EMC Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. have announced a partnership in which the storage giant will resell and support Cisco’s recently introduced Fibre Channel director-level switches. Cisco, which introduced the switches last August, has already signed deals with IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. to distribute its storage switches.

The MDS 9000 family – which supports Fibre Channel, iSCSI, and Fibre Channel over IP – will be distributed as part of EMC’s Connectrix family of storage area network products. They will not be re-branded as EMC products. Sources say the Cisco MDS 9000 switches will be supported under EMC’s AutoIS strategy for automating the management of storage, and will be managed under EMC’s ControlCenter. EMC has started qualification testing of the switches and next month expects to add them to its support matrix. The switches are expected to be generally available this quarter.

Wireless switch startup introduces … boredom

Yet another startup in wireless LAN switches has introduced what executives say is the most boring wireless switch on the market.

This unique approach by Legra Systems Inc. was distilled during an interview with a network executive who interrupted a presentation by Paul DeBeasi, Legra’s vice-president of product management and marketing. “He said, ‘Look. All this is fine, well and good. But the bottom line is, I want these systems to be boring. Just like my wired network,'” DeBeasi recalls. That’s what Legra, in Burlington, Mass., plans to do with its switch, radio access points, and network management application. The company’s products will ship in late summer. Pricing has not been finalized. DeBeasi would only say that based on prices announced by numerous rivals, Legra’s pricetags will be “highly competitive.”

Foundry goes big with Gigabit ‘Mucho Grande’ switch

Foundry Networks Inc. has lobbed the latest round in the 10 gigabit Ethernet switch battle, recently debuting its BigIron MG-8 and MG-40 chassis at the NetWorld+Interop Show.

The latest BigIron chassis are billed as Foundry’s core switch platform for the future, with a terabit-scale backplane and 40Gbps of bandwidth per slot. The bandwidth upgrade will let 10 gigabit Ethernet ports operate at full throughput, which was not possible on the vendor’s previous platform. Developed under the code name Mucho Grande, the BigIron MG8 is an eight-slot enterprise chassis targeted for large core backbone deployments and metropolitan-area network deployments. New four-port 10G Ethernet blades also will be announced for the MG8, allowing for a total of 32 nonblocking 10G bit/sec Ethernet ports in a single chassis, according to Foundry.