Cisco’s data-center push holds promise, perils

CiscoCisco’s move into the heart of data centers, expected to be laid out at an event next Monday, holds the promise of easing a big IT headache but may also escalate competition between the company and its partners.

The networking giant is widely expected to announce an entry into the blade server market, codenamed “California,” at the Monday event, though the company’s brief press invitation referred only to a concept Cisco calls “Unified Computing.” In a recent blog posting, Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior described Unified Computing as a move toward unifying computing and storage platforms with networks and virtualization platforms. She also acknowledged Cisco will compete with some of its partners.

What Cisco wants to do, according to industry analysts, is to make virtualization easier — and gain a lot more control over virtualization itself. That goal doesn’t necessarily require the company to make its own servers, but some signals point in that direction.

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