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Cisco joins HP utility computing plan

Networking gear maker Cisco Systems has joined a Hewlett-Packard program to automate the operation of data centers with many computer and storage systems, the companies announced Wednesday. Cisco's Catalyst 6500 switches, PIX 515 firewalls and 2950 routers all will be integrated with HP's Utility Data Center effort, which links servers and storage into pools of computing resources that operate more efficiently than isolated systems and can be more easily reconfigured.

In addition, Cisco and HP will jointly develop products for the Utility Data Center push. Cisco, the dominant maker of equipment that routes data as it travels across computer networks, already is a partner in a similar effort by HP rival Sun Microsystems.