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Services for Cisco Storage Networking Q&A - External

Table Of Contents

Q & A


Planning, Design, and Implementation Services

Technical Support Services

Multivendor Coordinated Support

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Q & A

Services for Cisco Storage Networking


Q. How are services delivered for Cisco storage networking products?

A. Cisco storage networking products are sold primarily through qualified storage solution partners. Your storage solution includes a Cisco storage switch or storage router, but it also contains servers, storage subsystems, and related software applications. For this reason, services for your storage networking solution are delivered primarily through storage solution partners that can service your entire solution. Storage vendors provide services for all the components in their solution offerings, which also include Cisco storage devices. Storage solution integrators provide services for heterogeneous storage environments.

Cisco storage partners have proven expertise in designing and implementing storage solutions. These Cisco partners offer comprehensive life-cycle services for your entire storage solution.

Cisco also offers a portfolio of full life-cycle storage services that support storage networks.

Q. When should I use partner services and when should I use Cisco services?

A. If you require complete storage solution services that include the integration of storage networking and storage subsystem components, you can benefit from comprehensive life-cycle services from storage solution partners that offer leading practices for integrated solutions.

If you already have the resources to integrate a multivendor solution and handle interoperability tasks, and you want to work directly with Cisco for its storage networking expertise, you can take advantage of Cisco Advanced Services and Cisco SMARTnet.

Table 1  Service Delivery Methods

If Your Customer Needs
Plan, Design, Implementation Services
Technical Support Services
Single-source to handle integration and interoperability issues

Storage solution partner services

Cisco storage networking product expertise

Cisco Advanced Services

Cisco SMARTnet, SMARTnet Onsite services

Q. What are the benefits of services for storage networking solutions?

A. The goal of storage services and support is to promote customer success with storage technology. Cisco storage solution partners possess expert staff, processes, and tools to reduce the cost, time, and complexity of implementing a storage network. These partners design and deploy some of today's largest storage solutions, so they understand how to integrate a storage networking solution into a business in order to more quickly realize business results and gain a competitive advantage.

Q. What services are available?

A. The following services are available:

Partner planning, design, and implementation services—Cisco storage solution partners assess storage needs, plan and design your comprehensive storage solution and migration strategy, and implement and test your storage solution.

Cisco Advanced Services—Cisco Advanced Services provides expert storage networking engineering consultants for the life-cycle of the storage network.

Technical support services—Cisco storage solution partners offer end-to-end storage solution technical support services backed by Cisco technical expertise and coordinated support processes for seamless collaboration. Cisco also offers Cisco SMARTnet and SMARTnet Onsite technical support for Cisco products in your storage network.

Planning, Design, and Implementation Services

Q. Why is the planning and design of a storage network so important?

A. Thorough planning and design ensures that your deployments are successful. Due diligence in this process provides the foundation for projects that are delivered on schedule and within budget. Design services cover the range of issues from physical infrastructure to the migration steps needed to mitigate the risk in deploying a networked storage environment.

Q. What services and support programs are available for planning, designing, and implementing a Cisco storage network?

A. Planning, design, and implementation services are delivered through qualified Cisco storage solution partners or directly by Cisco.

Cisco storage vendor partners provide services for all the components in their solution offerings, including Cisco storage devices. Cisco storage solution integrator partners provide services for heterogeneous storage environments.

To locate a storage solution partner, visit the Partner Locator:

(Note: this information will be available by product shipment.)

Cisco also offers ongoing services for the planning, design, implementation, operation and optimization of your storage network through Cisco Advanced Services storage networking engineering consultants. Cisco Advanced Services provides a team of storage networking experts who have an intimate knowledge of your technical and business requirements and work with customers on a custom and ongoing basis. Examples of custom services include conducting a profile of the current storage environment and assessment of storage needs; development or validation of storage network designs and migration plans; development of a customized training program (including knowledge transfer activities); a prototype of the storage network; review of installation, implementation, and testing plans; implementation support, hardware and software maintenance recommendations; and problem escalation support.

To engage Cisco Advanced Services storage networking engineering consultants, contact your local service sales representative.

Q. Where can I find out more about Cisco Advanced Services?

A. For general information about Cisco Advanced Services, visit

Technical Support Services

Q. What technical support services for storage networking are available?

A. Cisco storage solution partners provide technical support services for your entire storage solution that are backed by Cisco expertise for your storage network. For customers who want to work directly with Cisco, Cisco SMARTnet and SMARTnet Onsite support are available for Cisco products in your storage network and provide:

Access to storage networking experts 24 x 7

Access to online technology tips and libraries, problem resolution templates, and troubleshooting tools 24 x 7

Hardware replacement

Cisco IOS® Software updates and upgrades

Onsite field engineers (when you choose Cisco SMARTnet Onsite support)

Multivendor Coordinated Support

Q. A storage solution may include a Cisco storage switch or storage router, but it also contains servers and storage subsystems. How do I get support if I encounter a problem within the solution and it is unclear whether the problem lies within the Cisco products or within a third-party product?

A. There are various paths to problem resolution depending on who is providing technical support services:

Some storage solution partners are vendors of their proprietary storage products and will provide services for all the components in their storage solutions that include Cisco devices. Interoperability is addressed as part of this close relationship and Cisco and the partners have a support relationship that allows for the speedy escalation and resolution of any interoperability issues.

Cisco storage solution integrator partners provide services for heterogeneous multivendor storage environments that they design and deploy. They have access to Cisco support resources to assist them in interoperability issues via the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC).

If you have purchased Cisco SMARTnet and are using Cisco AVVID (Architecture for Voice, Video and Integrated Data) partner storage products, coordinated support is a formal process, designed to provide seamless technical support to customers with valid maintenance agreements for both Cisco and Cisco AVVID partner products. Under the Cisco AVVID Partner Program, Cisco verifies interoperability of its products with other manufacturers' products. In cases where the location of the problem remains unclear after troubleshooting or for critical issues, the Cisco support engineer or the partner's support engineer may choose to collaborate to further isolate the source of the problem.

For more information about the Cisco AVVID Partner Program, visit

For More Information

Q. Where can I find more information about services for Cisco Storage Networking?

A. For information about storage networking services, visit, or contact your Cisco account manager or service sales representative.