Hardware vendors won't cut ties over Cisco's blades

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Hardware vendors won't cut ties over Cisco's blades

HP, IBM and Dell have no plans to cut ties with Cisco after the networking vendor officially announced its move into the blade server market yesterday.

All three vendors said that Cisco remains a "partner" and none have plans to cease re-selling or recommending Cisco gear.

HP, IBM and Dell all sell competing blade server hardware.

HP's EDS and IBM's services businesses have also been excluded from Cisco's go-to-market strategy in the data centre.

Representatives from the three hardware vendors predicted Cisco would find the server market difficult.

IBM spokesperson Giselle Boulay welcomed the networking vendor to the "commodity" blade server market, a "challenging and tough environment" to sell into.

"Cisco is renowned for its networking ability," said Dell enterprise product manager, Justin Boyd. "Moving over to a processor-centric world is a challenge."

"Dell has ten generations of [server] products and we have a broad spectrum of blades, racks and tower servers," he said. "Blades don't work in every environment."

Boyd said the fact Cisco is building the blade servers from the ground up may suggest that the new products, yet to be unveiled, do not conform to industry standards.

"In most cases, that leads to higher prices," he said.

A spokesperson for HP said the company "does not comment on competitors" but nonetheless added that HP "has a much more holistic view" of the data centre beyond the server.

"Customers are looking for tools to unify the virtual and physical environments," the spokesperson said.

"They need multi-vendor management tools and consulting services to help design and manage the right solution."

Ovum analyst Tim Stammers told iTnews yesterday that co-opetition between the vendors is par for the course.

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