The full extent of the rift between Hewlett-Packard (HP) and its storage partner, EMC emerged on Wednesday as HP announced a new alliance with Hitachi Data Systems.
HP sells EMC Symmetrix technology but at a news conference in New York, Marilyn Edling, general manager of HP's enterprise systems group, described EMC's technology as ageing and proprietary technology. She also confirmed that HP has struck a partnership with Hitachi Data Systems and will begin rolling out products and strategies for "open" storage management in the future.
Edling said: "We believe [EMC's] Symmetrix will be an ageing architecture. We believe HP's new product will do it better and we have real doubts whether Symmetrix can achieve the highest level of reliability."
HP accounted for around $1 billion of EMC's $5 billion turnover in the last financial year. Sources close to HP said that the company had approached EMC to OEM its product but was refused permission.
Now HP will push an open architecture which will include support for multiple operating systems and platforms, said Edling.
Alea Fairchild, managing director of Greiner International, a market research organisation specialising in corporate infrastructure, said: "It's a wise move for HP. Its strength is in systems management. Corporate customers are looking for choices in the storage arena. EMC will have to look at its business model and whether it wants to continue selling direct."
That could mean EMC will now be forced to strike deals which it has never before contemplated.
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