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Server Kings: IBM, Dell, HP...and Cisco?

Cisco this week officially entered the server market with a line of blade systems that's 100 percent built for virtualization. In a Dell-like move, Cisco is supporting third-party hypervisors, particularly ESX and Hyper-V. It's also pushing network virtualization and storage management -- so in essence, the whole kit and caboodle is virtual from the get-go.

I have a theory. The network hardware market is drying up faster than spilled beer in Key West. And Cisco already owns nearly everything that Juniper hasn't managed to snag. A lot of this has to do with the nature of networks and network gear. While it only takes a Microsoft OS and an app or two to max out a PC, it takes a lot of data to saturate a network connection. Even most 100-bit/sec Ethernet connections are largely untaxed, and now we have 1-gig and 10-gig wares to choose from. And since a lot routers and switches come with an abundance of ports, it takes a while to use up all of them.

The server market is new territory, Cisco has the sales force and brand, and it can weave a compelling virtualization story. This could be huge. Would you buy a server from Cisco? Send yeas and nays to [email protected].

Posted by Doug Barney on March 18, 2009


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