Hitachi Data Systems has announced partnerships with Ixos Software AG and AppIQ designed to improve its content and storage management software offerings.
Hitachi plans to build two email archive management products using Ixos's eConserver software: Message Archive for E-Mail, which can be used to eliminate email in-box size limits, and Message Archive for Compliance, which uses Hitachi's LDEV Guard software to store information in a write once read many (WORM) 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 would be able to use Hitachi's HiCommand management software to manage a wide variety of content types, especially those that might be subject to government regulation, such as check images, account statements and trade receipts, senior vice-president and general manager of Hitachi's Global Solutions Services business, Ken Beaudry, said.
The Ixos partnership comes two weeks after storage rival EMC announced plans to acquire content management software company, Documentum.
Ixos itself is the subject of a $US250 million acquisition bid from Open Text, a knowledge management company based in Canada.
Both Documentum and Ixos sell content management software that manages the kind of unstructured data found in email files or word processor documents.
EMC and Hitachi's move into this space reflects the growing importance of this market, an analyst with the Enterprise Storage Group, Brian Babineau, said.
"Content management is a terrific opportunity to grow their businesses, so they were all in negotiations with these larger players," he said. "EMC happened to make an acquisition. Hitachi chose the marketing route."
Message Archive for E-Mail would be available in December, and Message Archive for Compliance would ship in the first quarter of 2004, Hitachi said.
Hitachi has also announced a deal with storage management software vendor, AppIQ, aimed at strengthening Hitachi's heterogeneous storage management offerings.
Hitachi would gradually integrate AppIQ's StorageAuthority management software into its HiCommand policy manager over the next two years, Beaudry said. This would give Hitachi customers the ability to manage devices using the Storage Management Initiative (SMI) standard.
The company also planned to build new HiCommand software modules using AppIQ's CIMIQ-X management platform, Hitachi said.
Eventually Hitachi users would be able to provision storage services with guaranteed qualities of service, he said.
"The road map, longer term, is to integrate provisioning," Hitachi said.