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Cisco cuts and runs on Dell blade partnership

'Dell, you broke my heart'

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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.

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