Even if the amount of technical details about the upcoming Unified Computing System (UCS) blade system are scarce, it’s clear that Cisco has a plan.
And this plan doesn’t contemplate to just sell x86 servers against HP, IBM and Dell.
It doesn’t matter what Cisco believes it can deliver on the market, the hardware part doesn’t seem the most relevant thing.
The biggest question about UCS is how the network vendor is gluing together BMC and VMware products with its UCS Manager.
Whatever is the the method, Cisco has already found it cause UCS is set to be launched this month, very likely the same day of VMware vSphere 4.0, expected for April 21.
So why Cisco has to buy Tidal Software for $105 million in cash and retention-based incentives?
Tidal does job scheduling, application performance management, and automation software products. But these things should already come with BMC and VMware products.
Maybe Cisco is preparing to offer an orchestration suite for 3rd party platforms that will come in the second wave of supported solutions for UCS (namely Microsoft, Red Hat, etc.).
Maybe Cisco doesn’t fell secure enough with just a technology partnership with BMC and wants to have its own toolbox.
Maybe some limitations in the current UCS software stack emerged during the beta phase and Cisco is trying to fill the partners gaps on its own.
Maybe the Cisco plan is much more complex than what appears today and its competitors should pay attention.
We were at the HP Campus in Houston earlier this week and the company executives didn’t seem to underestimate the newcomer.