Compaq Computer Corp. and IBM have agreed to structure their data storage capabilities to work together, planning to spend as much as $1 billion combined on their storage sectors, according to a press release on Thursday.
In addition to compatibility of each company's storage hardware and software, the companies will also sell products from each other's storage product lines, they said in the joint announcement. Storage refers to facilities that allow major companies to handle massive amounts of data.
Compaq and IBM also pledged to help develop industry wide storage standards to increase ease of use and flexibility. Currently, a storage area network, or SAN, operated by one company isn't necessarily compatible with another's.
Linda Sanford, general manager of IBM's storage subsystems division, said customers will benefit from greater compatibility in storage. She hoped the move will force competitors to fall in line.
"Vendors who continue to promote proprietary systems and standards will find themselves increasingly isolated," Sanford said.
One industry analyst agreed that furthered compatibility is good for everyone involved in the industry.
"The companies recognize that cooperation on open standards and interoperability best serve the interests of both parties as well as the larger networked storage community," said John McArthur, a storage analyst for IDC Consulting -- (Albawaba.com)
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