This week, Cisco introduced a new era in hyperconverged infrastructure with Cisco HyperFlex Systems, as part of a larger announcement of new data center innovations for the hybrid cloud across networking, hyper-converged, and hybrid cloud orchestration.

Our data center news also included our intent to acquire CliQr Technologies, in order to help customers simplify and accelerate hybrid cloud orchestration, as well as a new line of Nexus 9K switches, powered by its ASIC innovation that provides a 2 year time to market advantage.

The news has been extremely well-received by industry reporters, describing “How Cisco Plans to Dominate the Data Center” (from an actual Fortune article headline).

Other third-party commentary via press coverage describes how Cisco “Sets Sights On Total Dominance Of The Hyper-Convergence Market”, as well as other validation from business and industry publications.

A few highlights include:

The Register: Cisco flexes its HyperFlex hyper-converged muscles: Let battle be joined; Cisco has re-entered the storage market via the hyper-converged infrastructure appliance door, with its HyperFlex* system able to separately scale performance and capacity.

InfoWorld: You can’t build tomorrow’s applications with yesterday’s hardware — nor should you build tomorrow’s hardware for yesterday’s applications. That’s the view Cisco seems to embody with its new data center switches and combined storage/network/compute HyperFlex system.

The Wall Street Journal: Cisco Systems Inc. is mounting new responses to two of technology’s biggest trends, the rise of cloud computing and a new breed of multifunction hardware for corporate data centers.

The Next Platform: Cisco was not a first mover when it came to hyperconvergence, any more than it has been for servers, but the company has been waiting for an opportunity to integrate and differentiate. “Our observation is that the first movers in this space really focused on two things almost exclusively,” Todd Brannon, director of product marketing for Cisco’s Unified Computing System line, explains. “First, delivering against the insatiable demand for IT simplification and second, get to market fast and meet that demand. And along the way, we believe that they took some architectural shortcuts… “Obviously Nutanix is very influential among the first movers in this space, but it is almost in the same way that Netscape was influential in the browser and web server space,” quips Brannon.

Light Reading: “Cisco introduced UCS in 2009, as a transition from the network to the enterprise data center, and has since dominated that market. Hyperconvergence is the next stage of the evolution.”

CRN: Cisco Systems took the wraps off a new hyper-converged infrastructure product line called HyperFlex Systems Tuesday, pitching it as a more economical and better-performing alternative to Nutanix and other startups in the fast-emerging space… Cisco partners who’ve been eagerly awaiting the vendor’s arrival to the hyper-converged market told CRN they’re impressed with the HyperFlex offering.”

Network World: “We measured our entry into this market very carefully and developed the requirements based on what we have learned from tens of thousands of customers of all sizes,” said Satinder Sethi, vice president of data center solutions engineering and UCS product management at Cisco. “A start-up, no matter how good their technology, just doesn’t have this type of insight.”

CRN: Cisco is a late arrival to the hyper-convergence market, where top startups Nutanix and SimpliVity have collectively raised close to $590 million over the past several years. But according to Brannon, hyper-convergence startups have taken “some real architectural shortcuts” that have slowed mainstream adoption of the technology. “That’s what we’re fixing with HyperFlex,” Brannon told CRN.

CRN: Partners Applaud Cisco’s Launch Of ‘Incredible’ New Line Of Nexus Switches, Software… “These newer switches are incredible, in the fact that they’re able to help our customer transition from what has been traditionally 10/40-gig networks to almost a 100-gig network at the same price. … Cisco is thinking about future-proofing network infrastructure investments that customers make and [customers] want that.”

Network World: “While Springpath doesn’t have the brand name of the hyperconverged market leaders, it’s a better fit for Cisco… While Cisco is late to the hyperconverged party, I certainly don’t think they’ve missed the opportunity.

eWeek: The hyperconverged market is “small but rapidly growing,” Todd Brannon, director of product marketing for Cisco’s UCS portfolio, told eWEEK, noting that IDC analysts are forecasting the hyperconverged infrastructure market to grow to almost $2 billion this year and almost $5 billion by 2019.

Barron’s: Cisco Is Defending Its Strong Data Center Position, Expanding In Storage…Combined, these two announcements are evidence that Cisco is aggressively defending its strong position in the data center market and expanding its market into storage. Kidron sees these strategies gaining traction in the second half of the year, and reiterated an Outperform rating and $30 price target on the stock.

FierceEnterpriseCommunications: “Now we’re seeing the fruits of that partnership. HyperFlex is built on Cisco UCS and the company’s existing converged infrastructure business, as well as software from Springpath. It puts Cisco in a good position as it builds out its data center hyperconvergence strategy and aims to capture a larger portion of the data center market.”

Want to read more? Here are some of the most notable articles from this week’s announcement:


Ben Stricker

Senior Public Relations Manager

Cisco UCS