Cisco may have forced IBM to bid for Sun

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Just yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported that IBM is bidding to acquire Sun.

Many believes that IBM may want Sun to consolidate its position in the virtualization and cloud computing space before Cisco Systems gets any market share with its upcoming Unified Computing System. But the Cisco involvement in this bid be be much deeper than that.

Several rumors (none of them coming from trusted sources anyway) suggest that Cisco was already in discussion to acquire Sun before IBM came in.

Many have spotted a similarity between the Sun server chassis and the new Cisco UCS chassis (here an example) and started wondering if between the two have an OEM agreement in place to manufacture the UCS hardware.

Design analogy or not (it doesn’t seem so evident honestly), at least one of the rumors that confirms the discussion between Cisco and Sun comes from inside Cisco itself.
And this would have forced IBM to enter the bid to block Cisco.

A number of people (like the influential Om Malik at GigaOM) believes that Sun belongs to Cisco much more than to IBM.