Cisco to unveil blade server for data center virtualization

Move would pit networking company against HP, IBM

Dennis Drogseth, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, called Cisco's reported plans to partner with BMC for management a "good choice" since Cisco has no server experience. Building the server would offer a "real risk of competition" with HP and IBM, but Drogseth said Cisco "obviously wants to broaden their opportunities."

But Jim Frey, another EMA analyst, said if Cisco is moving into servers, it is a "natural progression" for Cisco, and even "inevitable." Cisco reportedly has built a "mini-network inside the blade servers ... and has done some things that the other guys like IBM and HP haven't considered."

Frey predicted "absolutely, Cisco will be in a battle with HP and IBM especially. If Cisco is going to grow their business, they have to be in an adjacent business [to networking], and they will be in the crosshairs of IBM and HP no doubt about it."

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