Cisco Systems and IBM announced that IBM will resell Cisco MDS 9000 Family multilayer directors and fabric switches that incorporate Fiber Connectivity (FICON)-related features. IBM has qualified the FICON-related features and will use them to offer Cisco Storage Area Network (SAN) switches to its mainframe customers.
   An interface for mainframe connections to storage devices, FICON provides high-speed I/O. Cisco added FICON and FICON Control Unit Port (CUP) management support to its Cisco MDS 9000 products when it updated the OS late last year. FICON features from Cisco include extending FICON over IP networks by using Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP). "These new Cisco MDS 9000 features and products help IBM deliver even more flexible SAN configurations for reliable, scalable, and cost-effective storage, backup consolidation, and business continuity solutions across open systems and mainframe environments," said Cindy Grossman, director of disk marketing, IBM Storage Systems.
   Among the features IBM has qualified for resale are added support to the IBM TotalStorage Virtual Tape Server (VTS) and Extended Remote Copy (XRC) technology for use over FICON and FCIP. The company also made available support for data replication services with the IBM TotalStorage SAN Volume Controller over FCIP. The new features and products will be available from IBM and its partners on May 7.