Feeds

DellHPSunIBM unmoved by Cisco blades

California dreamin' meets reality

Application security programs and practises

As most of the planet now knows, Monday is D-Day for the "California" blade server launch from networking juggernaut Cisco Systems.

This may not be the first time that Cisco has been involved in the server racket - it has dabbled a bit from the edges - but it is, if the rumors are right, the first time that the company will directly take on the server makers that have defined the foundation of IT infrastructure for decades.

Networks, after all, hang off servers - at least from the viewpoint of server makers and a lot of CIOs. But unless you're talking about standalone machines that pump out paper statements and bills from two, three, or four decades ago, no server is an island.

These days, a server is useful precisely because it is networked, and as Sun Microsystems correctly observed a long time ago, "The network is the computer."

Not that this realization will necessarily make you a lot of money. Cisco has done a hell of a lot better than Sun did during the dot-com boom and has managed to grow its sales and its influence over the data center since the dot-com bust while Sun's has been on the wane.

And if anyone can come in and shake up the server business, it's Cisco.

EMC was always a contender here, too, but it chickened out after buying Data General. It has, however, managed to take that company's Clariion disk-array business to a broader market - thanks to help from Dell - and has played its VMware virtual-server cards rather nicely thus far, as well.

The combination of the two - Cisco and VMware - could end up being a potent combination, even if EMC doesn't want to sell VMware to Cisco, which owns a 2 per cent stake in the server virtualization juggernaut. VMware will play a prominent role in the California server and surrounding infrastructure, as we have already explained here (Cisco rumor mill from late January) and here (VMware's talk this week about creating the "software mainframe of the 21st century").

The basic idea is to create a big virtual switch that sits between virtual machines on physical servers and the real switches that these VMs need to talk to virtualize the network, much as a hypervisor abstracts the underlying physical hardware.

And if Cisco gets a hankering to do this correctly - meaning adding storage as well as servers and virtualization - it might just have to go all the way and buy EMC to get its hands on the two assets it doesn't control. Toss in system management vendor BMC Software, rumored to be a big part of the Monday's upcoming Unified Computing announcement, and you have the whole stack except operating systems.

There have been dumber ideas.

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Next page: No fear at Sun

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.