IBM and Microsoft Want Your E-mail

IBM and Microsoft don’t typically come to mind when you think of companies that work together on storage products.

Dell and EMC? Sure. But IBM and Microsoft? High-tech is full of surprises.

IBM and Microsoft announced that they will sell their customers IBM’s System Storage DS4200 Express pre-loaded with IBM’s System Storage Archive Manager software and Windows Server software as a fully functional e-mail archiving system.

The system will allow medium to large-sized businesses to store e-mail for long periods of time, an important function at a time when regulations impose stringent rules on retaining e-mails and other files.

IBM will be able to tap into Microsoft’s partner network to install its storage and e-mail archiving software in Windows customer environments, said Gordon Arnold, a senior technical staff member for IBM storage software.

Reynolds said this is the first of what could be many joint offerings for customers seeking help controlling and housing their data.

“We aren’t ready to talk about it, but there’s a lot more that we’ll be doing with Microsoft,” Arnold said. “What Microsoft and IBM see together is… for a customer that has all Windows [systems], we can do better management integration, security integration and applications integration.”

The DS4200 can be ordered in a 4 terabyte or 8 terabyte option and can be expanded via expansion modules.

The system will be available from IBM and its business partners in the first quarter of 2007, starting at $53,000, with optional IBM e-mail search for an additional $2,000.

Financial terms of the deal were not revealed.

For IBM, it’s business as usual. The company has no problem letting companies who can’t or don’t want to build their own products resell theirs.

Though it competes with Microsoft on many fronts, IBM recognizes the wide-ranging opportunities to sell into Microsoft shops.

The latest move also reflects Microsoft’s desire to move further into the lucrative storage market. There is a lot of money to made selling software that helps companies sock away and manage their corporate data in this age of strict data retention requirements.

IDC said e-mail archiving revenue notched $318 million worldwide in 2005, up 59 percent from the prior year. The research firm believes it will reach $471 million in 2006 and continue to grow to $1 billion in 2010.

Microsoft is engaging other data management specialists as well.

Earlier this month, Microsoft teamed with EMC on new services to make it easier for customers to manage unstructured records, such as e-mails and images and business processes.

Article courtesy of Internet News

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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