IBM is to supply disk storage systems to potential OEMs and hardware competitors for the first time.
Big Blue will offer to the channel its range of Microsoft Windows NT and Unix-based range of storage systems, including storage servers and network attached storage (NAS) appliances.
IBM Profibre Storage Array, a storage system that attaches to an NT or Unix server, will be the first product available as part of the OEM initiative, the company said.
"This is the first time that IBM has sold complete disk storage systems, not just components, through the OEM channel in a significant way," said Greg Enriquez, vice president of IBM OEM Storage Systems.
"Providing IBM-produced technology to other IT sellers, in many cases its own competitors, is one of IBM's three primary growth strategies, along with services and software," he continued.
The Profibre Storage Array is aimed at handling applications that require large amounts of storage, such as ecommerce, video editing and data warehousing.
About the size of a briefcase, the storage array is made up of IBM hard disk drives, Mylex Raid controllers and an IBM enclosure that can scale from 9Gb to 2.8Tb.
The product is shipping in limited quantities to OEMs and distributors now.
IBM plans to offer NAS products in the first half of the year. NAS devices are self-contained desk-side or rack-mounted appliances that connect to a network. The products are the first to use technology from data storage technology developer Mylex, which IBM acquired in September.
According to IDC the disk storage systems market for Windows NT and Unix is valued at $1.2 billion. The total storage market for all operating systems is expected to grow to $47 billion by 2003.
Other vendors providing disk data storage systems to OEMs include EMC's Data General/Clarion division, Storage Technology and LSI Logic.
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