Cisco Executes Storage Strategy -

Cisco Executes Storage Strategy

With simplicity and interoperability as its watchwords, Cisco Systems is making a storage networking push through partners EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Hitachi Data Systems.

Under the agreements, which are designed to blunt competition from McData and Brocade, the storage vendors will resell the Cisco MDS 9000 family of directors and fabric switches -- products that filter and forward packets between local area networks.

For example, EMC will offer Cisco gear as part of its Connectrix storage area network infrastructure products. The joint offerings will be available from EMC and its channel partners by the end of the second quarter.

EMC, of Hopkinton, Mass., is also developing software applications hosted on the Cisco MDS 9000 platform to promote interoperability, management, and connectivity within storage systems.

"As more SANs evolve to include [IP storage], the MDS 9000 Family is well-positioned," said Chuck Hollis, an EMC vice president. "EMC is developing new software functionality that drives more intelligence throughout the entire storage infrastructure."

IBM was the first storage vendor to begin reselling equipment from San Jose, Calif.-base Cisco. HP is also testing Cisco gear with its own equipment and expects to be selling to customers by mid-year.

HDS also recently completed hardware interoperability qualification testing between its storage systems and Cisco's MDS 9509 multilayer director and MDS 9216 fabric switch.

Cooperation between major IT companies has increased since the economic slide began in 2000. In the storage sector, companies began looking at price and interoperability to appeal to corporations strapped for cash and frustrated by proprietary systems.

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