IBM Announces Availability of Cisco Storage Module to Help Lower Networking Costs and Extend SANs beyond the Enterprise

IBM Becomes First Storage Vendor to Offer Cisco MDS 9000 IP Storage Services Module to Support Cost-effective Expansion of SANs to Mid-Range Hosts and Long Distance SAN Connectivity

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SOMERS, N.Y. - 15 Jul 2003: IBM today took another step toward helping customers lower their cost of storage networking by becoming the first vendor to offer the Cisco MDS 9000 IP Storage Services Module.

The IP Storage Services Module joins IBM's current offerings from the Cisco MDS 9000 Family of Multilayer Switches, comprised of Storage Area Networking (SAN) directors and fabric switches.

The IP Storage Services Module supports both iSCSI (Internet Small Computer Systems Interface) and emerging FCIP (Fibre Channel over IP) protocols, for both cost-effective and long distance SAN connectivity across customers' existing networking infrastructures. The integration of the IP Storage Services module with the Cisco MDS 9000 SAN Family of switches can help customers more efficiently manage their storage resources, drive storage area networks (SANs) consolidation, increase data availability, and reduce the cost of storage networking.

Building on a successful strategic alliance between IBM and Cisco, IBM is reselling the Cisco MDS 9000 Family of products, including the IP Storage Module, to help enable customers to take advantage of ubiquitous IP networks. The IP Storage Service Module is designed to allow users to make their Fibre Channel SANs available to additional servers and applications within data centers and departments, across local, metro, and wide area distances.

"IBM and Cisco are building on their long history of successful cooperation to deliver the groundbreaking integration of IP and Fibre Channel storage networks," said Luca Cafiero, senior vice president and general manager of the Switching, Voice, and Storage Technologies Group at Cisco. "By enabling customers to take advantage of both their existing Fibre Channel fabric and IP networking infrastructures, IBM and Cisco are helping customers drive down the cost of storage networking."

The Cisco MDS 9000 Family of Multi-layer Switches, available to customers through IBM and IBM Business Partners, now includes the Cisco MDS 9000 IP Storage Services Module, the Cisco MDS 9509 and 9506 Multilayer Directors, Cisco MDS 9216 Multilayer Fabric Switch, the Cisco MDS 9000 Port Analyzer Adapter (for analysis of Fibre Channel traffic on the network." IBM also offers the Cisco CWDM Extended Distance Solution which implements Coarse Wave Division Multiplexing (CWDM) Small Form Factor (SFP) interfaces for cost-effective optical connectivity. The Cisco MDS 9000 Family of products has been available through IBM and its resellers since March 21, 2003.

"IBM was one of the first storage vendor to offer an IP storage appliance to customers, establishing early support for the protocol," said Roland Hagan, vice president of marketing for Storage Products Division, IBM Systems Group. "IBM and Cisco have had a long, successful relationship working on storage networking solutions. That relationship continues to provide customers with an ever expanding portfolio of options for high performance, easy to manage storage networks."

The Cisco MDS 9000 Family is a comprehensive line of SAN switches for storage networks of all sizes and architectures. The Cisco MDS 9000 Family is designed to offer high performance and scalability. It also delivers intelligent network services such as multiprotocol/multitransport integration, as well as Virtual SAN (VSAN), security, advanced traffic management, sophisticated diagnostic and unified SAN management capabilities.

The advantages of these features were instrumental in the AXA Technology Group's selection of the Cisco MDS 9000 for its global storage consolidation project. Cisco and IBM actively engaged with AXA to secure the win, the details of which Cisco announced today (see

IBM also announced today that it has significantly lowered the pricing on its full line of Cisco MDS 9000 products and is now offering the products at a price below that of competitive offerings

The Cisco products, combined with IBM TotalStorage disk and tape products and Tivoli storage management software, can help customers drive down the cost of managing their storage systems.

The IP Storage Services Module offers IBM customers:

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