Cisco, NetApp, VMware: Converging In the Data Center
Cisco and NetApp have unleashed their new end-to-end Fibre-Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) solution with VMware. It’s designed for a so-called Dynamic Data Center. Perhaps not by coincidence, the trio are making their move the same week that Hewlett-Packard announced its Flexible Data Center strategy. The big question: Which data center strategy will channel partners embrace?
Let’s start with the Cisco, NetApp and VMware move. The end-to-end FCoE solution is built for VMware virtual environments exclusively, and looks to consolidate the number of devices and cables needed to actually drive the data center. What’s more, Cisco data center switches and NetApp storage FCoE solutions are now validated by VMware to support VMware environments.
All three companies mark this as a “significant milestone” for progressing the FCoE protocol amid growing opportunities in cloud computing. The trio claims they’re the “only networking, storage and vitalization vendors to combine data center consolidation, virtualization and automation” all using the FCoE.
Cisco, NetApp and VMware claim their solution will do the following:
- Save customers money: FCoE reduces the number of cables and adapters required in the data center.
- Increased Efficiency: Reduces equipment footprints in data centers, thereby reducing cooling requirements and power consumption
- FCoE now for Virtualized Environments: The trio feel that this is an prime example of how 10Gb lossless Ethernet has become a secure and integral part of a unified data center infrastructure. FCoE allows for NAS and iSCSI to exist on harmoniously on a single network. All this rolled together, is said, to improve network “agility and performance.”
HP’s Flexible Data Center
Meanwhile, HP has been taking its own data center steps. Specifically, Hewlett-Packard says they’ve found a way to cut customers’ capital investment in half when building a data center, while simultaneously being green and cutting customers’ carbon footprint.
HP says the effort, called Flexible Data Center, is patent-pending, offering a standardized approach and modular design. HP calls this design “butterfly” because it has four prefabricated modules that can branch off from a centralized administrative section.
The cost is cheap since it’s using industrial components, HP claims, and there’s a streamlined building process that enables power and cooling to be distributed as well. HP is offering services with their new data center offering that help design and consult customers on implantation.
Meanwhile, Cisco continued to bang the drum for its unified computing system (UCS) during this week’s Avnet Technology Solutions Partner Summit near Denver, Colo.
At the conference, Cisco representatives described current data center inflection points, and shared their views on how Cisco UCS can disrupt traditional data center companies like IBM and HP, and even some coopetition involving Cisco vs Oracle.
Perhaps Avnet officials said it best, predicting the IT world would converge around four or five companies.