Cisco’s Unified Computing System

By admin, March 20, 2009 7:50 am

So I'm finally getting around to looking at Cisco's Project California announcement today, and what do you know, it looks like old news already despite having just come out on Monday.

The project represents Cisco's first entry into the datacenter server market. The device is sort of a downsized version of the shipping container data centers that were all the rage for a while, a blade-server architecture which contains generic processing and storage capacity combined with Cisco's networking capabilities.

This seems slightly old hat because about two weeks ago I sat through a presentation by Zenith Infotech describing a box they call BoxOffice, made by A-Server, which is basically the same concept for a different market… they're aiming as low as Cisco is aiming high, by looking to dump virtualized processing power into small businesses, which can then virtualize it to their own purposes. The overall intent is the same; a modular, extensible hunk of computing power to be virtualized as necessary to perform the tasks at hand.

If you do a search for "Cisco Project California" you get about a dozen hits for articles entitled "Will Cisco's Project California Rock the computing world?" (which is one of two obvious headlines, the other being "Welcome to Cisco's Project California"… c'mon, sing it with me) but so far it doesn't seem to have done so. I can find less commentary on it from fewer of the talking heads than on the possible resurgence of the Microsoft-Yahoo Zombie Deal that Wouldn't Die.

So are people just that unexcited by Cisco's entry into the server market, or is this just conceptually so obvious (a la BoxOffice) that it's hardly worth commenting on? It seems to me that data centers have been moving in this direction for a while, so while it may be a good move for Cisco, it's not quite the revolution they would like it to be.

One Response to “Cisco’s Unified Computing System”

  1. Data centers have indeed been moving in this direction for a while. Egenera, for instance, has been selling an identical architecture since 2001. And IBM / HP have similar products available now for ~ 2 yrs.

    Dell is now OEMing the Egenera management SW on their own blades, and it uses standard Enet, so you don’t need all the fancy Cisco gear to get the benefits.

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