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Cisco enters x86 server market

Posted on 17 March 2009 by Andreas Vamvatsikos

Cisco unveiled the Cisco Unified Computing System expanding it offering into the Data Center market and claiming a slice in the pie of the blade server market.

The UCS, according to Cisco, is a next-generation data center platform that unites compute, network, storage access, and virtualization into a cohesive system designed to reduce TCO and increase business agility. The system integrates a low-latency, lossless 10GE unified network fabric with enterprise-class, x86-architecture servers. The system is an integrated, scalable, multichassis platform in which all resources participate in a unified management domain.

It seems like the blade part of the offering is based on Intel motherboards and Xeon CPUs while virtualization is implemented either using VMware infrastructure or Microsoft Hyper-V technology. Microsoft is also a preferred management partner and SQL Server seems to have a role in the offering as well. All the new stuff is bundled with established Cisco switching and Fiber technology so that LAN and SAN traffic use a common 10GE Ethernet infrastructure.

UCS aims at decreasing data center costs by lowering energy consumption by through consolidation into fewer boxes that at the same time reduce cabling and cooling requirements. Unified management of the platform is bound to also bring IT Management costs down.

Cisco’s former partners and now soon to be rivals shouldn’t be too happy for the new contender in a market they consider their own and they watched their stock fall in the hours after the announcement.

Sounds like exiting times ahead since Cisco has some cash to spare and is in this game for the long run.

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