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Cisco Topspins Into Virtualization

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) today laid out plans to virtualize the data center using InfiniBand hardware and virtualization software it gained by acquiring Topspin Communications for $250 million in April. (See Cisco Takes On Topspin.)

Cisco announced general availability of the VFrame virtualization software and Server Fabric Switch (SFS) InfiniBand switches, HBAs, and Ethernet and Fibre Channel gateways.

Actually, let's be clear: Cisco announced general availability from Cisco. The products are the same ones Topspin sold through server OEM partners before the sale, and the same ones Topspin/Cisco will continue to sell through those OEMs.

Cisco has conducted interoperability testing between the Topspin products and its MDS storage switches and Catalyst networking switches. Having Cisco-ized the gear, Cisco hopes to drive InfiniBand into the data center, using it as the means to virtualize resources via Vframe software. Until now, InfiniBand has been used largely in high-performance computing. (See InfiniBand Gets Second Looks.)

Cisco is throwing its hat in the virtualization arena,” says Stu Aaron, director of Cisco’s Server Virtualization business unit. “We see InfiniBand accelerating into the mainstream enterprise.”

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