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Data-storage rivals form pact

Six major data-storage players announce an unusual deal to work together to help overcome conflicting storage standards.

Six major competing data-storage companies on Monday announced an unusual pact to work together to help overcome conflicting storage standards.

EMC is teaming up IBM, Compaq Computer, Hitachi Data Systems, Brocade Communications Systems and McData in the hopes of overcoming the obstacles that have hampered a faster adoption of storage devices.

The companies said they intended to provide customers with storage products that work across different networks and with one another's competing devices.

The impact of the alliance is likely to be marred, since several major storage companies, such as Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard, have not joined the initiative.

The pact was announced by the Storage Networking Industry Association, which is pushing to bring greater flexibility to corporate customers who may want to create storage networks built with devices from competing companies.

"The fact that competing storage vendors have been able to agree on configurations and software levels to jointly qualify, and have entered into cooperative support agreements is remarkable," said Sean Derrington, senior program director at the META Group. "The storage market is entering an exciting new world of multivendor cooperation."