back to article Cisco may sell blade servers

A Cisco Systems executive has implied that Cisco might enter the blade server computing market and compete directly with Dell, HP and IBM, who all partner Cisco. Marie Hatter, Cisco's VP for network systems and security systems, did not deny that Cisco was entering the blade server market, instead saying: "If the blade server …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    virtualization.info broke the news and confirmed

    This news was broken by virtualization.info on Dec. 3:

    http://www.virtualization.info/2008/12/cisco-to-enter-x86-server-market-with.html

    The virtualization news source has confirmed that the Cisco blade server exists and it's called codename California.

  2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Happy

    HP are already very close to Brocade.

    Just look at the Virtual Connect products for their blades, and all the badged Brocade SAN switches.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    HP Virtual Connect

    AFAIK, HP Virtual connect is Qlogic technology, not Brocade

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Price War? Competition?

    I don't think that Cisco would get into the blade business to erupt a price war. With their legendary high margins and amazing market share, they are not in this business. Furthermore, they are not in the business of qualifying application stacks, certifying platforms and providing best practices around server technology. Simply, they are looking to prop up their edge switch business - where the best margins are made.

    This is all HP's fault for leading with ProCurve and virtual connect, which forces their customers away from a Cisco standard. My advice would be for Cisco to pull closer to Dell and IBM who are much more Cisco friendly (IBM has Nortel relationships too, I believe)

  5. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Pirate

    RE: HP Virtual Connect, and reality biting?

    Ah, so you haven't seen the death-by-Powerpoint HP presentation on the coming 8Gb SAN versions, then? Whatever, you, don't admit so to your HP rep - it's deadly! But the new 8Gb VC bits are Brocade-based.

    Looking back at the article, the only evidence offered is CISCO say they would "consider" such a move, and have prevuiously moved into storage networking. Well, the statement means nothing, it doesn't even say they have a design group looking at the idea. And the storage networking was a natural outgrowth of the core networking buisiness to try and outflank CISCO's main competitor, Brocade. Adding SAN switches to a netwrok range is a lot smaller leap than going into blade servers.

    Seriously, though, what are CISCO going to do, design a complete set of blades from scratch to fit into the chassis used by their Director switches, or use a thrid-party reference design? If it's the former, can the slots supply the power to run something like a four-socket Xeon blade? If they go for the latter approach, who? Maybe IBM will licence them their design, at least it's a respectable design, but how will they then compete against IBM when IBM can undercut them and offer a wider range of products, management technology and services to sweeten the deal? And a design from anyone else would risk being too far behind technically to stand up to blades from HP, IBM or Dell. I'm not sure what the options are for simply making a blade to plug into someone else's chassis (I beleive IBM will licence this?), but how will that face up against a well-rounded package from the big three?

    Can CISCO partner with someone (Sunshiners, don't get excited, even CISCO aren't dumb enough to want to touch Sun)? And then if they do design new blades from scratch they still have to go build up the services back-end for Windows, Linux and (throw the Sunshiners a bone) even Solaris, which I don't think their current services teams can cover, plus create either a new channel or a new server sales team. All in the face of an economic down-turn?

    To be honest, when CISCO quit throwing their toys out of the pram they may decide the whole idea is a bit too much of a leap to make in the current economic climate.

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