Cisco touts collaboration as way to transform data centers

Cisco wants to deepen EMC, VMware relationships and would like to further embrace reluctant IBM, Chambers said

Cisco offered its vision of where the industry is going and how it will get there to 11,000 customers and other attendees at the CiscoLive! conference this week.

The theme of the conference was "the power of collaboration", and Cisco demonstrated how its existing and future virtualization, visualization and unified communications products and technologies can help people share ideas globally to better innovate or attain business goals. Cisco also used the conference as a coming out party for its new CTO, Padmasree Warrior, and kicked off the event by fleshing out its Data Center 3.0 strategy.

"Ideas get stronger when they are shared," Warrior said during her keynote address. "When 'I' becomes 'we,' we can change the world."

Cisco CEO John Chambers shared some ideas during a roundtable discussion with the media, particularly around Cisco's data center plans -- and apparent lack of plans.

Chambers said it's not incumbent upon Cisco to own a company like VMware or a significant vendor as it broadens its presence in the data center. He essentially dismissed speculation that Cisco would make a run at storage titan EMC or virtualization software vendor VMware, of which EMC owns 86 per cent, as it deepens its penetration into the data center.

"Our ideal acquisition is 100 engineers with a product just about to come to market," Chambers said. "Margins aren't good in storage devices."

Cisco will, however, deepen its relationships with data center stalwarts such as EMC and VMware, and would like to do the same with IBM, Chambers said. IBM has been reluctant to partner more tightly with Cisco in the data center, he said, perhaps due to its broadening ambitions and competitive challenge.

"We're still at the altar," Chambers said. "We think [a tighter IBM/Cisco partnership] is in the best interests of employees, shareholders and customers" not only in the data center, but in the home and with service providers. "We want to make the pie bigger instead of smaller."

Chambers said Cisco's partnership with Microsoft is a model worth emulating. The companies acknowledge each other's ubiquity in the network and on the desktop and maintain interoperability, but also compete hotly in areas like unified communications.

As for the data center transformation opportunity -- virtualizing resources and converging them onto a single network -- Chambers says he's not sure whether Cisco's larger opportunity is in greenfield or legacy data centers immersed in infrastructure that outdates Cisco.

"We'll play aggressively in both," he said. "But the traditional players have not brought innovation [to the data center] in years."

Cisco attempted to bring innovation to the data center last week by fleshing out its Data Center 3.0 transformation strategy with enhancements to its Application Control Engine application acceleration, Wide Area Application Services and VFrame Data Center orchestration appliances, and unveiling professional services offerings.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jim Duffy

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?