Two years ago Cisco entered the server market with the introduction of the Unified Computing System. Our competitors met the move with skepticism, blank stares and questions around Cisco’s market strategy. Our customers wondered what a networking company new about computing. We didn’t let the naysayers or the doubters distract us. We continued the hard work of innovation and communicating the architectural superiority of the Unified Computing System. Soon customers and competitors began to take notice.
Today the IDC released the first quarter 2011 server revenue report and the news for Cisco is good. In just two years we’ve moved into third place world wide as measured by the IDC with a 9.4% factory revenue rate for blade servers. This announcement provided third party evidence of what Cisco has been proclaiming for the past two years – that the UCS is gaining momentum. In fact customer growth has been very strong as demonstrated by this graphic over the past 5 quarters:
The numbers speak for themselves; the UCS has been a huge success for Cisco. We are committed to the UCS and have a strong roadmap of innovation and technical partnerships allowing our customers to reap the benefits of the next generation data center. While we will briefly celebrate these numbers, we are clearly looking to the future and the goal of providing more value and benefit to our customers.
As stated previously, this report is good news for Cisco, but it’s great news for the customer. The entry of Cisco into the server market provides increased competition in a space that had begun to stagnate. The status quo is no longer acceptable and the marketplace will be better. The disruptive innovation that is the UCS requires our competitors to sharpen their tools, to invest in R&D and offer a better product to the market. In the end the customer wins.
At Cisco we’re thrilled to be making server history. We were born a networking company, and that will always be vital to our existence, but we are evolving into a systems company. We are here to help our customers on the journey to the cloud and beyond. I for one am enjoying the ride…Cheers!