Posted by: Ryan Shopp
Well, since everyone else is talking about it, I might as well throw down my thoughts.
Very smart, calculated move! I love the fact that they have a very focused, defined beachhead as they dip their toe into the deep end of the data center (aka servers). Cisco for the last few years has danced around many other aspects of the data center with VoIP, Video and other network dependent applications or services. This data center in a box strategy, while not a new concept, has some new technologies and approaches that will attract the top 2% of huge data centers to kick off proof-of-concepts over the next year. They will enjoy kicking the tires and more importantly Cisco will learn more while building credibility. It will also open up more conversations that traditionally Cisco wasn’t included in, so depending on how they execute and industry reaction we may see Cisco make more strategic moves in this direction.
Also, even with all the buzz and worries about Cisco versus HP, IBM, Dell, SUN, etc, etc….for the most part this won’t be happening for years. I understand HP’s very vocal responses since it’s also a great opportunity to use Cisco’s “getting into the blade server” message to say “why not consider us as an alternative to network routers/switches (they are #2 these days on the LAN switch front…a very distant #2).”
So basically for the next year or 18 months Cisco will be busy delivering on this vision…working with 20-30 key high-end data center customers in proof of concept mode hoping to fine tune this offering to a point where one or two of those big guys take the plunge and make a significant purchase.
Specific to Data Center Automation, this is a HUGE win for BMC! I look forward to reading more on what precisely this offering includes and how it works. The experience and access BMC will gain through a traditional networking giant (not their traditional area of expertise or success) will help them tremedously. I remember years ago when working on integrations and joint efforts with BMC and when we mentioned “what do you have for networking” they would simply draw an ambiguous cloud….not anymore since Cisco will show them the nuances to “the cloud.”
So that’s my .02. Based on what you’ve heard what impact do you think this will make to the data center..good…bad..indifferent?