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EMC Deal Could Help Cisco Cure Remote-Office Headaches

Companies trying to satisfy ever-demanding remote users got some help today from two heavyweight IT vendors. Cisco Systems is going to resell EMC Corp.'s line of network-attached storage (NAS) appliances.

Cisco needs the EMC NS Series/Integrated (Celerra) NAS appliances to sell customers its wide area file system software. This Cisco File Engine promises LAN-like performance to users operating over the wide area network. "Cisco is getting into the data mobility business," says John Webster, an IT analyst and founder at the Data Mobility Group.

Cisco is betting that LAN-like performance will allow some remote offices to be part of central business-continuity efforts for the first time. And it could let IT management support remote offices from central locations much more frequently.

Webster thinks Cisco chose to partner with an equipment manufacturer like EMC because customers demanded it provide an end-to-end service.