Cisco Unified Computing: From Service Providers to Small Businesses?

When Cisco Systems unveiled its unified computing strategy last week, most folks (including me) believed the effort focused mainly on midsize and large customers. But if you take a closer look, the unified computing effort indirectly targets small businesses as well. Here's how.

According to Cisco, the company's Unified Computing System (UCS) unifies network, compute, storage access, and virtualization resources in a single system. Some folks (myself included) initially positioned the UCS effort as a server launch. But John Growdon from Cisco Worldwide Channels offers more UCS details for partners in this podcast.

Certainly, UCS isn't a small business solution. Or is it? The answer is no -- and yes.

I don't see much of an opportunity for small managed service providers (MSPs) or small businesses to directly embrace or leverage UCS.  But over time, it's safe to say big service providers -- from AT&T to Verizon Business -- will either test or deploy UCS solutions within their own massive data centers.

Small businesses, in turn, will outsource more and more IT functions to those UCS-driven data centers, predicts Jackie Ross, VP of marketing for server access and virtualization at Cisco. Ross offers more UCS perspectives on

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