back to article Cisco should get serious about storage and Chuck some cash about

Cisco should buy Nutanix, or Pure or both, and get itself a serious stake in storage for converged and hyper-convegred systems going forwards. What Cisco, with its UCS servers and converged/hyper-converged storage supplier partnerships is a raft of enterprise-class converged and hyper-converged system suppliers with more ( …

  1. Jo_seph_B

    They should have

    Purchased Nimble in my opinion. It would have been a perfect fit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They should have

      Niimble? Good product, okay user interface, but transitional technology The market has already moved on.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They should have

        I think Tintri is the way to go. They have genuinely awesome storage software. Hardware is not as important. It will all be commodity in the near future. The only downside is that Tintri is playing in VMware and Microsoft's sandboxes. If Cisco really wants to break out of being a VMware and Microsoft infrastructure provider, then they need Nutanix. Actually Nutanix is the way to go, changed my mind, VMware has their guns pointed at Cisco and Cisco is within range. They need to break that VMware dependency before VMware does to them what they did to Sun Micro.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I couldn't disagree more. This is the same as saying Cisco needed to buy HP or DELL to enter the x86 server business. I mean who the hell was Nuova/UCS 6 years ago, right?

    You can spend big bucks and go down fast, like HP (Compaq, Palm, EDS, ... not to mention leading SW Autonomy) and so many other have find out so many times... and I fear DELL will soon too.

    Big acquistions are no way safer, nor in any way imply more sucess. Cisco most sucessfull product have often come from small developments and acquistions (Crescendo, Andiamo, Nuova, Webex, Meraki, Aironet, ...)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      either way works

      to be fair, storage is a little more different to servers: Cisco was already in the server business to a great degree prior to UCS, albeit servers with lots of IO ports.

      You can buy a company and expand (eg Dell with Equallogic and Compellent) or you can build from the ground up (eg Cisco with UCS). It's harder to build from ground up with storage because of the proprietary RAID, caching, snapshotting, replication and virtualization algorithms. The GUI is the easy part.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: either way works

        Exactly, when we say servers (post-Unix era), we mean commodity Intel hardware which anyone can design in a couple of weeks. Storage sounds like hardware, but it actually means software. Cisco doesn't have a solid/any storage management software... they are relying on VMware, who is trying to kill them. Difficult to "partner" long term with someone who is chasing you with a butcher's knife.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mr oz

    No please

  4. AbstPoolAuto

    A storage pure play company is going to really struggle in a couple of years, they are no more immune to public cloud eroding their customer base from one side, while hyperconverged erodes it from the other than EMC were - hence the need for the DELL merger. Pure, Nimble, NetApp, Tegile etc are especially vulnerable I'd have thought.

    Neither Simplivity nor Nutanix need Cisco to succeed, so I don't know whether it would be in their best interests.

    Nimble may well be a good shout given the low share price, other wise I'd wait it out and wait for the value of all those storage only companies to start deprecating, which I think is almost inevitable.

  5. CheesyTheClown

    Cisco has storage

    They have the C240 M4 which is a megabeast Windows Storage server or VMware virtual SAN or OpenStack Swift all SSD/Flash array with 24 drives and enough PCIe slots for massive cache. 8 of those will rip all the doors, windows and roof tops off of any competitor (I've tested).

    They have near-line storage as well in the C3260 which is a 52 drive storage beastie for storage teiring. Again, Windows Storage Server, Virtual SAN or Swift.

    For hyper-converged they have their own storage for high performance... No nutanix needed. They also have their own OpenStack mainframe with full storage built in.

    Basically, Cisco did it right. Instead of wasting money on third party storage systems, they just waited for all the virtualization solutions to ship with their own software defined stacks and frankly, they just work better. With Veeam, they have all they need.

    So while all the other vendors of storage will probably go tits up in the next few years, Cisco is able to avoid wasting that money.

