Cisco partner summit: Cisco strengthens datacentre play

Cisco partner summit: Cisco strengthens datacentre play

Aims new specialisation at current crop of gold partners

HONOLULU: A new datacentre advanced specialisation and value incentive program (VIP) were announced at a Cisco Partner Summit press conference in Hawaii on Tuesday.

Although the Data Center Networking Infrastructure (DCNI) specialisation is open to all partners, Cisco vice-president of worldwide channels, Edison Peres, said datacentre transformation wouldn't be suitable for everybody. He highlighted the need for server, networking and storage skills. The DCNI specialisation will initially be targeted at existing gold partners.

Only those with the DCNI specialisation are eligible for the VIP program, which will offer back-end rebates of 5-10 per cent. Datacentre is the fourth VIP program offered by the networking giant following previous announcements for unified communications, security and wireless.

"The world is changing and with change comes opportunity," Peres said. "The datacentre is a significant profit and revenue opportunity.

"In the datacentre we will be relying on our partners more than ever before. The services component is growing faster [than hardware], mainly because it is an architectural play."

Peres estimated Cisco and its partners would see datacentre hardware sales double to $US10 billion in the next five years, with associated services worth $US4 billion.

On the hardware side, Cisco unveiled its new Nexus 5000 series of datacentre switches. Expected to be available next month, pricing starts at $US36,000 for a fixed configuration, 40-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch.

Designed for datacentre consolidation, the Nexus 5000 series would enable customers to move towards a 'unified fabric' at their own pace, according to Cisco's senior director of datacentre solution, Doug Gourlay. This, he said, would help them increase efficiency and simplify operations.

The Nexus family was developed with next-generation datacentre vendor, Nuova Systems. Cisco also announced intentions to purchase the remaining 20 per cent of Nuova at its datacentre conference. Cisco initially invested in the company in August 2006. The deal is performance-based and could see Cisco paying up to $US678 million.

Brian Corrigan travelled to Honolulu as a guest of Cisco.

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