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EMC, Cisco Target Data Center Needs at SNW

EMC's FCOE switch and Cisco's wide-area optimization promise storage performance boosts

Large organizations that need peak performance to manage and move data are the targets of new products rolled out this week by EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). EMC has embraced the emerging Fibre Channel-over-Ethernet standard in a new switch, while Cisco is using its so-called Data Center 3.0 networking technologies to speed the transfer of data for backup and disaster recovery over wide-area networks.

EMC's Connectrix NEX-5020 is the company's first FCOE switch and can transfer data among physical servers, virtual servers, and storage systems over 10 Gbit/s Ethernet networks. For storage managers, the advent of FCOE hold the promise of eliminating the dual networks -- Fibre Channel and Ethernet -- present in many data centers. Consolidating data and storage networks on a single wire can cut infrastructure costs and simplify network management. The NEX-5020 is based on Cisco's Nexus 500 data center switches.

"The Connectrix NEX-5020 is designed to help address immediate challenges our customers are facing around infrastructure sprawl, asset utilization, and the related power and cooling issues in the data center," said Barbara Robidoux, EMC vice president for storage product marketing, in a statement.

Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX) and QLogic Corp. (Nasdaq: QLGC) are supplying what EMC calls converged network adapters, or CNAs, which are a combination of an Ethernet network interface card and a Fibre Channel host bus adapter.

Cisco, meanwhile, said on Tuesday that it is offering Wide-Area Application Services software for two of its appliances that can cut bandwidth needs and data replication times to improve disaster recovery, security, and regulatory compliance. The new WAAS software works with the company's WAE-7341 and -7371 appliances and offers a Replication Accelerator mode to shorten data center replication windows. It has been tested with EMC's SRDF and NetApp Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP)'s SnapMirror applications.

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