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
and hosted services products that provide integrated data
protection, “always on” data access and a flexible, cost-effective

“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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