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PRESS RELEASE

Cisco Collaborates with IBM to Deliver New Fibre Channel Embedded Switches for IBM BladeCenter

Cisco Alone Offers Full Range Of Protocols for Embedded Switches: Ethernet, Infiniband, and Fibre Channel

LONDON, England (Gartner Data Center Summit), November 20, 2006 - Cisco® today announced that it is expanding its portfolio of award-winning storage networking switches and directors by developing a new embedded Fibre Channel fabric switch for IBM blade server chassis. The new Cisco embedded switch will allow customers to deploy end-to-end Cisco intelligent SAN services, such as VSANs, advanced security, and high availability.

With this addition to its switch portfolio, Cisco is the only company to offer a full range of connectivity protocols for data center blade servers, uniquely providing customers with the choice of Ethernet, InfiniBand, and Fibre Channel to match their business and IT requirements. Customers benefit through common provisioning and management tools, simplified operations, and reduced operational costs.

"Today's data center managers need access to a variety of protocols in order to match the specific requirements of their environment with the protocol that best supports those needs," said Bob Passmore, research vice president at Gartner. "Blade servers that can offer multiple protocols and common management tools provide the flexibility and agility that the enterprise demands."

Many organizations are deploying bladed server architectures to simplify management and operations through standardization on a single platform for operation consistency, reduction in cabling and rack space, and integrated management. Blade server solutions help customers save in power, cooling, floor space, time, money, and resources. By offering a full range of protocols for embedded switches, Cisco helps enable seamless integration with the broader data center infrastructure and extends the benefits of multi-protocol intelligent network architectures to blade servers.

Powered by the Cisco SAN OS operating system, the new Cisco embedded Fibre Channel fabric switch is fully compatible with the Cisco MDS 9000 family of Multilayer directors and fabric switches for transparent, end-to-end service delivery in large enterprise environments, while enabling customers to take advantage of an end-to-end Cisco management framework to simplify data center operations.

"IBM has been leading the blade server industry with its innovative approach to systems design and a rich ecosystem of partners, unparalleled in the blade server market," said Doug Balog, Vice President for IBM BladeCenter. "We are pleased to be working with Cisco to continue to expand that ecosystem and look forward to offering our customers the new Cisco embedded Fibre Channel switch across the entire family of BladeCenter chassis."

Cisco Data Center Networking Solutions

The new Cisco embedded fabric switch is part of Cisco data center networking solutions, an integrated set of products, best practices and services which allows IT architects and data center professionals to take a phased architectural approach to building and operating a future proof network platform for their next generation data centers.

Availability

Further details of the new embedded switch for the IBM BladeCenter are expected to be announced in the first calendar quarter of 2007.

About Cisco Systems

Cisco, (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.

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Cisco, Cisco Systems, and the Cisco Systems logo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Cisco Systems, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. This document is Cisco Public Information.

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