Hewlett Packard has placed itself in direct competition with its former OEM partner EMC with the launch of its enterprise storage products.
In March, HP and EMC extended their partnership agreement for another three years. The deal saw HP and EMC sharing technologies and HP reselling EMC's Symmetrix products.
While HP will continue to support the Symmetrix range, both for existing customers and for those who specifically request the product, the vendor claimed last week that EMC's disk array was outdated and too proprietary compared with its own SureStore EDisk Array MC256.
David Scott, worldwide marketing manager at HP's enterprise storage division, said: 'EMC's commitment to a proprietary architecture for its storage area network (SAN) is too great a divergence from HP's belief in an open SAN. More importantly, we were finding it increasingly difficult to explain these differences in belief to our mutual enterprise customers.'
Marilyn Edling, general manager of the enterprise storage division at HP, said the reason behind its decision to part company with EMC was in part due to HP's goal of 100 per cent availability and products with no single point of failure.
'We believe the EMC Symmetrix system, with its ageing architecture, will not meet that criterion, so we created one that will,' she added.
HP's disk array will now go head-to-head in the market against EMC's Symmetrix. If EMC moves aggressively to counter the threat, HP could find itself in a situation where it will be helping one of its most formidable competitors, because it will still be reselling the Symmetrix product.
Patrick Bonelli, European sales and marketing manager at HP's enterprise storage division, said: 'It is an unusual situation but the decision had to be made. We were in danger of being too closely associated with EMC's proprietary systems. We are committed to open systems and customer choice and that is why we have done this.'
EMC was unavailable to comment on the situation.
Infrastructure provider says international sales now make up 51 per cent of its revenue
Suzanne Chappell of TMS plans sailing venture after selling Oxfordshire-based TMS to acquisitive Chess
Withdrawal of credit insurance by some providers a 'reflection' of current challenge facing IT sector, according to MD Steve Soper
SMART's UK managing director joins Lenovo to boost SMB business