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Red Hat, Novell Join Cisco's Server Party

Alas, you can't see them in this picture. But Novell and Red Hat will have a seat at Cisco Systems' table as CEO John Chambers (seated, bottom right) builds out Cisco's server and unified computing strategy. Here's the scoop, from The VAR Guy. Some big names joined Chambers today when Cisco announced its unified computing initiative. On hand (photo, left to right) were:

The VAR Guy

March 16, 2009

Cisco Systems Unified Computing Strategy
Alas, you can’t see them in this picture. But Novell and Red Hat will have a seat at Cisco Systems’ table as CEO John Chambers (seated, bottom right) builds out Cisco’s server and unified computing strategy. Here’s the scoop, from The VAR Guy.

Some big names joined Chambers today when Cisco announced its unified computing initiative. On hand (photo, left to right) were:

  • Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business;

  • Paul Maritz, president and CEO of VMWare;

  • Joe Tucci, chairman, president and CEO of EMC Corp.;

  • William Green, chairman and CEO of Accenture;

  • Cisco’s Chambers; and

  • Bob Beauchamp, CEO of BMC Software.

What about the open source crowd? Glad you asked.

Open Source’s Growing Influence

Frankly, The VAR Guy was impressed — but not completely surprised — to see Red Hat and Novell participating in the announcement.

After ignoring open source earlier this decade, Cisco seems to be warming up to a range of open technologies. The company’s AXP (Application Extension Platform) contest — which includes $100,000 in prize money — is designed specifically for Linux developers.

Looking ahead, Novell and Red Hat are now endorsing Cisco’s unified computing push into the data center. Susan Heystee,VP and general manager, Global Strategic Alliances, Novell, gave Cisco’s effort the thumbs up.

Opening Up On Video

And Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst offered a feel good moment via video. Sure, it’s a puff piece. But that’s what vendors do when they’re about to storm a new market with each other:

Cisco Partners vs. Server Customers

Where will all this lead? The VAR Guy continues to come to a simple conclusion: Cisco’s partners are going to back this unified computing effort in a big way. But they’ll face potential push back from customers who remain loyal to HP, IBM, Dell and Sun Microsystems.

For months, pundits have suggested that Cisco was preparing to launch a range of servers with a heavy emphasis on virtualization. Experts expcted the effort to round out Cisco’s Data Center 3.0 strategy. The VAR Guy needs to give GigaOm and Network World a tip of the hat for breaking much of the early news related to Cisco’s server push.

Cisco finally clarified all the news today with a series of media briefings and press releases.

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