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Posts Tagged ‘cisco

Robin Harris of StorageMojo his the nail on the head re: Cisco

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Cisco Systems, Inc.
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If IBM, HP and Sun aren’t meeting today to plot a radical, Cisco margin destroying open-source router & low-cost switch counterattack – like Seagate, HP and IBM performed on Quantum’s DLT – they’re idiots.

– via Cisco’s unified computing system (StorageMojo.com)

As I said in a previous post, I think Cisco’s recent moves are going to be great for guys like XORP and Vyatta.

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Written by John Gannon

March 20, 2009 at 2:46 pm

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Cisco’s bold move to own the cloud computing infrastructure

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Image representing Cisco as depicted in CrunchBase
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Cisco is getting into the server business, says NYTimes.com.   One could argue that the writing was on the wall when Cisco announced their Nexus virtual switch platform complete with deep VMware networking integration, but now there are few doubts that Cisco has clear designs on owning a huge portion of the cloud computing market.

It is important to note that Cisco is not going to be getting into the box business (a commodity business with low gross margins).  They are going to leverage their current architecture to build blade systems.  These blades are bound to be highly configurable, customizable, and most importantly more easily managable by enterprise IT staff than existing x86-based servers.  True, the other big server vendors have blade servers, but a Cisco/VMware combo is going to best equipped to deal with the networking nuances (and headaches) that become apparent as you virtualize a datacenter into a smaller physical footprint.

Who wins?

I think the NYTimes.com article is correct to assume that this will spur the server vendors to start playing more aggressively in the networking space.  Blade servers have already encroached on Cisco’s territory as blade enclosures have ethernet switches built in, but I’d expect to see even deeper integrations and more robust feature sets from the server guys going forward.

My guess is that the open source routing startups (like XORP and Vyatta) are well positioned to take advantage of this shift because the server vendors could work with them to build integrated server and networking platforms (at a fraction of Cisco’s price).  I’m also hoping (selfishly, as we have an investment in a datacenter switch company) that this will encourage the server vendors to look more broadly at their layer 1-7 networking strategy and how other players (besides Cisco) will fit in.

Who loses?

Cisco will certainly take a near to medium term margin hit (just as they did when they entered the carrier business).

I also think server vendors without a strong management software offering will feel some pain (Dell comes to mind) as Cisco (and HP and IBM once they respond) will be able to put together some very slick, integrated offerings that will make servers and networks much easier to manage.

What do you think?

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Written by John Gannon

January 21, 2009 at 10:11 am

You heard it here second…Cisco virtual switches supported in ESX

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Hoff from Rational Survivability just posted about the contents of his VMworld goodie bag.  Aside from whatever SWAG the VMware folks stuffed in there, it sounds like there was some marketing material in the bag touting support of Cisco switches within VMware ESX!

This is very big news and something that will be sure to increase adoption of VMware in production environments.  After all, the network guys will now have a) more visibility into the VMware environment and b) should be able to leverage their standard Cisco management toolkits to control the virtual switches running on ESX.

I’m very curious to see the details on how this is implemented.  There are going to be a wide variety of implications to how datacenters are operated, secured, and managed.  I’ll post again with analysis on this topic once more details become available.

Written by John Gannon

September 15, 2008 at 1:05 am

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