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IBM set to sever NetApp partnership today to focus on own brand?

NetApp FAS270
IBM and NetApp, it is all over?

Weeks after it sold its low-end x86 server range to Lenovo, IBM is on the verge of making a u-turn that may see it sever a strategic partnership with storage expert NetApp.

Bloomberg claims that Big Blue will "formally withdraw from selling NetApp's new N series systems" today and stop development on the product line.

Instead, IBM will be focusing on its own brand offerings, a move that would hit NetApp's bottom line but reinforce IBM's as the latter seek to build on the profitable product line. According to data collected by Bloomberg, IBM brings in 2% of NetApp's revenue.

Who will lose the most?

The partnership between the two companies date from 2005 and the close relationship between the two meant that rumours of an outright acquisition were common.

The N series alliance is almost five years old and saw IBM commit to providing "end-to-end IT services that address storage and server infrastructure optimization as well as infrastructure optimization services for desktop virtualization projects".

NetApp also has a strong relationship with Cisco, for whom it developed the FlexPod. The network giant competes with IBM in the networking and server markets.

IBM's current storage portfolio covers DSS and NAS, flash storage, SANs, SDN, Flash, tape and a whole array of support options.

We will update the story during the day if there's any formal announcements.

Desire Athow

Managing Editor, TechRadar Pro

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Then followed a weekly tech column in a local business magazine in Mauritius, a late night tech radio programme called Clicplus and a freelancing gig at the now-defunct, Theinquirer, with the legendary Mike Magee as mentor. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global techfests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. He has an affinity for anything hardware and staunchly refuses to stop writing reviews of obscure products or cover niche B2B software-as-a-service providers.