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.