The licensing agreement will provide EMC with interfaces for storage interoperability and technical support for the iSeries -- IBM's best-selling, midrange 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 were not 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 aiming to extend 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 recently 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 US$29.8 million, the paper reported, of which US$22.8 million was in restricted stock -- shares he can only sell under the condition that he meets certain targets over the next three years.
Tucci's base salary remained unchanged at US$1 million in 2005 with a bonus of US$2.15 million. He has been widely credited with turning EMC around over the past three years into the highly profitable company it is today.
Colin Barker of ZDNet UK reported from London. For more coverage from ZDNet UK, click here.