News Release

Cisco Innovation Strategy Fuels Data Center Transformation

Data Center Product Innovation, Industry Interoperability and Channel Program Enhancements Create Extraordinary Opportunities for Cisco Customers and Partners
Apr 08, 2008

HONOLULU (Cisco Partner Summit 2008) - April 8, 2008 - Marking the next evolution of its network-enabled Data Center 3.0 vision to transform the data center into a virtualized environment providing anytime, anywhere access to content on any device, Cisco® today unveiled the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series of data center-class switches, introduced industry-leading interoperability via an ecosystem of application and systems partners and accelerated adoption with a data center channel partner enablement strategy.

The Cisco Nexus 5000 Series strengthens the company's existing data center switch portfolio and builds on its commitment to invest heavily over the next 18 months in new products and capabilities to help customers architect the next-generation data center, creating a new market opportunity for its channel partners. The development of the Nexus 5000 Series was a collaborative effort between Cisco and Nuova Systems. Today Cisco also announced its intent to acquire the remaining interest that it does not yet hold in San Jose-based Nuova Systems, a Cisco-invested start up focused on the development of next-generation products for the data center market. (Refer to press release)

The Cisco Nexus 5000 Series is designed for data center consolidation with investment protection, helping allow customers to transition to a unified fabric at their own pace. It also meets stringent customer requirements for operational continuity, transport flexibility and scalability. With a unified fabric, IT organizations can simplify cabling infrastructure, reduce the number of required adapters, lower costs, and reduce power consumption and their carbon footprint. The Cisco Nexus 5000 Series delivers line-rate, low-latency, 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching, as well as the industry's first standards-based, input/output (I/O) consolidation solution via support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), Data Center Ethernet and virtualization technologies. The switch is an extension to the Cisco Nexus family designed to support increasing I/O demands of multicore processors and virtualized environments. With its support for FCoE, the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series consolidates local-area network (LAN), Fibre Channel and iSCSI-based storage-area networks (SANs) and server cluster traffic onto an Ethernet-based unified fabric. The Cisco Nexus 5000 also provides virtual machine (VM) optimized services, supporting the Cisco Data Center 3.0 vision by allowing IT organizations to dynamically respond to changing business demands through rapid provisioning of application and infrastructure services from shared pools of consolidated compute, storage, and network resources.

SAVVIS, a leading global IT utility services provider specializing in hosting, network, and application services, is currently testing the new Cisco Nexus 5000 switching platform. "We believe the benefits to SAVVIS of a unified fabric are multifold, including the ability to provide our customers with a higher quality of service as well as total cost of ownership reduction within our data center operations," said Bryan Doerr, chief technology officer of SAVVIS. "The Cisco Nexus 5000's ability to deliver this unified fabric today makes it an attractive platform for us and we are actively evaluating it."

The Cisco Nexus 5000 platform can connect to either Cisco Nexus 7000 or Cisco Catalyst 6500® in the aggregation/core layers of the data center. With native Fibre Channel interfaces, the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series can also connect to SAN fabrics built with the Cisco MDS 9000 platform. This helps enable customers to deploy the Cisco Nexus 5000 and FCoE today for I/O consolidation in the access layer, while protecting their technology investments in aggregation and core layers.

A wide array of ecosystem partners are helping to create an end-to-end unified fabric solution with the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series, including 3PAR Data, APC, Broadcom, Dell, EMC, Emulex, Intel, NetApp, Netxen, Panduit, QLogic, and VMware. (Refer to partner quote sheet)

Building a Data Center Practice

To further align with opportunities in the data center, Cisco is evolving its channel program to help allow partners to build a network-centric data center practice. Part of this effort includes the evolution of the Cisco Data Center Networking Infrastructure (DCNI) specialization to DCNI 2.0, which recognizes partners with a highly qualified data center practice. Cisco DCNI 2.0 Specialized Partners will be able to provide customers with in-depth data center technology skills and a proven customer track record in selling, deploying and providing sophisticated data center services and solutions.

In addition, for partners who decide to build a network-centric data center practice, Cisco will offer technical and business enablement tools and enhanced financial incentives. This includes the introduction the Cisco Data Center Value Incentive Program (VIP), which rewards partners who invest in a comprehensive business practice focused on the data center. Cisco is further enhancing its partner enablement portfolio with the introduction of the Cisco Data Center Partner Practice Builder, a proven, simplified and repeatable approach to building a Cisco solutions-based practice, along with Steps to Success, a business building platform that provides a step-by-step customer engagement model and associated resources designed to enable partners to sell, deliver, and support Cisco advanced technology business solutions.

"With a proven history of success in delivering innovative network solutions in data, voice and communications, video and storage networks, Cisco and its channel partners are uniquely positioned to lead the transformation of the data center into an agile and efficient network that revolutionizes how our customers adopt new IT strategies and respond to changing business needs," said Edison Peres, vice president of worldwide channels at Cisco. "With a full portfolio of data center solutions, channel programs and enhanced financial incentives through Data Center VIP, we are helping to create extraordinary opportunities for our partners to accelerate their growth, differentiation and profitability."

Services and Financing Options

Cisco has also expanded its services offerings to help customers realize the full potential of a unified fabric and take the next step in data center transformation. Cisco Services provide the expertise and experience needed to address the entire data center architecture and are designed to support an organization's growth, server performance, as well as storage and virtualization goals. In addition, Cisco CapitalTM offers financing solutions to support customers with the development of their data centers, including technology adoption, migration and lifecycle management. Cisco Capital offers competitive rates, high residuals and flexible terms for Cisco data center equipment and services globally.

Pricing and Expected Availability

The Cisco Nexus 5000 Series pricing starts at $36,000 for the fixed configuration 40-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch, and is scheduled to be available May 2008. Cisco Data Center VIP will be included within VIP 12, with an expected availability of July 2008 and DCNI 2.0 is planned to be available May 2008.

For More Information

Additional information and resources on today's announcement can be found in the Cisco online press kit at: More information and resources on the Cisco Nexus 5000 Series announced today can be found at: