The deal, announced at a conference in Cambridge, Mass., seemed a slap in the face to IBM rival EMC, based just miles away in Hopkinton, Mass. IBM said that Cisco fields an all-EMC storage pool, but has purchased two IBM SAN Volume Controllers (SVCs), which are priced in the $50,000 range, to run in conjunction with the Cisco MDS 9500 series of multilayer directors. IBM said the synergy from the combined technology will allow Cisco's IT department to more efficiently manage pools of EMC storage.
IBM said there was no partner involved in the software sale. Andy Monshaw, general manager, storage systems at IBM, called the IBM win at Cisco "a big deal."
"Cisco is well-respected in this business. They know the technology industry," he said.
Rich Lechner, vice president of storage systems at IBM, said the win is a testament to IBM's storage virtualization software, since Cisco's storage pool is "100 percent EMC."