Cisco, IBM team up

Cisco Systems Inc. and IBM Corp. will introduce a series of new hardware and software products in June that integrate elements of both companies' technology, a move they hope will make it easier for IT managers to adapt data centers to changing business needs.

By producing combinations of servers and storage and networking products that have already been integrated and tested, the companies believe they will meet demands of customers looking for on-demand computing to keep their data centers in line with business requirements.

Delivering such comprehensive solutions will help the companies' customers to quickly deploy state-of-the-art technology "that can help increase productivity, reduce operating expenses and gain a competitive advantage," said Mark Shearer, vice president for strategy and marketing at IBM Systems and Technology Group.

Solutions will be specialized for specific markets such as education, banking, financial services and others.

An important part of the new solutions is the integration of Cisco's Intelligent Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module, which helps users aggregate server capacity, with IBM's server Blade Center environment. Also, IBM's Tivoli Provisioning Manager can be used to configure Cisco's switches for automated provisioning of network resources.

The two companies also integrated parts of their respective storage-area networking technologies to improve use of storage devices.

Cisco and IBM have had a strategic alliance, but the new products are seen more as the product of a new initiative Cisco announced several weeks ago to provide technology blueprints for enterprises looking to build advanced data centers.

As a part of its Business Ready Data Center program, Cisco said it is partnering with IBM, EDS, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Intel Corp. The pacts with IBM, EDS and Hewlett-Packard are aimed at making Cisco the preferred foundation for those companies' utility computing platforms, while Cisco will work with Intel to boost performance of Gigabit Ethernet connectivity.

Brian Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be reached at hullite@mindspring.com.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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