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European Customer Demand for Cisco Virtualized Data Centre Solutions Drives Adoption of Intelligent Fabric Applications


Strategic Partner EMC Strengthens Intelligent Fabric Applications for Cisco MDS 9000 Storage Services Module

GARTNER DATA CENTER SUMMIT, Amsterdam, November 30, 2005 - Cisco Systems, Inc. today announced that European customers are finding great benefit in deploying intelligent fabric-based applications that take advantage of the open, standards-based approach of the Cisco MDS 9000 Storage Services Module (SSM). Combining the Cisco SSM with third party software applications provides an intelligent, scalable approach to address the challenges of storage provisioning, data migration, backup and recovery, and business continuity.

“BT has already developed a number of storage management solutions that take advantage of the Cisco MDS 9000 Storage Services Module,” commented Craig Parker, Head of Storage at BT Global Services. “As our major European customers are looking to consolidate SAN islands and increase central disk utilization, network-hosted storage virtualization services for the Cisco MDS 9000 will help us to deliver scalable and manageable solutions for our customers in the future.”

Cisco is working with its key partners to jointly deliver solutions that leverage the capabilities of the network to improve performance, add functionality and reduce cost.

“EMC and Cisco share a common desire to maximize performance and scalability while also protecting customers’ existing infrastructure investments,” said Doc D’Errico, vice president, Storage Infrastructure Software, EMC Corporation. “This network-based approach increases business value while helping our mutual customers take greater advantage of an information lifecycle management strategy.”

Two categories of applications supported by the Cisco MDS 9000 Family of multilayer directors and switches are Network-Hosted Storage Applications and Network-Accelerated Storage Applications.

Network-Hosted Storage Applications comprise storage software that operates directly within the Cisco MDS 9000 using the Storage Services Module, which is based on the Fabric Application Interface Standard (FAIS), a draft standard currently being considered by the International Committee for Information Technology Standards. The EMC Invista network storage virtualization platform takes advantage of intelligence on the Cisco SSM to provide network-based virtualization for advanced functions such as heterogeneous volume management, non-disruptive data migration, and heterogeneous clones for tiered storage. These advanced functions simplify storage management, consolidate storage, and enabling Information Lifecycle Management.

Network-Accelerated Storage Applications address two needs - more efficient backups and the requirement for cost-effective, high-performance SAN extension solutions for business continuity. EMC has developed two new Network Accelerated Storage Applications that take advantage of the MDS 9000 Storage Services Module. First, the Network-Accelerated Serverless Backup capability based on the EMC NetWorker software will help organizations reduce the costs of backup, recovery and archiving by reducing the time required for scheduled backup. Second, EMC is using the Storage Services Module to support Business Continuity solutions that take advantage of Cisco MDS 9000 Fibre Channel Write Acceleration (FC-WA). FC-WA can be used in conjunction with EMC SRDF (Symmetrix Remote Data Facility) software to reduce the effect of distance and transport latency. Consequently FC-WA allows longer-distance between primary and secondary data centers, increasing the resilience of the solution and the flexibility in selecting data centre locations.

“Across our European customer base, we continue to see growing interest in virtualized storage services as organizations seek to rationalize their data centre infrastructures,” commented Dante Malagrinò, senior manager, Data Center marketing, for Cisco Systems. “Managing storage more effectively from within the intelligent network infrastructure is helping customers reduce overall data centre complexity.”

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