Cisco picks partners for next-gen data center assault

OK, so maybe it's not a largely solo effort after all...

Cisco is expected to introduce at least five high profile partners for its "Unified Computing" launch on Monday: Intel, Microsoft, EMC Smarts, BMC Software and VMware. SAP and Oracle are expected to demonstrate applications in a Unified Computing environment, Savvis is said by sources to be a beta, and more partnerships may follow soon afterward.

Cisco would not confirm any of this, of course. But you can bet longtime data center partners IBM and HP won't be on the list -- Cisco's expected to unveil its 'California' blade server as part of the Unified Computing launch, which invades IBM and HP's traditional data center turf.

IBM is instead linked with Juniper in cloud computing and, one would believe, involved in Juniper's Project Stratus cloud platform; HP is said to be tightly coupling its blade server and ProCurve networking operations for next-gen data centers; and Brocade bought Foundry.

Let the battle begin...

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