IBM to Resell Cisco, Brocade FCoE Switches

Wednesday Jul 22nd 2009 by Paul Shread
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Big Blue deepens its commitment to Fibre Channel over Ethernet and converged data center networks with its latest networking deals.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) has deepened its commitment to the emerging Fibre Channel over Ethernet standard with FCoE switch deals with Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD).

IBM will resell the Brocade 8000 FCoE switch as the IBM Converged Switch B32, and Big Blue will also resell Brocade's converged network adapters (CNAs). The switch and CNAs are available immediately. IBM also resells QLogic's (NASDAQ: QLGC) CNAs.

The deal expands on recent Ethernet and FCoE deals between IBM and Brocade, who also share a decade-long Fibre Channel partnership (see IBM Embraces FCoE, Converged Data Center Networks and IBM Says Brocade Deal Not Aimed at Cisco). HP (NYSE: HPQ) is another company reselling the Brocade 8000 switch.

IBM also announced that it will resell Cisco's Nexus 5000 switches, which support lossless 10GbE, Fibre Channel and FCoE. The switches will be available in September. Others reselling the Nexus 5000 include EMC (NYSE: EMC), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL).

Big Blue said in a statement that FCoE promises "faster networking performance and offers customers the potential to simplify their data center infrastructure and lower both capital and operational expenses via the consolidation of multiple data traffic flows over a shared network."

Some, like Cisco and QLogic, see FCoE beginning to take off soon, while Brocade thinks it will take longer to transition to new data center networking technology. One factor that could give a boost to FCoE is rapidly falling 10GbE prices (see Falling 10GbE Prices Spell Doom for Fibre Channel).

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