With little fanfare, Cisco Systems has put the brakes on a reseller agreement it has with EMC to rebrand its network-attached storage (NAS) arrays.
Cisco said it will no longer sell EMC's Celerra NS500 and NS700 NAS arrays in combination with its wide-area file services (WAFS) appliance. Cisco sold EMC's NAS boxes as the Cisco FS 5500 and FS 5700 Integrated NAS Devices.
Cisco said in a statement that its relationship with EMC has never been stronger and that killing the FS 5500 and FS 5700 products "is an initial step in our restructuring efforts towards a broader Cisco/EMC relationship that will deliver a more tightly integrated sales and marketing effort, and ultimately greater value to our customers."
A Cisco spokesman said that the company had "no other plans to provide NAS functionality" from EMC or any other vendor and that the decision to stop selling the products was mutual between the two companies.
Cisco probably hadn't been selling very many of the devices, according to John Webster, founder of research firm Data Mobility Group. While it was significant that Cisco was able to include a NAS device as part of a WAFS offering, "it absolutely is not necessary to bring the NAS device to make this work." Ultimately, the Cisco agreement was just another channel, Webster said, though he found it odd that Cisco was going out of its way to promote the strength of the EMC relationship.
Other examples of the Cisco/EMC relationship include EMC's rebranding of a Cisco 13-slot director storage device.
Cisco would not say how many of the EMC NAS devices it had sold, but customers with active service contracts will continue to receive support until October 2011.
EMC would not comment and referred reporters to Cisco.