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Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Fujitsu and NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) said Wednesday that they are going to provide more tightly integrated and automated storage and data-management solutions, stepping up an existing relationship.

The two companies will, NetApp said in an announcement, "jointly develop integrated products and services specifically in the areas of virtualization, storage and data management, and storage services and solutions." The result should be "greater value and efficiencies" for customers, the companies said.

The companies also disclosed that they intend to develop and offer joint consulting, professional services, managed storage services and maintenance services.

Fujitsu Technology Solutions claims dominance in the European IT infrastructure market and also sells in Africa, the Mideast and India.

"Standardization, virtualization and efficiency are driving customers to rapidly change the way their data centers are designed and managed," said Roger Cox, research vice president at Gartner. "Increasingly, they are looking to best-of-breed vendors to supply the infrastructure and services for their data centers."

Fujitsu and NetApp already give customers "a shared vision of the data center of the future," NetApp said.

"As IT departments look for ways to be more cost and operationally efficient, customer buying patterns are shifting toward vendors with a more holistic and collaborative approach to addressing their data center needs," Tom Georgens, president and CEO of NetApp, said at an industry conference in Munich, Germany. "We believe this expanded relationship with Fujitsu will provide customers with more tightly integrated and automated data management solutions from an industry leading partnership."

Users will get more bang for their IT bucks from NetApp-Fujitsu packages, the companies said.