IT Wholesale (ITW) has struck a distribution agreement with IBM to flog Cisco Systems' family of multi-layer directors and fabric switches.
The distributor - which is certified in IBM storage products -- joined Avnet and Tech Pacific in Australia and DataStor in New Zealand as distributors of the SAN switching products.
The arrangement follows an agreement signed between IBM and Cisco earlier this year which appointed IBM as Cisco's first global Original Storage Manufacturer (OSM) for the SAN switch range.
Daryl Tucker, general manager at ITW, said the move is part of a ramp up of the distributor's storage product line, which also includes products from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS). Tucker wouldn't be drawn on the sales revenue potential for the products, saying the distributor had never worked with Cisco products before.
Under the arrangement, ITW will be pushing Cisco's MDS 9000 family, which includes a line of multi-layer directors and the MDS 9216 multi-layer fabric switch.
According to industry analyst Gartner Group, the SAN switching market is expected to grow from around US$1.2 billion in 2002 to US$4.3 billion in 2006.
Wayne Glynne, business unit executive, storage at IBM Australia and New Zealand, said Cisco has different routes to market for its SAN switching products than its traditional networking equipment. Earlier this year, IBM was named as Cisco's first Original Storage Manufacturer (OSM) partner globally.
Glynne claimed IBM has already had some success with the SAN switching, earlier this year signing a deal with Deakin University which purchased a disk subsystem with 36TB of data and two Cisco Director products. Glynne said ITW would extend IBM's coverage in the SME and public sector markets.
He claimed - according to the latest IDC figures - that IBM/Cisco is number two in the external disk storage market behind HP.