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EMC and Microsoft Push Out Virtualization Partnership

EMC and Microsoft formally renewed a partnership on Tuesday, extending their collaborative efforts on virtualization, content management and security solutions for the enterprise market through 2011. The deal was cinched with grips and grins at a CIO Summit in New York City.

The two companies compete based on the virtualization products they offer. However, under the partnership, each leverages the other's technologies to reach various enterprise customers in a so-called cooperative competition (or "cooptition") approach.

Microsoft offers its Hyper-V hypervisor virtualization solution, which is part of Windows Server 2008. For its part, EMC holds a controlling interest in VMware, a pioneer in virtualization technology and solutions.

The partnership combines EMC's storage, content management and security solutions with Microsoft's servers, such as Windows Server 2008, plus Microsoft System Center for management. The two companies have been working to assure interoperability between EMC's Documentum content management system and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Office Outlook.

The collaboration on SharePoint is specifically designed to enable document storage that meets the legal compliance needs of businesses.

Under the partnership, EMC has already designed its RSA DLP Suite 6.5 to work with Microsoft's Active Directory Rights Management Services. The companies plan to incorporate RSA Data Loss Prevention technologies into the Microsoft platform and "future information protection products," according to a jointly issued announcement.

To deliver virtualization solutions to the enterprise, EMC fields a consulting team knowledgeable about Microsoft products, with about 1,000 members.

The two companies might be expected to want to tear each other apart. However, in a long interview with CNet News reporters, Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer described the relationship with EMC as mostly cooperative.

"We're 80 percent to 85 percent cooperation, something like that," Ballmer said.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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