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

Business Editors/High-Tech Writers

SAN JOSE, Calif. and ARMONK, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 29, 2004

Cisco Systems, Inc. and IBM

Cisco switch for BladeCenter among new products and technologies

that can help reduce IT complexity, increase

performance and save customers money

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:

-- The Cisco Systems Intelligent Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module

(IGESM) for IBM eServer BladeCenter. Integration of the Cisco

Systems IGESM switch extends the Cisco Business Ready Data

Center environment into the BladeCenter -- helping to reduce

infrastructure complexity and simplifying management. This

allows IBM's industry leading BladeCenter to take advantage of

Cisco's leadership in intelligent switching technology. The

IGESM can provide customers with enhanced security, improved

quality-of-service and multicast capability, as well as

seamless integration with existing management tools. Cisco and

IBM will jointly provide design guidance, practices and

recommendations as part of the Business Ready Data Center

blueprint.

-- Enhanced application performance and response times through

intelligent server load balancing. IBM Enterprise Workload

Manager and the Cisco Content Switching Module (CSM) will be

able to exchange application-level load and health information

via the new Server Application State Protocol (SASP), enabling

better data center performance based upon real-time network,

server and application conditions.

-- Tivoli Provisioning Manager, a component of the IBM

Virtualization Engine, has been enhanced to support automated

provisioning across the Cisco intelligent data center network

with support for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Content Switching,

Firewall and SSL services modules; the Cisco IGESM; and the

Cisco MDS 9000 SAN switch family. This can help lower

administrative costs and better optimize resource utilization.

-- Tivoli SAN Manager has been enhanced to support integrated

management of virtualization services on the Cisco MDS SAN

switch platform including Virtual Storage Area Networks

(VSANs) and the IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller

virtualization software hosted on the Cisco MDS Caching

Services Module. This can help reduce cost and complexity,

better optimize storage performance/utilization, and ease

storage consolidation.

-- Extension of the IBM Autonomic Computing Readiness Engagement

to include an assessment of the Cisco network. This can help

accelerate deployment of the solution.

"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.

About the Cisco Business Ready Data Center

The Cisco Business Ready Data Center is an initiative to address the need for an intelligent network architecture that facilitates the evolution to a next-generation data center. Business Ready Data Center provides the solutions, services, partners and tested architectural design and deployment guides that help allow customers to protect applications and information, share computing and storage resources and support emerging service-oriented architectures.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is a worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. News and information are available at http://www.cisco.com.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with more than 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. For more information, see http://www.ibm.com.

The IBM eServer brand consists of the established IBM e-business logo with the following descriptive term "server" following it. The following are either trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both: IBM, the IBM e-business logo, eServer, BladeCenter and TotalStorage. All other company, product or service names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of others. Statements concerning IBM's future development plans and schedules are made for planning purposes only, and are subject to change or withdrawal without notice.

(1) IBM is the number one ranked blade server vendor in the

industry in terms of both revenue and shipments according to

IDC's 4Q 2003 Server Tracker Report. Report issued Feb. 27,

2004
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 29, 2004
Words:1153
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