With market data revealing the swift progress Cisco is making in the server arena, the networking giant is banking on customers' datacentre virtualisation needs to help it gain more ground.
Cisco hit the market with its Unified Computing System (UCS) range of servers 18 months ago. Kerry Partridge, European business development manager for UCS, denied UCS is a predominantly mid-market-focused proposition.
"We are beginning to see adoption with the very large enterprises - sometimes on a pervasive basis, sometimes on a niche basis," he added.
He told CRN the vendor encounters only "the occasional CIO" who is unaware of Cisco's server proposition.
"Getting into any market space is always tough, there will always be a cost for change, but the market share stats show [our progress]," he added.
This year marks the first time that Cisco server sales were tracked by IDC, and Q1 figures showed the networking firm is now the world's third-largest maker of blade servers. Its 9.4 per cent market share puts it a point ahead of fourth-placed Dell.
Giorgio Nebuloni, senior research analyst for IDC EMEA's Enterprise Server Group, said: "A number of disruptive factors - including virtualisation, a new player in the arena in the form of Cisco, and the rise of new scale-out rack platforms - are resetting the role of blade servers."
UCS servers now feature the recently launched Intel Xeon E7 Series chips, and Alan Priestley, Intel's EMEA director of enterprise marketing, claimed Cisco is offering "some unique and differentiated features".
"We are adding a lot of hardware support into the processors for virtualisation," he added. "A lot of customers are moving away from proprietary solutions."3
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