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Cisco wins Emirates deal

Cisco is working with Emirates Group to implement a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet data centre network at the company’s headquarters in Dubai.

Cisco is working with Emirates Group to implement a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet data centre network at the company’s headquarters in Dubai. For the first phase of the project, Cisco will collaborate with partner Gulf Business Machines (GBM) United Computer and Management Consultancy (UCMC) to roll out an intelligent data centre networking infrastructure. The deal forms part of Emirates’ long-term plan to consolidate and virtualise its existing server farms.

Nigel Hopkins, executive VP service delivery at Emirates Group, said: “The Emirates Group is one of the world's fastest growing airline businesses. As our business continues to grow so the demand for data traffic will continue to soar at a rate of some 50% annually. A network review was essential to meet these challenges. Our work with Cisco included technology refreshes, which will help stabilise both operational and capital expenditure.”

“Critical data delivery is now guaranteed, and the infrastructure offers support for multimedia services such as voice over IP. We will now be able to meet the transporting demand with regards to day-to-day reservations and bookings data from more than 80 of the airline's offices worldwide, and from flight booking agents in every corner of the globe,” he added.

The project aims to help Emirates reduce the complexity of its existing ATM-based networks, simplify its overall network infrastructure and build a resilient data centre core network. Cisco’s phased vision of an Intelligent Information Network (IIN) has allowed Emirates to build a roadmap as it strives to create a virtualised infrastructure.

“The collaboration between Cisco and the Emirates Group to deploy Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches at the core of the airline's data centre network opens the door for a long-term strategic relationship between the two companies,” commented Mark de Simone, VP Middle East and Africa for Cisco. “By evolving towards a Cisco Business Ready Data Centre architecture, Emirates will benefit from the scalability and service flexibility to continue to deliver network-based services to customer-facing staff, as well as help to build a reliable foundation for business continuity.”

Emirates will deploy Cisco Catalyst 6500 series switches with 10 Gigabit Ethernet inter-switch links in the first phase of the project. Existing Cisco Catalyst switching infrastructure already provides server farm connectivity, while also interfacing with Emirates’ existing storage network infrastructure.

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