Cisco, Microsoft Server Relationship Takes Center Stage (Twice)
Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA, USA) and Microsoft (Redmond, WA, USA) are partnering more closely in the server market even as they compete in the unified communications and collaboration markets. The latest evidence: Cisco plans to invade Microsoft TechEd and Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2012), two major conferences built for Microsoft partners, customers and ISVs (independent software vendors).
At WPC 2012, Cisco’s team will include sales, marketing and product development experts. And at TechEd, Cisco will bang the drum for its unified computing system (UCS) platform. UCS organizes network, storage and compute technologies into an integrated data center platform. While global economic conditions remain challenging for Cisco and its rivals, Cisco’s data center sales appear on pace to top $1 billion this fiscal year.
To drive those revenues, Cisco’s server team is working more closely with major ISVs such as Microsoft and Oracle. For instance, the Cisco UCS Manager offering has “killer integration” with Microsoft’s Windows PowerShell, according to Rex Backman, global marketing manager for Microsoft Solutions at Cisco.
Cisco also is preparing partners to maximize Windows Server 2012′s performance with Nexus 1000v switch offerings. Cisco offered some clues about that direction during the Build Conference in September 2011.
Finally, watch for Cisco to continue releasing Microsoft-oriented private cloud solutions, which were announced at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) a few weeks ago. Solutions involving NetApp (FlexPod and EMC (VSPEX) are certified in Microsoft’s Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0 program, notes Backman.
The VAR Guy will be watching for more Cisco-Microsoft surprises at TechEd and WPC 2012.