EMC woos third-party vendors

In a push to extend the list of software that's compatible with its enterprise storage systems, EMC is providing access to more of its application programming interfaces (API) -- for a price.

Until now, the storage system developer has handpicked its development partners and limited the APIs available. The new E-Infostructure Developers Program offers access to new APIs for management, control and socket functions. The program includes technical training, API software development kits and access to EMC's engineering facilities.

Any licensed software vendor can join the program for a $us35,000 annual fee. "We want people on board who are going to make real customer products," said Colin Bailey, an EMC marketing manager. Detailed code descriptions of the APIs are available for free at EMC's Web site, www.emc.com.

Some observers said EMC's announcement is a pre-emptive strike against IBM, the first storage system developer to announce a standard Unix-based controller, which makes it easier for vendors to write compatible software code. "IBM has made it very clear that they intend to open up the intelligent controller to third-party software developers to try and deliver value to the marketplace," said Colin Rankine, an analyst at Giga Information Group. "EMC wants to get them to write to Symmetrix APIs first."

Oracle and BMC Software are among the early applicants to the program. EMC is also hoping to attract companies like Microsoft, IBM's Tivoli Systems and SAP.

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