Cisco unveills "Storage Networking Go-To-Market" strategy

7 May 2003 San Jose, CA Lightwave Europe--Cisco Systems has announced its OSM Active go-to-market strategy for its storage networking products, which will include channel relationships with EMC, HP, IBM and Hitachi Data Systems.

May 7th, 2003

7 May 2003 San Jose, CA--Cisco Systems has announced its OSM Active go-to-market strategy for its storage networking products, which will include channel relationships with EMC, HP, IBM and Hitachi Data Systems.

As part of this strategy, Cisco has inked arrangements with the industry's top four storage subsystem vendors including a letter of intent signed with EMC last week, aimed at resale of the Cisco MDS 9000 Family of Multilayer directors and fabric switches.

The OSM Active strategy is an innovative and collaborative go-to-market approach under which the OSMs (original storage manufacturers) retain the primary solution distribution role, while taking advantage of Cisco's direct sales force to actively provide information about the MDS-family switches at the end-user and channel level.

"This announcement demonstrates our commitment to developing unique go-to-market strategies that promote our new growth technologies," said Edison Peres, vice president of Advanced Technologies, Worldwide Channels at Cisco.

"Selling in cooperation with and through the OSMs like EMC, HP, IBM, and Hitachi Data Systems to take our storage networking products to market provides a coverage model that optimises Cisco's success while enabling productivity improvements and business success for our customers."

EMC recently announced that it intends to become a Cisco OSM and resell and support the Cisco MDS 9509 Multilayer Director and the Cisco MDS 9216 Multilayer Fabric Switch. The Cisco MDS 9000 Family will be offered as part of EMC's comprehensive set of Connectrix SAN Infrastructure products and will be available from EMC and its channels later in the second quarter of this calendar year.

EMC also plans to develop software applications hosted on the Cisco MDS 9000 platform and will work with Cisco to promote open standards in this area to provide customers with unparalleled interoperability, management, storage intelligence and connectivity options.

"Customers are turning to EMC Automated Networked Storage to automate and simplify their storage networks," said Chuck Hollis, EMC's Vice President of Platform Marketing. "EMC is making this possible by offering its customers the best storage and storage networking products available as part of an integrated solution.

The Cisco MDS 9000 Family is an important new set of SAN options for our customers. As more SANs evolve to include IP, the MDS 9000 Family is well positioned for that transition.

EMC is developing new software functionality that drives more intelligence throughout the entire storage infrastructure, including the network, to further help customers simplify and automate their environments. As part of those efforts we are looking forward to working with Cisco and SNIA to promote new industry standards for intelligent switches."

IBM was the first OSM to enter into a reseller agreement with Cisco. IBM announced that it would become a Cisco OSM and begin reselling the Cisco MDS 9000 worldwide. IBM has conducted extensive interoperability testing between the Cisco MDS 9600 and complementary products in the IBM storage product portfolio.

"IBM was the first vendor to enter into a reseller agreement for Cisco's new multiprotocol SAN switches, reinforcing IBM's strategy to offer customers the widest range of storage networking solutions," said Roland Hagan, vice president of marketing for Storage Products Division, IBM Systems Group.

"Cisco's go-to-market strategy will enable us to provide total storage solutions to our telecommunication customers and customers worldwide interested in converging Fibre Channel and IP storage area networks."

HP also announced that it would become a Cisco OSM and begin reselling the Cisco MDS 9000 when the initial phase of interoperability qualification testing is completed. HP expects to complete initial interoperability qualifications in select, base configurations and make the Cisco MDS 9000 family available to customers by the end of Q2 2003.

"The Cisco MDS 9000 family supports HP's commitment to deliver interoperable storage that's easy to manage, which has contributed to HP StorageWorks' No. 1 position in open SANs today," said Roger Archibald, vice president, HP Infrastructure and NAS Division.

"We recently completed our agreement to offer Cisco's SAN switches as part of HP's fabric infrastructure portfolio, providing customers with another choice of switch as they build their end-to-end storage utility. Through phased, rigorous HP testing of simulated customer environments, we plan to continue expanding the list of supported configurations over the next several months."

Hitachi Data Systems also announced that it would become a Cisco OSM and begin reselling the Cisco MDS 9000. Hitachi Data Systems was the first storage vendor to complete hardware interoperability qualification testing between its storage systems and the Cisco MDS 9509 Multilayer Director, the Cisco MDS 9216 Multilayer Fabric Switch, and associated modules.

"Being the first storage vendor to complete hardware interoperability qualification testing between our storage products and the Cisco MDS 9000 family of products enabled us to quickly deliver networked storage solutions that benefit our mutual customers while keeping our promise of open connectivity through the TrueNorth strategy," said Scott Genereux, vice president, Global Marketing and Business Development at Hitachi Data Systems.

"The Cisco OSM-Active go-to-market strategy allows us to offer our customers the scalability, security and performance they need while protecting their storage investment."

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