud computing, virtualization and data storage and management applications.

NetApp and Microsoft officials said that in addition to the product collaboration efforts, they will also extend their joint sales and marketing programs in support of new and existing software applications.

"The NetApp and Microsoft alliance has helped thousands of enterprise customers around the world do more with less," NetApp CEO Tom Georgens said in a statement. "We are excited about the opportunity we have to build on this success and together help our mutual customers design and implement truly dynamic data centers that can dramatically reduce costs and increase availability, flexibility, and ease of use."

The partnership will include collaboration and integration of all virtualization infrastructure applications running on Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Systems Center and NetApp storage systems.

In addition, the two companies will engineer better technical integration of NetApp storage and data management applications for Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and Microsoft SQL Server in the hopes of accelerating software development and testing.

Company officials said they will also team up to develop efficient and flexible cloud computing and hosted services products that provide integrated data protection, "always on" data access and a flexible, cost-effective infrastructure.

"Through the deeper integration of server, virtualization, management and storage technologies, Microsoft and NetApp customers can expect data center solutions that help them reduce costs, increase performance and reach new levels of efficiency," Bob Kelly, NetApp's vice president of infrastructure server marketing, said in a statement.

Representative from both companies will also appear together at various events with channel partners and systems integrators to promote new software offerings.

NetApp shares have been on a roll in the past few months, mainly because the company has managed to gain share despite an overall decline in the data storage hardware and software market.

The NetApp-Microsoft deal follows a recent partnership announcement between EMC (NYSE: EMC), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and VMware (NYSE: VMW).

Larry Barrett is a senior editor at

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