Cisco cuts and runs on Dell blade partnership
'Dell, you broke my heart'
It was only a few months ago that Dell gave Cisco a powerful smack to the face by publicly denouncing the network giants' big Unified Computing System pitch as a vendor lock-in scheme when unveiling a set of servers, storage systems, and third-party network technologies it called an "open" alternative.*
Well, Cisco remembers. And Cisco clearly neither forgives nor forgets.
The network giant's plan to make a version of its Nexus family of switches that tucks inside Dell's M1000e blade chassis has reportedly just received a last-minute kiss of death.
According to CRN, which claims to have obtained a leaked internal Dell email, Cisco's Nexus 4001d blade switch due next month has been canceled. Also on the chopping block is the Nexus Fabric Extender blade switch that was planned for a summer release.
Cisco said it could not immediately verify the report due to most everyone being out of the office celebrating the US President's Day holiday.
To be perfectly fair, it was Cisco that first ruffled feathers of its formerly amiable server vendor partners Dell, HP, and IBM by announcing its toe-stomping play into the server racket in early 2009. Yet despite any hard feelings, Cisco still managed to kiss and make up with IBM by rolling out the Cisco Nexus 4001I switch module for IBM BladeCenter systems.
And with the existing UCS outreach to IBM, it makes the cancellation of Dell support a bit suspicious - but not surprising, mind you. Cisco doesn't necessarily need Dell now that it has its own architecture to peddle. The business reasoning behind the drop is more than Cisco's wounded heart due to Dell's taunts and counter-measures. ®
* Dell went as far as quoting a customer a customer who dubbed UCS "Unbelievably Costly Systems" in their pitch. That's stone cold, Dell. Amusing, but stone cold.
Why would anyone jump into UCS?
Virtualization is not new.
Paying a premium for commodity servers adds no value.
Cisco does not bring power/cooling or price-performance savings to the market.
I get nothing out of Cisco's server range than I can't already get from HP and Dell. IBM's an also ran, so I don't consider them a competitor. I guess that Cisco's made their switch available to IBM, they don't either.
And from what I know of the architecture, your choices are limited: Cisco switching only, Vmware only (where's Xen and HyperV)?
And why should I upgrade Catalyst switches that are working just fine to replace them with horrendously expensive Nexus gear?
Cisco are at least proving the accusation
That Cisco UCS is simply a ploy to trap customers into the "Cisco Powered...." money pit for a bit longer. Cutting off Dell now that they have found a few customers who actually bought the sales pitch and paid the injurous Cisco markup for commodity servers is not surprising. Cisco can't exist in a commoditised market, they have too much overhead and now that everyone can do scale out Ethernet (oh, sorry, Cisco can't) for big virtualisation platforms, Infiniband etc in horizontal scale out for HPC (sorry Cisco, port density, cost...) and there is a glut of the other device types out there Cisco have to join the IBM / HP game of locking you into a single vendor data centre to carry on milking you.
Don't worry, the bankers will carry on paying taxpayer's money to Cisco and keep them alive...