IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) today announced a wide-ranging alliance centered around blade servers and on-demand computing (see Cisco, IBM Go for Data Centers and Cisco, IBM Bless Blades).
The deal, first reported on this site yesterday, has Cisco making a new switch for IBMs BladeCenter product. Both companies will be able to benefit from the growing interest IT managers have in blade servers, which provide a high-density solution to the restricted space found in many data centers (see IBM's BladeServer Blitz).
Longer-term, the impact of todays announcement is likely to be felt in the area of provisioning -- allocating resources around servers, storage, and networks. This forms a key part of on-demand computing, which is fast becoming an IBM mantra.
Yesterday, IBM previewed its virtualization engine, which will extend the virtualization capabilities found on IBMs mainframes into its storage and server empires. A key element of the virtualization engine is the Tivoli Provisioning Manager (see IBM Revs Virtualization Engine).
As part of todays announcement, Tivoli Provisioning Manager has been enhanced to support automated provisioning for Cisco's Catalyst 6500 switch, its Intelligent Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module, and its MDS 900 SAN Switch family.