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Results tagged “cisco”

Tide came in for Tidal Software

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With Cisco's acquisition of Tidal Software last week, the company continues to beef up its software portfolio beyond its core networking business. Tidal makes performance monitoring software for enterprise applications like Oracle and SAP that run in large data centers. While $105 million is not a big bet for Cisco, I see this as further convergence of computing and communications in both the enterprise data center and ultimately in the cloud. There is innovation at the core OS level to optimize performance for Intel's new Xeon 5500 processors. Microsoft Hyper-V, Sun Solaris and Red Hat Linux have been extended to enable performance and energy efficiency improvements available using Intel's extended page table memory access. This allows the hypervisor to bypasses kernel software codepaths altogether and map directly to virtual guest instances. Advanced memory management using Intel's QuickPath enables the ability to virtualize previously uncommon I/O workloads such as database & file serving. This is how we will see network layer virtualization evolve, reducing power consumption while creating efficient memory use along the way. All these features, combined with Cisco's California architecture, are coming together to disrupt the computing core. Moving up the data center management stack with tools such as Tidal makes a lot of sense for Cisco, because at the end of the day, the key will be application performance.

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Cisco is taking virtualization from the network layer up as an alternative approach from a data center architecture perspective. These are not ordinary blade servers being announced today. The new Unified Computing System from Cisco will have a simplified infrastructure, meaning fewer management modules, I/O bays and a more open backplane. Nehalem-EP processors can support half-blade or full-width blade configurations providing a great deal of flexibility. The release states "patented extended memory technology" to support applications with large data sets. They've taken an approach to economically address large logical memory requirements with better physical DIMM utilization (think lower cost). Supporting iSCSCI, Fiber channel and Fiber Channel over Ethernet gives customers the option of NAS or SAN support and a built-in upgrade path.  Much of the news most likely will focus on HP, Dell and IBM and what this means for Cisco's large strategic partners. The blades could cut both ways. 

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The Stratus Project announcement focuses on partnering with a variety of companies in the data center ecosystem to assemble a converged "data center fabric."  The release describes a flat, non-blocking and lossless layer to support converged traffic at 10 GigE. It sounds great. The problem is given number of players in the Project, who is responsible for delivering on this SLA? Will it be Juniper or presumably a systems integrator? I only see a mega router and switch that gives some operational improvement on implementing JUNOS in a data center but not much more. The website provided in the release was 404. 

yearofrat2.jpgThe Year of the Rat is often associated with "a time of hard work and renewal in many ways," and most would agree that is what we need this year. I believe we will see many positive things over the horizon -but first we have to get through some rough waters. That brings me to technology. I like Tech, but not Tech stocks right now. I know they look real tempting here and after Microsoft's announcement, Cisco's earnings call and disappointment in Google's results - the whole sector is down. Who would have thought you could buy Apple and Google at these prices a couple of months ago? These are not going to lead the momentum in the first half and after the Goldman Sachs tech conference later this month, watch out as all the tech investors (big funds) unload the rest of their positions and get in the early cycle recovery stocks (retail, banks, financial). Last November, Chambers said the next few quarters are going to be 'lumpy' and this week he gave guidance of just 10% growth for the current quarter. The growth in B2B this year will come from applications and services. Hardware-focused suppliers will continue to suffer declining margins and channel issues. Look at Motorola shedding its handset business. Dell is focused on growing their services to compete with HP and IBM. From the consumer perspective, Apple's MacWorld and introduction of their new iPod and iPhone failed to excite and it has fallen significantly over the past month. Content and social networking growth will continue to drive Web 2.0 adoption among consumers and will spill over into the enterprise. CBS and Facebook recently teamed up to offer NCAA March Madness coverage. CBS, like Microsoft, needs to figure out how to monetize these types of deals. They haven't sold any ads tied to this site yet. According to a Wall Street article, they only sold about $10 million last year related to their online digital advertising, TV is still king. This will be a good year for those who are resourceful and well prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that arise. The Rat is a courageous, clever and an adaptable "person" - just don't take the bait.

NaviniModem.jpgCisco is getting more than just technology here, they get a global list of customers too. Navini has kept the faith, plugging along there in Richardson. They were one of the few survivors of the telecom bubble and managed their burn rate until they could get revenue ramped. They were also successful in obtaining financing along the way. The valuation seems reasonable but not as high as the investors would like I'm sure. Hey a liquidity event is nonetheless a day for high-fives all around. This should build more momentum for WiMax but with some of the caveats I've indicated here in this blog.

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Cisco Microsoft - Sweet Sassafrassy

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This week Chambers and Ballmer sat down before a group of journalist and tried to convey a sense of how the companies will work together.

Thumbnail image for SteveBallmer.jpgThumbnail image for JohnChambers.jpgAs noted in the media, this is an unusual PR stunt. Presumably giving in to pressure from key customers about working both companies on real business issues the very next day it was business as usual. Seems like the customers will be the ones left confused. As world collide, the customers become the last child, just a punk in the streets.    

About Paul Lopez

Paul Lopez Paul Lopez is a 20+ year technology veteran whose career has spanned multiple disciplines such as product management, software development, engineering, marketing, business development and operations... read more

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