Cisco and Dell in next-gen data centre pact

27 Jan 2009

Networking giant Cisco and major computer company Dell have banded together to deliver the next generation of data centres that will be central to the future of cloud computing.

The companies say they will collaborate to deliver next-generation IT solutions that help customers simplify their data centre infrastructure by pooling storage, computing and networking infrastructure resources to more rapidly support business applications in virtual data centre environments.

“These challenging economic times highlight the importance our customers place on ensuring long-term value from their solutions, not just short-term benefits,” explained Praveen Asthana, global director of enterprise storage and networking at Dell.

“They need maximum value for everything they spend, and that is what Dell continues to deliver with this expanded Cisco partnership,” Asthana said.

The companies have expanded their existing global Solution Technology Integrator agreement to include Cisco’s Nexus 5020 data centre switching systems (pictured) as part of the Dell enterprise infrastructure solutions with Dell servers and storage solutions.

According to the new agreement, Dell will add Cisco’s Nexus 5020 switches that support both 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to its Dell Power Edge server and Dell EqualLogic, PowerVault, and Dell/EMC storage solutions.

The Cisco and Dell combined solutions help customers simplify the management of their next-generation data centre with a unified networking fabric that consolidates LAN, SAN and server cluster network environments into a single, high-speed 10 Gigabit Ethernet fabric that supports protocols such as Fibre Channel, FCoE, and Internet Small Computer Storage Interface (iSCSI).

In addition, Dell has qualified the Catalyst 4900 Top-of-Rack Switches (ToR) for its EqualLogic Storage Area Networks (SAN) arrays. The Catalyst 4900 ToR switches are now a supported switching platform for the Dell EqualLogic™ SAN arrays.

“As part of our unified computing approach, Cisco set out to develop a unified networking fabric for the data centre to help IT organisations simplify their cabling infrastructure, reduce the number of required adapters, lower costs, and reduce power consumption and their carbon footprint within their data centre,” said Soni Jiandani, vic-president of the Marketing, Server Access and Virtualisation business unit for Cisco.

“By combining the benefits of lossless 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet with Dell’s PowerEdge servers and storage solutions, together we can offer a more end-to-end data centre virtualisation solution.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Cisco’s Nexus 5020 data centre switching systems are set to be added as part of Dell’s enterprise infrastructure solutions