Cisco Systems has formed an alliance with EMC to combine computing equipment and services. The move is aimed at challenging market leaders Hewlett-Packard and IBM.
The joint venture, to be called Acadia, will combine EMC storage equipment, VMware management tools and Cisco networking and computing products with dedicated services.
Cisco will benefit from EMC's alliance with VMware to boost the networking company's ability to compete with HP, IBM and Dell, which all sell equipment with VMware virtualisation software.
The move aims to capitalise on the trend of businesses consolidating suppliers, virtualised environments and cloud-based services, according to the Financial Times.
Acadia will start with 140 employees, but most of the sales of the new technology bundles will come from outside consulting firms to promote Cisco's server business.
Analysts said the deal was timed to pre-empt HP's announcement of new datacentre products that combine storage, computing power and virtualisation.
Cisco is also following the growing trend of alliances, mergers and acquisition many companies are using in the economic downturn to boost their competitiveness.
Last week Cisco announced plans to acquire security firm Scansafe and is currently bidding for Norwegian videoconferencing firm Tandberg.