Cisco and IBM Announce Relationship to Simplify the Data Center and Accelerate Business Transformation

Cisco switch for BladeCenter among new products and technologies that can help reduce IT complexity, increase performance and save customers money

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SAN JOSE, Calif. & ARMONK, N.Y. - 29 Apr 2004: Cisco Systems, Inc. and IBM today introduced a new solution designed to tightly integrate elements of Cisco's networking technologies and products with IBM's systems and software, helping to enable business transformation.

As part of their global, strategic alliance, the two companies have worked to better optimize Cisco's Business Ready Data Center for IBM's on demand operating environment and cooperated on a number of technology initiatives, enabling customers to benefit from an interoperable IT and network infrastructure.

The new solution, Cisco Business Ready Data Center Optimized with IBM for the on demand operating environment, will include a series of new hardware and software products, including additions to IBM's industry-leading eServer BladeCenter system(1).

Working together, Cisco and IBM can now provide customers a comprehensive networking and systems solution specifically designed for the data center. The new solution can enhance data center server, network and storage deployments which can help improve systems management, cost effectiveness and overall performance. These new hardware, software and services offerings will include:

"Cisco is dedicated to helping its customers protect, optimize and grow their business by increasing the security, reliability and quality of service of their networks," said Pierre-Paul Allard, vice president, Enterprise Marketing, Cisco Systems, Inc. "Our Business Ready Data Center solution, as integrated with IBM's on-demand operating environment, brings the network computing strengths of both companies together for the benefit of our mutual customers."

"This unique combination of IBM and Cisco technologies delivers a comprehensive solution to help customers transform their businesses," said Mark Shearer, vice president, strategy and marketing, IBM Systems and Technology Group. "By maximizing on our respective strengths, we will enable our customers to deploy state-of-the-art technology that can help increase productivity, reduce operating expenses and gain a competitive advantage."

The solution will also be specialized to meet the needs of various industries such as education, financial services and banking, with other industries to follow.

"Two years ago, we installed with the assistance of IBM Global Services an end-to-end Cisco network on our campus," said Harry Williams, director of technology and systems, Marist College. "We are currently upgrading our network with key elements of the new IBM - Cisco data center solution that is being announced today and we anticipate a significant improvement in customer service and a reduction in support costs."

Cisco Business Ready Data Center optimized with IBM for the on demand operating environment includes a full suite of solutions needed by customers to deploy a best-in-class data center.

As part of the solution, Cisco will provide: a high-performance IP network comprised of Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches with its portfolio of Intelligent Virtualized Services Modules addressing security and data center requirements; Application Optimization; intelligent open systems; and mainframe Storage Networking via the MDS9000 SAN Family and Data Center Security solutions. IBM will provide: the eServer BladeCenter; Tivoli Suite of Management Products; IBM Storage Subsystems and Virtualization Engine software; WebSphere Internet infrastructure software; and the Lotus Application Suite.

In addition, IBM Global Services is launching a suite of service and support offerings customized for this new solution, including readiness assessment, design and integration.

Elements of the Cisco Business Ready Data Center optimized with IBM for the on demand operating environment solution are planned to be available starting in June 2004 from Cisco and IBM. New IBM Global Services offerings will be available starting in June 2004.

Today's announcement builds on the existing Cisco-IBM global strategic alliance which offers customers industry-leading, integrated e-business solutions.

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