    P.S. Azure Stack on Cisco UCS gives a two vendor solution to nearly every major business problem and performance like no one has ever seen before. VMware's solution is about 6 years behind, and the #1 reason other storage vendors exist, but it's pretty good for an antique. Swift on top of GlusterFS is amazing.

    Quit talking about thing you obviously don't understand.

    1. Jo_seph_B

      Re: Cisco has storage

      This is all very valid and I agree with it all. However, I don't agree with you saying Cisco is not wasting money... Whiptail? Ok they may lose less than the other vendors in the long run, but they've still made costly mistakes along the way.

      Also still think a Nimble purchase wouldn't be bad and would only strengthen their converged stack offering.

    2. returnofthemus

      Re: Cisco has storage

      Cisco also does a great line in PowerPoint storage.

      Incidentally, what's the story behind that CheeseytheClown tag?

    3. yo_G

      Re: Cisco has storage

      "Openstack mainframe."

      That's so nonsensical on so many levels, you get a A for Fail.

  6. returnofthemus

    LOL, not this old chestnut, AGAIN!

    What is it with storage punduits and this Cisco obssesion, I know they've looking for a new messiah, but Cisco have proved they can't do storage after acquiring Whiptail and that's exactly where they should leave it.

  7. Steve Chalmers

    Cisco missed this bus, wait for the next one

    Note: I work for a competitor.

    Cisco is a supplier of Fibre Channel SAN switching and management, and today cooperates with and meets in the channel a number of storage suppliers. I was really concerned as a competitor what Cisco could do with Whiptail, but it seemed from outside like the backlash from that deal in Cisco's relationships with other storage companies impacted Cisco's commitment to making Whiptail work.

    Given that storage, particularly the kind of storage you'd closely couple to the server or make part of the server cluster in the way Whiptail could have been, has a new entrant in the form of server resident persistent memory, it seems to me that Cisco would be far better off entering this new segment as it emerges than in risking the backlash from current partners if it acquires an established leader (NetApps for example) or an emerging solid state array company (Pure, Nimble, etc).


  8. Mark Hahn

    Cisco and Oracle would be perfect for each other. Both companies cater to the "it costs more so it's better" segment of the PhB/enterprise market.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sod storage

    Cisco need to buy SGI, before they are snatched up by HPE meaning HPE will be the only vendor out there able to do single images with 16 Sockets and beyond.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They should buy Infinidat. Solves real world problems. AFA performance at petabyte scale, 7 9s reliability, at a cost point less than Amazon EBS.

  11. ntevanza

    Cisco should buy the Internet

    Controversial as it may seem today, this has always been the source of their growth. Storage is a sideshow. The real threat is Huawei. Cisco should just get the biggest fattest investment bank to New York a way to buy the ground Huawei is standing on.

    OK, that's enough Cisco Should Buy, now.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nimble is the best answer - bar none

    Not sure why this article left out Nimble in terms of an acquisition. It's the best acquisition Cisco could make if it wants to get into the networked storage space. Has both a modern hybrid and AFA, at par or exceeding the capabilities of all the new players in the market currently - all at a discounted market rate.

    They'd get more for less than if they bought Pure. And their campus is also right next to Cisco!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nimble is the best answer - bar none

      They need to get into the hypervisor game. VMware, Microsoft and Red Hat are building storage software into the hypervisors. That is basically every single workload. After they take hold, storage is a commodity. The only way Cisco gets into that game is to buy Nutanix and try to give the hypervisor game a go... or they could roll their own Red Hat, KVM distro and start giving away the support with SmartNet support buys, no additional charge... try to take the Linux game down.

  13. RonWheeler

    Margins and fails

    Every time they buy another company, they try to add 1000 percent margins like they do with their switches and routers. And fail to sell. Only diehard old-skool inflexible job-protecting network people buy Cisco - everyone else buys on merit.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why buy the cow..

    Cisco has a problem with somehow thinking they could add value to SSD in some way that's not been thought of already. Unlikely, given the decades of IP bound up in the existing storage players like EMC and HPE. They'd be like a grocer and a banana - the only value they'd add would be a bruise.

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