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EMC Holds Off on Cisco

NEW YORK --- Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) hopes of having each of the major storage subsystem vendors certify its Andiamo switches this quarter could be complicated by one vendor -- EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) -- which is apparently in no rush to qualify the networking giant's Fibre Channel products (see IBM Tells Cisco: 'Let's Go!' and HP Next to Green-Light Cisco?).

In an interview with Byte and Switch here today at the launch of its Symmetrix DMX product line, EMC President and CEO Joe Tucci made it clear he believes Cisco needs EMC considerably more than the other way around (see EMC Soups Up Symm).

"Two thirds of every director product sold, EMC sells, and Cisco knows that," Tucci said. "Unless they change their pricing, Andiamo is going to be a director-class offering." He added, "We are qualifying it as a director, but it's not ready... It has certain tests to go through. It's a good product, and it will qualify, and at that point it will go on our list."

Tucci's comments are reminiscent of EMC's guarded approach to qualifying Brocade Communications Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: BRCD) director-class product, the SilkWorm 12000, as Brocade was at the time a newcomer to that segment of the market. IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) also notified its customers and partners about certain issues with Brocade's 12000 (see EMC's Caveats on Brocade 12000 and IBM on Brocade's 12000: Not Quite).

It's worth pointing out, too, that neither IBM nor Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) have officially given Andiamo the thumbs up. IBM has said it intends to certify the MDS line by the end of the first quarter; HP says it's shooting for sometime in the first half of the year (see HP Refills Its SAN Flask).

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