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In coming weeks, IBM is expected to launch a bundling, co-development and co-marketing program around the resale of Symantec’s storage and cluster software on IBM’s Intel-based xSeries hardware.

IBM Corp.’s pcoming announcement will actually represent a “reannouncement” of a pact formed between IBM and Veritas Software before Symantec Corp.’s acquisition of Veritas last summer, said Lowell Shulman, Symantec’s technical alliance manager for strategic alliances, in an interview.

Initially announced by Veritas on June 20 of this year, the deal is mainly designed to let IBM and its VAR partners resell several Windows and Linux software solutions on IBM PC hardware.

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Although the agreement hasn’t gone into effect yet, the delay in implementation is totally unrelated to Symantec’s acquisition of Veritas, he said.

“IBM required time to prepare for launching the sales of [the storage and clustering software] for their direct sales team and through their channel. This included sales training and preparation of the fulfillment system,” according to Shulman.

“There is only one agreement, and it has not been affected by the merger. The [anticipated] IBM announcement signifies that IBM will begin to execute on the agreement. [This] means that the IBM part numbers that relate to [the software] products will be available through configurators, for example.”

The deal stands to benefit Symantec by providing sales access through IBM’s direct and indirect PC channel for the following products: Storage Foundation (Windows and Linux); Cluster Server (Windows and Linux); and Storage Foundation for DB2 and Oracle RAC (Linux only).

Other terms of the deal also remain the same, according to Shulman. “The [planned] joint development reflects the Symantec/IBM relationship across all of our solutions, including our AIX solutions for [the RISC-based] pSeries and support for IBM storage. This will allow us to bring our AIX solutions to market faster,” he said.

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“In other areas, there are discussions [around] how to best optimize our solutions running on IBM hardware. xSeries is a specific focus.”

On the co-marketing side, Symantec will participate in a number of IBM marketing campaigns this year and next, he said.

“For example, we recently held a joint Webcast to review the Storage Foundation for Oracle RAC offering on AIX,” according to Shulman.

In the RISC arena, Symantec also has similar deals in place with Hewlett-Packard Company and Sun Microsystems, Inc. for reselling its storage and cluster software.

“But right now, our agreement with IBM is exclusive on the Intel side, [and] I think it will remain that way,” Shulman said.

An IBM spokesperson has been unavailable for comment about the PC storage software deal.

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