Cisco Blades Surface at Summit

New rack servers introduce Cisco to a new vertical and widen the presence of its Unified Computing System.

 By Sean Michael Kerner
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When Cisco first announced its Unified Computing System (UCS) product portfolio earlier this year it was all about its 'B' series blade servers. Now Cisco is expanding its UCS product portfolio with a new 'C' series that includes three new rack servers, which are officially being announced at its Partner Summit now underway in Boston

The new rack servers entries bring Cisco into a new hardware vertical and provides a different entry point for enterprises to adopt UCS. The new 'B' series comes as Goldman Sachs research, cited by Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior during a Webcast press conference, reported that two thirds of surveyed IT executives expect an increased Cisco server presence in their data centers over the next two years. Warrior also noted that she sees the UCS market as being worth as much as $20 billion.

Though rack servers are often thought of as a volume market, Cisco executives noted that the 'C' series is not about Cisco entering the volume server market.

"This is not Cisco entering the rack-mounted space. That idea diminishes what we're actually doing here," John Growdon director of Go-To-Market Worldwide channels at Cisco said during the press conference. "What we're doing is the Unified Computing Architecture and how we implement that and bring it to market will have different formats. We are in the UCS space with an architecture and this is another form factor of how we are taking it to market. It's not that we're going after and selling undifferentiated rack mounted servers."

Cisco's UCS is an effort to bring together, storage, networking and servers into a single unified fabric with massive memory and virtualization capabilities.

Cisco will have three new units, with availability set for the end of 2009. Read more about the lineup and Cisco's ongoing plans at InternetNews.com

This article was originally published on Jun 4, 2009
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