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Cisco Wants to Be a Utility Player

The new data center strategy from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is thin on new products, but there's a utility computing piece lurking inside all the marketing spiel.

As part of the somewhat loosely-defined and very markety sounding "Business Ready Data Center" strategy that was launched today, Cisco unveiled some new data-center-specific services, design and deployment guides, and a raft of "key partners" (that it was already working with, anyway). (See Cisco Unveils Data Center Initiative.)

But work through the jargon and you come to the most significant part of the announcement, which involves IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
and Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ), two of the main vendors in the utility computing space.

So what? Well, networking is currently the missing piece in the utility computing jigsaw. Lucinda Borovick, program director of data center networks at IDC believes that Cisco's involvment in utility computing projects could give the effort some momentum.

It spells good news for users, particularly in the IT department," she says. "They are going to be asked to adopt utility computing, and they really don’t know who to look to on the network side to make that happen. It will open the door to more utility computing."

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