Cisco UCS: A Tech Hangover

Nearly 24 hours after Cisco officially released UCS to the world, I awoke to a “tech hangover.” My excitement of the prospect that “California” would redefine the datacenter for the next generation was shattered with the reality that it was simply a blade server wrapped with management capabilities. Furthering my hangover was the reality that Cisco’s datacenter vision is proprietary, exclusive, and filled with hubris.

To combat this tech hangover, Cisco is offering a marketing campaign, analyst coverage, and cutesy videos/data sheets of this groundbreaking solution. Furthermore, I am sure that Cisco University is busy writing books and papers in support of the eventual launch of certifications (CCIE-UCS).

In the end, Cisco will sell UCS-B systems, but to whom? Will server teams accept Cisco? Or, will UCS-B become the networking server (built for and designed with networking needs)? Is UCS simply a launch platform for Cisco’s software?

Cisco’s real challenge is competing against companies of equal or greater size and market power that represent a portion of Cisco’s overall revenue. Additionally, Cisco is betting the farm on VMware; will this bet pay-off?

As you enter the data center this morning, try to calm the nerves of your IBM BladeCenters, HP BladeSystems, AIX servers, HP-UX servers, and of course, the old man of the group, the obsolete mainframe. Oh, try not to disturb the Junipers, Brocades, or ProCurves because ignorance is bliss.

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