In the past two years, Cisco Systems‘ entrance into the blade server field has allowed it to gain control of 12.2 percent of the x86 server market. This week, Cisco was able to surpass 10,000 customers internationally for its Unified Computing System (UCS), which integrates servers, storage and switches into a joint data center, filled with server racks.
Cisco’s recent gains come at the expense of IBM, whose share of the server market has decreased as Cisco’s has increased.
Cisco has certainly raised the bar by putting the full force of its marketing strength in support of UCS. Cisco appears to have been successful in its venture, having gained 10.8 percent in the international market share of x86 blade servers. It has seen growth of 16.9 percent in the United States, according to the IDC data. This gives Cisco a commanding presence in this sector of the server industry.
Cisco’s entrance into the server market destabilized many of the vendor relationships in the greater data center environment. HP and IBM have since taken action to reinforce their networking and combined computing offerings to create alternatives to Cisco. The influence of Cisco’s entrance into the blade servers market will be best measured over a longer time period. However, this week’s achievement will further strengthen Cisco’s status as a progressively more significant participant in the server market.
The Unified Computing System integrates hardware – such as the B-Series blade server and network adapters that flawlessly attach to storage systems via an expeditious amalgamated network fabric powered by Cisco’s Nexus family of switches. This allows for virtualized assets to jump effortlessly through the data center, chock full of rack shelves. UCS is an integral part of Cisco’s broad vision for the future of the combined Unified Data Center, along with its incorporated fabric and management framework.