* Companies will sell line of equipment for data centers
* Cisco to provide networking gear, server computers
* EMC to provide storage equipment, virtualization tech
* A joint venture will offer the line as a hosted service
By Jim Finkle
NEW YORK, Oct 30 Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) and
EMC Corp EMC.N are teaming up to sell a new line of
networking gear, computers and storage equipment designed for
use with cloud computing, according to sources familiar with
The line of products, dubbed vBlock, position the two
companies to better compete against IBM (IBM.N) and
Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N), which sell a broader array of data
center equipment than either Cisco or EMC offer on their own.
Cloud-computing refers to hosted computing services that
customers access over the Internet. Analysts forecast that such
services will grow far faster than an otherwise sluggish
technology market over the coming years.
Cisco is providing the networking gear and server computers
to the vBlock line, while EMC is contributing storage equipment
and virtualization technology from its VMware Inc (VMW.N)
software subsidiary, according to the sources, who were not
authorized to discuss the project in public before a formal
announcement next week.
Officials with Cisco and EMC declined comment.
One part of the partnership calls for the two companies to
form a joint venture that will sell vBlock as a hosted service.
Customers can pay for that service based on the amount of
computing power and storage that they need, accessing it via
That joint venture will assemble computer systems for
customers, integrating all necessary hardware and software to
make the systems work.
"It's a 'virtual block' of the data center. You can buy it
from them as a service, then eventually transition it to your
own data center," said one of the people familiar with the
For Cisco, the world's biggest maker of networking
equipment, the venture could help kick-start the company's move
into the computer server market. It launched its first line of
computer servers earlier this year.
The venture may help EMC expand its footprint in the area
of cloud computing, one of Chief Executive Joe Tucci's top
areas of focus.
(Reporting by Jim Finkle, editing by Matthew Lewis)