March 24, 2009 – Cisco’s recent announcement of its Unified Computing System (UCS) blade server promises to upset the apple cart in the server market, with a number of potential winners and losers. For InfoStor senior editor Kevin Komiega’s coverage of the announcement, click here
Assuming that Cisco is successful with the UCS (and eventually it will be, although it will probably take a long time), the potential losers are the existing server giants, such as HP and Dell (both of which derive about 10% of their overall revenues from the enterprise server market), IBM and Sun. (I won’t get into the IBM-Sun controversy because I have nothing to add to the rumors.)
The biggest winner in this announcement is VMware, but there could also be some winners on the storage side – most notably Cisco partners EMC and NetApp, but vendors such as Emulex and QLogic also signed on as UCS supporters and could get a nice coattails ride if Cisco succeeds (based largely on their dominant HBA market shares but also because of their expertise in virtual server environments).
Cisco (wisely) decided not to tackle storage on its own, but as the networking giant continues to extend well beyond its traditional roots it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the company jumps squarely into the storage fray – either on its own or via a game-changing acquisition.