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1/21/2005
03:07 PM
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EMC Partners On Storage Virtualization Strategy

Switch vendors including Brocade, Cisco, and McData will build virtualization intelligence into controllers for EMC hardware, a step that can help customers maintain a flexible storage architecture.

Leading storage vendor EMC Corp. is welcoming third-party switch vendors as partners in its network virtualization strategy, based on its new Storage Router turnkey virtualization product.

At a briefing on its campus in central Massachusetts, the vendor said it has partnered with switch vendors Brocade Communications, Cisco Systems, and McData to build virtualization intelligence into their products via integrated circuits that use EMC -written management software. The vendor said it chose to take this route to enabling the intelligent transfer of data, rather than building virtualization into its own controller, in order to provide customers with a lower total cost of ownership, platform independence, and improved flexibility. The virtualization software interface will have a similar look and feel to EMC's existing Control Center storage-management software.

EMC expects Storage Router to be ready by summer, and Cisco should have its intelligent switch ready at that time. But Brocade's and McData's offerings won't be available until later this year.

Speaking at the briefing, independent analyst Arun Taneja, founder of IT market-research firm Taneja Group, was very glad EMC didn't choose controller-based virtualization like competitors Hitachi Data Systems and IBM. "Once vendors lets go of that control, IT executives respect that and continue to buy from them," he says. "I wasn't sure EMC would take this network approach, so I'm happy it did."

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