Page 1 of 2
Cisco Tuesday proved that the storage leg of its Unified Computing System strategy is not all about EMC.
Cisco, VMware and now NetApp have inked a technology pact, promising to deliver new architectures for increasing data center efficiency, flexibility and security, as well as the ability for any one of the three to handle support calls related to the new agreement.
NetApp and EMC are strong rivals in the storage market, but NetApp is a strong technology partner of VMware, which is majority-owned by EMC.
The agreement follows on the heels of a similar deal between EMC, Cisco and VMware to support Cisco's UCS strategy of bringing server, storage and networking technologies into a single architecture on which data centers can be built.
EMC, Cisco and VMware in November unveiled Vblock Infrastructure Packages, a series of preconfigured, pretested solutions based on Cisco's UCS and networking switches, EMC's Symmetrix or Clariion storage arrays, and VMware's vSphere server virtualization platform.
While Cisco has been trying to overcome the market perception that its UCS strategy is tied closely to EMC on the storage side, Tuesday's agreement with NetApp is the first concrete proof of Cisco's assertions that UCS is open to any storage vendor.
Cisco's approach to the data center embraces open systems, said Ralph Nimergood, Cisco's vice president of data center architecture partner sales and practice management.
"For us, this is not an either/or discussion," Nimergood said. "We have many partners trying to bring solutions to their customers. We're trying to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing with solutions customers can readily deploy and consume."
However, Nimergood said, there is one major difference in between EMC and NetApp in terms of their joint relationship with Cisco: Acadia. Cisco and EMC next year plan to work with VMware and Intel to jointly invest in a new company, Acadia, to work with large customers and channel partners to build, operate and then transfer Vblock infrastructures.
NEXT: NetApp, Cisco, VMware Work It Out