Cisco planning significant data center assault

Cisco Blade servers, green switches and collaboration on tap as company morphs into overall IT giant

Cisco has a number of significant product introductions on tap for 2009 as the company continues to morph from a pure networking player into an overall IT supplier.

Expected next year are internally developed data center blade servers; energy efficiency improvements across Cisco's switching portfolio; and a new release of the company's unified communications software for intercompany collaboration.

The product launches are intended to buttress Cisco's strategy to become not just the leading network vendor to corporations and services providers, but to become the leading supplier of overall IT architectures to these constituents.

"The network will enable all forms of communication and IT," said Cisco CEO John Chambers during his keynote address at the company's annual C-Scape analyst conference here last week. "IT is not enabling our strategy, it is our strategy."

California dreamin'

Perhaps the most important example of that will be a new Cisco blade server system expected next year. This will take the company into the data center compute space, right up against longtime stalwarts -- and up to now, Cisco partners -- IBM and HP.

Cisco officials interviewed at last week's C-Scape conference would neither confirm nor deny that this system is in development -- its code name is "California Server," according to sources -- but its impact will be substantial in the market and on its current relationships with compute partners.

"I've seen the product," says Vikram Mehta, CEO of Blade Network Technologies, a supplier of blade server switches to IBM, HP, Dell and others. "I think I know what Cisco's trying to do. Servers are a US$60 billion market. And if you're the size of Cisco -- [US]$40 billion -- you're looking for the next multibillion dollar market to jump into. There aren't a lot of adjacent markets so they decided to step on their partnerships and take these guys head-on to get a slice of the server action."

Blade, a private company which just announced a record fourth fiscal quarter in terms of Ethernet port shipment growth, believes Cisco's entry into the market will only strengthen the ties Blade has with IBM and HP, Mehta says.

Mehta says there's not much difference between "California" and existing blade servers for data centers, but there will be a Cisco-specific twist on it to justify its cost and profit margins. Other sources say it is an internally developed system based on Intel x86 processors and a Linux operating system, and it also embeds its recently introduced Nexus 5000 data center switches.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Data Centrecisco'

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

Jim Duffy

Network World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?