Hitachi and NSS strengthen ties

Hitachi Data Systems furthered its relationship Monday with Network Storage Solutions (NSS), tapping the small storage vendor as a reseller of Hitachi's Freedom Storage line of products.

NSS has created close ties with storage giant Hitachi. Last month, Hitachi released its first NAS (network attached storage) products, announcing it would offer NSS's NAS Engine, µStor-II and SPANStor-GT NAS appliances worldwide. Hitachi looked to beef up its NAS line with NSS products in an effort to better compete against rival EMC Corp. in the lower end storage market.

NSS is also attempting to broaden its own customer base by selling Hitachi's Freedom Storage Thunder 9200 and Freedom Storage Lightning 9900 line of products, said Bill Rick, vice president of sales and marketing at NSS.

"For NSS, the benefits are pretty obvious because they are now able to extend their product line past NAS," said Zachary Shess, senior analyst at Aberdeen Group.

Hitachi officials have said in the past that they might consider acquiring NSS at some point, and the deal Monday appears to be bringing the two companies closer to that scenario. Such an acquisition might make sense with the NAS market becoming increasingly competitive, Shess said. A number of the larger storage vendors are looking to take advantage of specialized products form smaller companies.

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