Cisco’s new blade offering, Project California, is likely to be strong on blade and short on software other than UC. This could be a shortcoming that will make Cisco more vulnerable to competition than even some incumbent players might be. Cisco’s project has leaked out for a year or more, giving people plenty of time to position against it.
Dell recently commented extensively on its own view, which might be described as a “blade ecosystem” approach that would involve not only hardware but software and management tools. The implication is that Cisco won’t go there, but we find that very hard to believe given Cisco’s recent software push and the fact that it has management software tools already. In addition, rumors Cisco might even buy VMware have continued to swirl. We think that Cisco’s launch of a blade server would likely come when market conditions appear to be easing, but it may make some M&A moves much earlier.