IBM and EMC team on iSeries storage

IBM and EMC have revealed another joint technology agreement to cement their blossoming friendship, as EMC's chief executive doubles his salary

EMC and IBM on Wednesday announced another step in their joint technology agreement, which will now include the mid-range iSeries.

The licensing agreement will provide EMC with interfaces for storage interoperability and technical support for the iSeries — IBM's best-selling, mid-range workhorse.

The five-year agreement will help customers to deploy combinations of EMC storage and iSeries systems, which EMC says will "enable compatibility between the IBM i5/OS operating system and the EMC Symmetrix networked storage systems and software".

IBM will provide technical specifications and new releases of software for the technicians at EMC, which should enable EMC networked storage systems to attach to IBM iSeries systems. The financial details of the agreement have not been disclosed.

"This agreement underscores IBM's commitment to open innovation and is consistent with our drive towards industry interoperability," said Brian Connors, vice-president for intellectual-property licensing at IBM.

IBM has been extending the appeal of the iSeries in recent months, by beginning to move it outside its completely proprietary framework. Support for EMC storage is another step along a path that is slowly moving the range away from an all-IBM processors, hardware, storage, operating systems and systems software approach.

As part of this, in January IBM announced support for iSCSI for the first time on the iSeries.

EMC and IBM first announced a licensing agreement in October 2003 that gave EMC access to a range of IBM storage interfaces and utilities. The two companies also agreed to a mutual exchange of open-standards based interfaces.

It also emerged that EMC chief executive Joe Tucci's pay more than doubled last year, mainly through a huge grant of stock, according to the Boston Globe.

Tucci's compensation totalled $29.8m (£17m), the paper reported, of which $22.8m was in restricted stock — stock he can only sell under the condition that he meets certain targets over the next three years.

Tucci's base salary remained unchanged at $1m in 2005 with a bonus of $2.15m. Tucci has been widely credited with turning EMC around over the past three years into the highly profitable company it is today.

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