Cisco, NetApp, VMware Map Out Unified Data Center Architecture

Cisco and VMware have now teamed up with EMC's sworn enemy, NetApp, to provide similar functionality: new and improved hardware and software for next-generation, unified-protocol data centers that make full use of cloud computing as needed.

Back on Nov. 3, 2009, Cisco Systems, VMware and EMC came to the media with an announcement that they would collaborate on a new joint venture, the Virtual Computing Environment, to produce cloud computing systems called vBlocks that integrate hardware and software from all three companies.
Three months later, two of those players-Cisco and VMware-have now teamed up with EMC's sworn enemy, NetApp, to provide similar functionality: new and improved hardware and software for next-generation, unified-protocol data centers that make full use of cloud computing as needed.
Off the top, it looks like the networking kingpin Cisco-the ringleader behind these new partnerships-and virtualization market leader VMware simply swapped out the storage vendor, just in case potential customers prefer NetApp, or perhaps don't like EMC.
Or maybe it's just Cisco, which gets along with most non-networking companies in a nice way, like Switzerland gets along with all countries.
In all fairness, both EMC and NetApp were the exclusive storage partners for Cisco when it first introduced its Unified Computing System concept back on March 16, 2009.
So they've both been there from the beginning, and both certainly have their loyal clienteles and strengths in different market segments.
You can't have too many partner-friends in the data center business. You never know which vendor a customer or potential customer may want to add to the IT stack.
Look at it any way you want, but another big storage bundle is in the offing for enterprises looking to upgrade their data centers in 2010. According to virtually all the research houses, this coming year will be better for buying new IT products than was 2009, when many IT managers simply bit their lips and rode out aging equipment for as long as they could to save money.
Into this encouraging business scenario, Cisco, NetApp and VMware recently announced their new collaborative blueprint for building what they are calling "Secure Multi-Tenant IT Infrastructures." This is a long, tongue-twisting phrase meaning, for all intents and purposes, "cloud computing."
The new reference architecture, officially documented as a Cisco Systems Validated Design, "lays out the recipe for linking the capabilities of the three companies together to create a shared server/network/storage infrastructure that can securely host multiple workloads or 'tenants' with confidence that none will interfere with the other," NetApp exec Jay Kidd told eWEEK and later wrote in his blog.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 10 years and more than 3,500 stories at eWEEK, he has distinguished...