Cisco Now a True Full-Service Systems Player
For the record, here are some UCS quick facts, as provided by Cisco and industry researcher TheInfoPro:
- UCS began shipping in July 2009.
- There are now 10,000 UCS customers "spanning all industries and workloads" (Cisco's words) with product orders at an annualized run rate of $1.1 billion.
- It set 54 world records in industry performance benchmarks.
- UCS earned a dozen industry awards for innovation.
- It's now No. 3 (behind HP and IBM) in sales of x86 blade servers worldwide.
The success of the UCS thus far has more than a few people at Cisco-which has had its share of missteps (who can forget the Flip camera?)-cheering. With a snicker, Cisco dredged up a comment made by a key executive of a partner/competitor, HP, from a speech made at an HP user conference in April 2010. It was the kind of statement that might be blurted out after a few beers at the bar -- not what one would expect from the podium at a partner conference.
Two years later, it appears that Mr. Seidl-a highly regarded exec who is still SVP at HP-was a little off track. Well, okay, more than a little off track. But he isn't the first, nor will he be the last, to make that sort of claim. They are made in sales presentations every day of the year. HP, Cisco Ink New Partnership In the meantime, HP has ceded some ground to Cisco. Last October, the two companies signed an agreement to jointly develop something called the Cisco Fabric Extender for HP BladeSystem-or the Cisco Nexus B22 Fabric Extender (FEX) for HP. The new product, co-engineered by both vendors, is aimed at businesses running HP's c-Class BladeSystem blade servers who want to leverage the Cisco United Fabric. The Extender, which is available now from HP and its channel partners, is designed to help businesses that already are running HP blades in Cisco switch environments to expand the technology they have rather than having to make major investments in new products. Does the HP-Cisco Extender deal end the overall sales war between the two? Certainly not. But it's a good move toward better cooperation in the data center, which, after all, is what customers want. At least for now, however, Cisco has removed all doubts by folks like HP's Mr. Seidl that it is a full-service data center player that's here to stay. eWEEK Managing Editor Jeff Burt contributed to this story. Follow Chris Preimesberger, eWEEK Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis, on Twitter.