VMware corrects Cisco

In the continuing saga of VMware vs. Cisco, VMware fired the latest shot with a counter to Cisco’s claims that its networking rival’s NSX network virtualization platform has only found a “handful” of paying customers. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger claimed at a recent Wall Street analyst meeting that NSX has, in fact, 100 paying customers:

Some are in prototypes, some are in full deployment, but they’re paying customers.

Rackspace and eBay, which were introduced as NSX customers back at the product’s launch – when it debuted with start-up Nicira, which was acquired by VMware for $1.26 billion -- are "at dramatic production scale," Gelsinger said.

Goldman Sachs issued a report in April that found Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure to offer a 3X better total cost of ownership than VMware’s NSX. Cisco, however, is a Goldman Sachs client whereas VMware is apparently not, according to the report’s disclosures and disclaimers.

Meanwhile, VMware officials welcome Cisco’s criticisms and continual reminders that they are public enemy No. 1 in networking. It brings people around that never would have considered VMware in data center networking before, Martin Casado, VMware Network and Security CTO, told us during a recent visit.

But Cisco is also making inroads in data center servers, an area where VMware established itself as the virtualization leader. Cisco says IDC found that it surpassed HP as No. 1 in x86 blade server market revenue in the Americas with its five-year-old Unified Computing System.

Impressive indeed, for a company founded in networking. But as analyst Patrick Moorhead notes in this column, HP and Dell are still well ahead in unit shipments, non-blade servers, and global share.

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