Cisco ready to take on data centres
By Jim Duffy, Network World | Published: 09:21, 15 December 2008
Blade, a private company which just announced a record fourth fiscal quarter in terms of Ethernet port shipment growth, believes Cisco's entry into the market will only strengthen the ties Blade has with IBM and HP, Mehta says.
Mehta says there's not much difference between "California" and existing blade servers for data centres, but there will be a Cisco-specific twist on it to justify its cost and profit margins. Other sources say it is an internally developed system based on Intel x86 processors and a Linux operating system, and it also embeds its recently introduced Nexus 5000 data centre switches.
In addition, it is expected to support Cisco's unified fabric, which supports multiple data-centre traffic types over a single Ethernet host bus adapter, data-centre automation tools and deep integration with VMware Infrastructure.
Cisco, meanwhile, believes there are areas within the data centre beyond networking where it can iron out "seams" of technology between servers, switches and storage devices, says John McCool, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Data centre Switching and Services group.
"I can't comment on unannounced product," McCool says about California.
"I would say though that you see with what we've done with the (Nexus) 1000V -- the interesting things now are happening at the seams of technology. Obviously, we represent the networking component. But you have a virtualisation layer that's now emerged in data centres and you have compute. "We're very much interested in making the whole environment - we call it unified computing - a homogeneous environment by making those seams not look like gaps in IT," McCool says.
Cisco's Nexus 1000V is a software switch that runs on multivendor servers. It takes a virtual machine's (VM) network and security properties with it while the VM is moved around the data centre.