Cisco is urging partners to start skilling up to meet demand for its Unified Computing System (UCS), a new computing architecture launched yesterday that knits together compute, network, storage access and virtualisation into a modular system.
Cisco has brought on board several technology partners for the launch, including Microsoft and Red Hat, and speaking to MicroScope earlier today, Cisco UK and Ireland data centre solutions manager Jim DeHaven said: “In the UK and Ireland we’re looking at 12 resellers with the data centre specialisation.”
According to DeHaven, Cisco will initially work with these partners, but then plans to narrow the numbers down to take account of their broader skills capabilities around the UCS technology partners.
“However, the plan is not to restrict this to skilled GoldPartners; as other skill up we’ll bring them on board,” DeHaven added.
ANS Group chief executive Scott Fletcher, said he was behind Cisco and believed the idea of putting virtualisation capabilities in a Cisco box was particularly interesting.
“The strategy is right; why have one box doing blades and another doing the network? For us it’s a great move because we have a foot in both camps,” he said.
Fletcher added that Cisco historically had a tendency to grab market share during a downturn, and reckoned this time round was no exception.
Bob Dalton, managing director at Cisco services specialist Intact Integrated Services, which was spun out of its parent Logicalis earlier this month, said: “We expect that initially many channel partners will adopt a‘wait and see’ approach.
“However … there’s a strong opportunity for those channel partners who get in early on important new initiatives such as UCS and who position themselves to reap the commercial benefits as the market moves to recovery,” he continued.
Meanwhile, some of Cisco’s competitors have been voicing their scepticism over the new initiative, and storage vendor Brocade, which recently acquired Foundry Networks to beef up its own capabilities, has been particularly critical.
“A dynamic and virtualised data centre holds the promise of many compelling benefits for end-users,” Brocade said in a statement. “However,achieving this goal is a complex challenge that can be best tackled by a broad ecosystem of industry partners and not based on a proprietary, singular architecture of one company.”