Cisco Systems announced on Monday that it has expanded its partnership with EMC in order to resell EMC's network-attached storage (NAS) servers -- marking the first time Cisco has ventured into selling an enterprise-class storage subsystem.
Cisco said it plans to resell EMC's Celerra NS500 and NS700 NAS arrays in combination with its wide-area file services Cisco File Engine, giving customers an end-to-end product for consolidating the backup of file-based data over wide-area networks.
Cisco announced its pizza-box-size File Engine last month, saying customers would now have a way to consolidate management of distributed file and print services within branch offices by moving local backup functions to a central data center. Cisco plans to sell EMC's NAS as the backup element in central data centers.
"We see it as an excellent opportunity from a market standpoint," said John Henze, director of marketing for Cisco's Caching Services business unit.
Customers "like the [wide-area file services] solution very much, but they would really like an end-to-end solution that covers both central storage as well as one vendor that supports all of that," Henze said.
The integrated offering will be sold and supported by Cisco directly and through its worldwide partner channel. Cisco expects to begin selling the combination at the beginning of the second quarter, Henze said.
The Cisco File Engine appliance uses the company's wide-area file services technology to create a single global name space for file and print services over a WAN. The technology also uses caching algorithms to create LAN-like performance for data retrieval.
Henze said an enterprise with many branch locations could deploy the combination of the File Engine and NAS boxes for about US$12,000 per remote location. When sold separately, the Cisco File Engine carries a retail price of US$12,000, the EMC NS500 with 1TB capacity sells for US$40,000, and the NS700 with 2TB capacity sells for US$137,500.