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EMC, Cisco Do the Deed

EMC will resell the MDS 9000 switches, putting the finishing touch on Cisco's go-to-market strategy

At long last, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) has inked a deal with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) to resell Cisco's MDS 9000 series of SAN switches, and Hopkinton says it's also planning to port certain storage management applications to run on the switches (see EMC to Resell Cisco MDS 9000).

The EMC-Cisco deal has been anticipated for months, and represents the last major agreement Cisco wanted to secure in its foray into the storage networking market. The company already has similar reseller deals with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) (see Cisco and EMC Edge Closer, EMC Holds Off on Cisco, Cisco Gets Set, HP Refills Its SAN Flask, and IBM Tells Cisco: 'Let's Go!').

"It's the completion of our go-to-market strategy," Luca Cafiero, senior VP and general manager of Cisco's Switching, Voice, and Storage Technology Group, told Byte and Switch in an interview today.

Beginning later this quarter, EMC will resell the Cisco switches under its Connetrix line and next month they will be qualified as E-Lab Tested by EMC and added to EMC's support matrix. Pricing information was not announced. EMC says it has been testing the Cisco switches for interoperability with its Symmetrix and Clariion storage systems since September 2002.

In a unique provision, the switches themselves will be cobranded both EMC and Cisco. David Goulden, EMC's executive VP of global marketing and new business development, compares this to the arrangement EMC has with Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL) on the Clariion line of storage arrays.

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