Hitachi Data partners with Ixos, AppIQ

Hitachi Data Systems Corp. this week announced partnerships with Ixos Software AG and AppIQ Inc. designed to improve Hitachi's content and storage management software offerings.

Hitachi plans to build two e-mail archive management products using Ixos's eConserver software: Message Archive for E-Mail, which can be used to eliminate e-mail in-box size limits, and Message Archive for Compliance, which uses Hitachi's LDEV Guard software to store information in a WORM (write once read many) fashion that cannot be overwritten for a fixed period of time.

As the company continues to develop products based on the Ixos software, Hitachi customers eventually will be able to use Hitachi's HiCommand management software to manage a wide variety of content types, especially those that may be subject to government regulation, such as check images, account statements and trade receipts, said Ken Beaudry, senior vice president and general manager of Hitachi's Global Solutions Services business.

The Ixos partnership comes two weeks after storage rival EMC Corp. announced plans to acquire content management software company Documentum Inc.

Ixos itself is the subject of a US$250 million acquisition bid from Open Text Corp., a knowledge management company based in Waterloo, Ontario.

Both Documentum and Ixos sell content management software that manages the kind of unstructured data found in e-mail files or word processor documents, and EMC and Hitachi's move into this space both reflect the growing importance of this market, said Brian Babineau, an analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group Inc., an industry analyst company based in Milford, Massachusetts.

"Content management is a terrific opportunity to grow their businesses, so they were all in negotiations with these larger players. EMC happened to make an acquisition. Hitachi chose the marketing route," he said.

Message Archive for E-Mail will be available in December, and Message Archive for Compliance will ship in the first quarter of 2004, Hitachi said.

Also Tuesday, Hitachi announced a deal with storage management software vendor AppIQ aimed at strengthening Hitachi's heterogeneous storage management offerings.

Hitachi will gradually integrate AppIQ's StorageAuthority management software into its HiCommand policy manager over the next two years, Beaudry said, which will give Hitachi customers the ability to manage devices using the SMI (Storage Management Initiative) standard.

The company also plans to build new HiCommand software modules using AppIQ's CIMIQ-X management platform, Hitachi said.

Eventually Hitachi users will be able to provision storage services with guaranteed qualities of service, he said. "The road map, longer term, is to integrate provisioning," he said.

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