Blocks and Files Cisco is big in converged systems but nowhere in hyper-converged ones.
What we mean by that is that Cisco is big in converged systems, such as VCE's Vblocks and the Cisco-NetApp FlexPods, but it doesn't have systems in the Nutanix and Simplivity class, which are more integrated than the Vblock and Flexpod systems.
Now that Dell has an OEM deal with Nutanix, and VMware has its Project Marvin, maybe it's time for Cisco to think seriously about getting in on the hyper-converged act – and this storage desk knows just how yo go about it.
Here's the Cisco hyper-converged system cookbook, otherwise known as the Cblock appliance recipe. Take:
- A UCS server,
- A Nexus 1000V switch,
- A UCS Invicta all-flash array ...
... and integrate them with three hypervisor choices, using VMware's vSphere, Microsoft's Hyper-V and Citrix Xen, together with virtual SAN software. This would aggregate the Cblock's direct-attached Invicta flash storage to form a virtual SAN.
Cisco doesn't have that, but it could license or OEM it as needed from DataCore, FalconStor or StarWind or ScaleIO, and, indeed, use VMware's VSAN for the vSphere use-case if it was willing to give EMC's Joe Tucci and VMware's Pat Gelsinger something to smile about.
Surely Cisco product strategists are looking at this product sector as a way of accelerating Unified Computing System (UCS) server sales and getting more use out of its acquired Invicta tech.
Another option would be to buy Simplivity and convert it to using UCS servers and Nexus switches.
The Vulture has sniffed scents in the wind suggesting that a Cisco hyper-convergence initiative might actually be taking place. We've asked Cisco about this and fully expect a "no comment" response. ®