EMC, Cisco partner on storage switches

EMC Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. are expected to announce a partnership Tuesday in which the storage giant will resell and support Cisco’s recently introduced Fibre Channel director-level switches.

Cisco, which introduced the switches last August, has already signed deals with IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. to distribute its storage switches.

The MDS 9000 family - which supports Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel over IP - will be distributed as part of EMC’s Connectrix family of storage area network products. They will not be re-branded as EMC products.

Sources say the Cisco MDS 9000 switches will be supported under EMC’s AutoIS strategy for automating the management of storage, and will be managed under EMC’s ControlCenter.

The companies have signed a letter of intent, the sources say, to expand their existing relationship and allow EMC to qualify, resell and support the Cisco MDS 9000 line of products.

EMC has started qualification testing of the switches and next month expects to add them to its support matrix.

The switches are expected to be generally available this quarter.

In addition, the companies will work together to add applications such as traffic management, path optimization and volume management to the switches. The companies will also work together to define intelligent switching APIs.

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