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Cisco Announces New Series of Blade Servers

By Charles Babcock, InformationWeek,
March 17, 2009, 1:30 PM

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) on Tuesday announced plans for a new series of blade server products that includes storage capabilities along with virtualization and server management software.

In introducing its Unified Computing System, Cisco assembled a formidable alliance of software vendors to help set the tone for the data center of the future, including
BMC Software Inc. (NYSE: BMC),
Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS),
EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC),
Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC),
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT),
SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP), and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW).

CEO John Chambers, during a Webcast that approached two hours in length, conceded that Cisco's entry into the blade market was going to bring it into direct competition with some of its existing partners, such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and IBM.

"We focus on market transitions, not competitors. You've got to play the hand this market has dealt you," he said at one point.

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