For starters, Nick Lippis posted a well thought out blog on his short list of cathedral-builders (Cisco, HP, and IBM). Yes, I know I have a bias, but these three companies would be my top 3 as well. I think all three companies have the correct blend of vision and completeness of footprint. If I were to add a fourth, it would probably be either Oracle or Dell--both companies are certainly working hard on carving out a broader role.
Over at Gigaom.com, Gary Orenstein pondered if networking would become the final area of differentiation in the data center. Certainly, I am not going to be upset if networking capability becomes the primary point of differentiation between Cisco, HP, and IBM :), but, sadly, I don’t think it will be that simple. I do, however, think he brings up an interesting dynamic for product vendors (the brick sellers in my original post). If networking becomes a key point of differentiation, I don’t think the current arms-dealer approach of selling their wares to everyone and anyone will fly any longer. If you are selling bricks with no compelling differentiation, then I think your business gets commoditized and the profit is driven out of it. On the other hand, if you do have compelling differentiation, then I think you get get snapped up by one of the cathedral-builders to give them a point of differentiation in the broader data center battle that Gary talks about.
All, of which, perhaps helps explain the reports that surfaced this week that Brocade is shopping itself around. This type of chatter usually makes customers nervous (often with good reason), but in the scheme of things, I can see why Brocade would want to take that risk and leverage its Fibre Channel expertise to find a home with one of the cathedral-builders in the market.
Anyway, I think it will be interesting to see what evolves over the next 12-18 months--how the cathedral builders flesh out their portfolio and what happens to the remaining brick sellers.
Now this is not a rhetorical question. I want answers, folks, answers! In the past we posed such questions but answered them in the same blog post. I’d like to try a different approach, I would like our blog readers to post their initial impression & understanding of Nexus 4000 first. So go ahead & post.
Mark Fulgham, VP Cisco Data Center Solutions invites you to join us on Cisco booth (2301) to talk about running your Oracle applications on unified computing system . Cisco and Oracle have been for a long time partners, working together on specific architectures such as the retail architecture, taking advantage of application acceleration and network optimization. Today with the Cisco Unified Computing Systems, the deployment of Oracle application has never been so fast and so simple
For more information on Cisco and Oracle partnership
One of my favorite parts of the show was the conversation with Derek Masseth, Senior Director for Infrastructure Services for the Universtity of Arizona on their FCoE deployment.
Why they choose to deploy FCoE?
How difficult was the deployment?
What approach did they take? How long did it take?
What were the benefits, ROI, and TCO?
Were they worried about deploying FCoE before the standards had been approved?
Beyond Derek’s piece, there is some good info on our shiny new Nexus 4000 FCoE blade switch as well as a look ahead to some of the upcoming product and technology releases for the Nexus and MDS families.
Liam Fraser, general manager, Marketing at Australia’s leading Information and Communications Technology provider, Alphawest, demonstrated the Cisco C-Series Chassis Unified Computing System for the first time at Networkers in Australia yesterday. See him outlined the demonstration that they put together on the show floor of the World of Solutions at Cisco Networkers here: