IBM inks deals with networking giants

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IBM inks deals with networking giants

Brocade, Cisco and Juniper switches and routers added.

IBM has signed reseller and original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreements with three of the biggest networking firms.

The move will see IBM include switches and routers from Cisco, Juniper and Brocade into its own product portfolio, prompted by growing data volumes, demand for new services, speed and security, and always-on reliability.

The proliferation of the mobile web and connected sensors is expected to lead to 16-fold growth in each individual's "information footprint" by 2020, according to IBM.

Similarly, the gradual adoption of hosted services and cloud computing is accelerating these issues, and pushing the need for efficiency and elasticity in networks and datacentre architectures.

"Today's enterprise must balance IT budgets and growing network complexity with increasing end-user demands and market competition," said Mark Fabbi, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

"Increasing enterprise options for integrated datacentre solutions will allow enterprises to more easily achieve more efficient and agile datacentre networking architectures. The industry will clearly benefit from the innovative, open solutions coming from a range of viable sources."

The Brocade deal will see the immediate introduction of the IBM Converged Switch B32 and 10Gb Converged Network Adapter for IBM System x, its first Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) offerings, manufactured by Brocade.

The agreement with Cisco, meanwhile, will involve IBM Systems & Technology Group sellers and partners reselling the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series Switches, which feature lossless 10GbE, Fibre Channel and FCoE. These products may be ordered immediately and are expected to be available in September 2009.

The OEM agreement with Juniper Networks will allow IBM to rebrand and sell selected Juniper EX and MX switches and routers later this year. IBM Global Technology Services will also be collaborating on Juniper's Stratus Project and IBM's 10 worldwide Cloud Labs.

"This OEM agreement represents a continued deepening of our relationship with IBM, and a significant new route to market for Juniper," said Hitesh Sheth, executive vice president and general manager of the Ethernet Platforms Business Group at Juniper Networks.

"Our focus on delivering fast, reliable, secure, simplified networks fits perfectly into IBM's dynamic infrastructure initiative to help customers accelerate growth and innovation, while creating operational efficiencies and overall savings."

IBM will also provide services through its Global Technology Services unit to integrate and support these networking products, and will be using its Systems Director and Tivoli network management software to manage the flow of data and transactions.

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