Hitachi Ltd. and IBM Corp. are teaming to accelerate the development of advanced storage technologies and products. The companies have a preliminary agreement to research and develop new open standards-based technologies for next-generation storage networks and systems. Tokyo-based Hitachi and Armonk, New York-based IBM plan a common approach to virtualization, based on IBM technology, that will allow users to more easily manage all of their networked storage systems as a single resource.

In another initiative, IBM and Hitachi say they intend to combine various hard disk drive operations into a new standalone company. The company will integrate the organizations' research, development and manufacturing operations, and related sales and marketing teams. Hitachi is expected to own 70 percent of the venture and to make a payment to IBM for its HDD operations.

Selected Hitachi and IBM disk drive assets, including employees, facilities and intellectual property, will be combined in the venture. Both organizations expect to source a major portion of their HDD supply from the operation, which will be based in San Jose, California.

The new company's management team is expected to include executives from both organizations. The initiatives are just the latest alliances by IBM and Hitachi. The firms most recently teamed to conduct development and manufacturing activities in server operations.

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