This week, NetApp and Microsoft announced a new agreement that increases the collaboration and integration for both their product technology and sales&marketing activities. Specifically, the new agreement covers better integration of
- Microsoft’s virtualized infrastructure interaction with NetApp storage. This currently consists of new PRO Packs for System Center to support NetApp storage and Snap Manager for Hyper-V. Better integration such as these between these Microsoft virtualization and NetApp storage should help ease administration and maximize utilization of customer storage for Hyper-V environments.
- Microsoft Exchange, SQL and Office SharePoint servers with NetApp Storage. This includes new support for Exchange 2010 in NetApp Snap Manager that fully provides deduplication and replication of Exchange data. Further integration along these lines should lead to even better customer utilization of storage in these environments in the near future.
- Microsoft dynamic data center initiative and NetApp storage. This includes better testing and compatibility for using NetApp storage under Microsoft’s Dynamic Data Center Toolkit for enterprise private clouds (DDTK-E). Better integration and support for Microsoft’s Dynamic Data Center by NetApp storage and vice versa should help customers build more storage efficient cloud infrastructure.
- Microsoft and NetApp joint go to market activities. This will result in Microsoft and NetApp joint channel partners being better able to offer joint solutions to their customers and also, customers should see better collaboration and partnership between NetApp and Microsoft sales and support.
This agreement should be considered a deepening of NetApp and Microsoft’s ongoing alliance. How this will actually change either company’s product functionality in the future was left unsaid but one should see more of NetApp’s advanced storage features show up as being available directly from Microsoft systems and NetApp storage services tighter integration with Microsoft systems should make it easier for customers to use storage more efficiently. Exactly when these activities result in enhanced NetApp or Microsoft functionality was not stated and is no doubt subject of ongoing discussions between the two teams. Nonetheless, this agreement seems to say that NetApp and Microsoft are taking their alliance to the next level.
Full disclosure: I am currently working on a contract with NetApp on another aspect of their storage but am doing no work with Microsoft.