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Cisco introduces Cisco Storage Networking initiative

Cisco is making a strong push into the storage game, announcing products, protocols and partnerships to stake a quick claim.

Cisco Systems has announced the details of its storage networking, including a set of technologies, products, and partnerships that enables the development of a networked storage infrastructure based on an open architecture and industry standards.

Based on Cisco’s AVVID (Architecture for Voice, Video, and Integrated Data) foundations, Cisco Storage Networking will allow customers to adopt a strategy for accessing and managing storage resources across a converged IP, Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and optical network infrastructure, the company said in a statement.

Under the auspices of the Cisco AVVID Partner Program, has Cisco signed up a number of storage vendors, including suppliers of storage subsystems, management, networking, and system I/O technologies. Specifically, Cisco has been working with Alacritech, Brocade, EMC, Emulex, IBM, Intel, Network Appliance, and Veritas.

Cisco outlined a number of specific goals for its storage strategy. Firstly, the network vendor worked with IBM to formulate the iSCSI (SCSI over IP) protocol to allow IP access to storage devices. Although not yet ratified, Cisco has shipped its first iSCSI-supporting device, the SN 5420 Storage Router. Second, Cisco worked with Brocade on FCIP (Fibre Channel over IP), to deliver access to storage devices over the wide area, again using IP. Third, the company is pushing for the use of DWDN optical systems and other fibre architectures such as SONET to provide storage services across metropolitan area networks. Finally, the company has worked with a number of NAS vendors to position Cisco products in this niche.

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