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Cisco to resell EMC gear

Cisco will begin reselling the storage maker's products this spring.

Cisco Systems announced on Monday that it will resell data storage equipment from EMC to customers looking to centralize and consolidate storage in their corporate data centers.

Cisco plans to begin selling EMC's network-attached storage products in the second quarter of 2005. Specifically, Cisco will resell EMC's NS500 and NS700 series of products. The EMC products will be sold along with Cisco's File Engine Series, a gateway product used to increase the performance of a wide-area connection, so that customers can get a complete storage package for remote offices from one vendor.

In December, Cisco introduced the new File Engine gateway products, based on technology it acquired from Actona. The technology allows companies with geographically dispersed branch offices to store content in a central data center without sacrificing performance.

When data is accessed over long distances, there is often a lag in the time it takes to deliver the content. Cisco uses wide-area file services (WAFS) technology to improve performance over long distances. As a result, companies can store information centrally and allow employees in branch offices to access it as if the information was stored locally. Cisco claims that its solution can help reduce operational costs and network complexity.

As part of this new deal, EMC's storage arrays will become part of a complete package of products sold by Cisco. The storage arrays will sit in the data center connected to the Cisco File Engine gateways that will optimize the wide-area connection. At the branch office, customers will deploy another Cisco file engine rather than a completely separate storage device.

The new agreement extends an established collaboration. Since 2003, EMC has been reselling Cisco's storage switches, offering its customers a total storage package for the data center.

"This agreement is a natural extension to our existing relationship," said George Kurian, vice president and general manager for Cisco's caching services business unit. "We think this new deal is a big step forward for our branch office initiative. And we are excited about the opportunities it will open in many sectors, such as financial services, health care and government."