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The two companies will work together to develop a gateway product that will debut in the first quarter of 2003. The gateway will be co-developed and sold only by HDS.
HDS senior director of worldwide marketing Phil Townsend said the gateway is designed to work in conjunction with HDS' existing line of Freedom storage systems that include a family of high-end storage arrays, called Lightning, and a modular line named Thunder.
The gateway will use NetApp's software and filer technology and will exploit features of HDS' storage systems.
The new gateway will replace an OEMed NAS appliance that HDS had been selling via its now null resell agreement with Network Storage Solutions (NSS). HDS had resold NSS' Thunderbolt NAS filers since June 2001. Townsend said the agreement was dissolved "a few months ago", and that no public statement was issued.
Tony Prigmore, a senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group, said the NetApp relationship is significant for HDS and a boon for customers.
"HDS' relationship with NSS was a stopgap measure to allow a select number of customers to do file services," said Prigmore. "HDS never pushed or made a big deal of the relationship
"With this agreement HDS has just shortened its sales cycle," he added. "There will be no market resistance to the NetApp brand and technology."