It was just last week that Cisco announced its Unified Computing System (UCS). As a reminder, the announcement included a Cisco switch, the UCS B-Series blade server, virtual machine software from VMware and other products from Cisco and third-parties. Cisco hopes that this will entice organizations to move from their current suppliers of technology to a Cisco developed and controlled environment. Since that time, a number of company executives have come forward to give me their views about this announcement.
Here are comments from Christine Crandell, EVP Marketing for Egenera.
Here's a summary of what Ms. Crandell had to say
- Companies, such as Egenera, have been offering blade computing systems, management software and the like for quite some time. Cisco's move into this market can be seen as a great validation of what Egenera has been doing
- While Cisco is likely to become an important competitor in time, it is unlikely that organizations will do much more than test Cisco's version 1 model 1 product.
- Orchestration and management software will be key factors for Cisco's overall success. Egenera's PAN manager has been offering these capabilities for quite a number of years. It will take some time for others to match those capabilities.
- At this point, most organizations have a broad array of systems, each selected to perform a specific task or set of tasks. It is unlikely that organizations will uproot those systems immediately. What Cisco has announced is another silo to compete with the silos of computing offered by Dell, HP, IBM and others. It is not clear that this will be seen as real unification.
- High availability and disaster recovery really is better "baked in" rather than "added on." Storage systems, networking systems, power supplies and even air conditioning systems must all be part of the formula.
- Security is increasingly important. It is not clear what Cisco is doing in this area.
- What do customers really want anyway? They want a standard platform that works will all of their software, fits within their management structure, is reliable, is cost effective and offers them the greatest ability to choose. It is not clear that Cisco's new offering fits this description.
- Today's datacenters include mainframes and midrange systems. It is not at all clear how Cisco is going to integrate itself and its new systems into such a heterogenious environment.
Although it's clear that Ms. Crandell is speaking for Engenera, the comments I've heard from many others echo these thoughts. Do you agree?