Can Cisco sell ‘unified’ vision to a tough server crowd?

CiscoCisco’s biggest challenge in gaining market acceptance for its new Unified Computing System is to convince data center managers to buy blade servers from the router giant instead of from traditional, incumbent suppliers.

“Server buyers don’t have a relationships with Cisco,” says James Staten of Forrester Research. “It will be tough to convince them of the need for another player in this market.”

Cisco last week finally took the wraps off of its long-anticipated UCS platform, which incorporates internally developed blade servers and is designed to tightly integrate data center computing, storage, networking and virtualization capabilities. The blade server component has been the focus of much industry speculation over the past year, and what it might mean to Cisco’s relationships with longtime partners and blade server makers HP and IBM.

Cisco acknowledges that it will now compete with those titans in the data center blade server market. But it also claims it had no choice – and that those trying to pit Cisco and UCS directly against HP and IBM blade servers are missing the point.

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Calin is a network engineer, with more than 20 years of experience in designing, installing, troubleshooting, and maintaining large enterprise WAN and LAN networks.

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