Cisco's new blade servers to compete with existing partners

Cisco Systems is going to go in direct competition with their existing partners such as IBM and HP with the release of their new blade server line. Previously content to offer network connectivity solutions like routers and switches, Cisco is now going to provide multifunction computer servers designed to cut IT costs while reducing energy usage. The new servers will use Intel CPUs and they will run Microsoft's Hyper-V technology and/or VMWare's virtualization software.

Blade servers are designed to minimize space and energy usage and, when combined with virtualization software, will provide the technology that will allow these servers to perform multiple functions at once.

Needless to say, such a move will likely anger their former hardware partners who relied upon Cisco to interconnect their server products into a cohesive network solution. This new territory for Cisco is expected to bring lower profit margins than their traditional product offerings but presumably will offer customers a one-vendor solution to many of their IT needs. This move may encourage hardware vendors like IBM and HP to strengthen relations with some of Cisco's smaller competitors.

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Interesting. There are some places that I've seen that totally rely on Cisco kit and if Cisco themselves put the time and effort into the Blades as they do their network infrastructure kit, the competition will get incredibly tight.
That said, it may come down to cost for most organisations and if (for example) Dell are the least expensive, then they'll win out.

Cisco is not always the best. If you compaire a cisco switch and an hp switch with the same features the cisco switch is DOUBLE the price. Not worth it in my opinion.

In related news:
Microsoft Partners With Cisco on New Unified Computing System
Companies bring world-class datacenter solutions to enterprise customers.
REDMOND, Wash. — March 16, 2009 — Today, Microsoft Corp. announced its support of Cisco's Unified Computing System entrance into the server datacenter market as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). Through this agreement, Cisco will pre-package, resell and support Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V technology and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. In addition, Microsoft is working closely with Cisco to integrate System Center into this new solution.

Here at work we use hp products. Hp procurve switches and hp servers (we just bought 2 quad core 8 gig ram servers). i honestly don't think hp has anything to worry about.People who use hp products will not all of a sudden start using cisco products.

timmmay said,
Microsoft's VMWare??? Don't you mean VMWare's ESX? OR Microsoft's Hyper-V? Interesting nonetheless!

Yeah, that was my fault. I remembered Microsoft buying a virtualization software company a few years ago and, when the source article talked about VMWare and Microsoft software, I just put them together. A quick historical fact check reminds me that Microsoft acquired virtual machine technology from Connectix Corp. in early 2003 which placed them in direct competition with VMWare.