Battle heats up over Cisco's Unified Computing System

The gloves are off. Competitors to Cisco's new Unified Computing System are already out on YouTube.

Today, Brocade's CEO Mike Klayko put up a YouTube video to directly address Cisco's entry into this marketplace. As I wrote about last week, Cisco's unified strategy, which revolves around virtualization, combines servers, storage, and networking into a unified infrastructure.

Klayko says Cisco's project is "not a new thesis," and talks about customers who are demanding faster ROIs on capital expenditures, and he's right on the money there when he says customers now want ROI in under 12 months. But, there are two things Klayko brings up in his pre-emptive strike against Cisco. First, he talks about the issue of what he calls "lock-in," in describing Cisco's approach as proprietary. "Customers like choice," he says. Cisco naturally has an all-Cisco approach. Will data center managers buy into it? Klayko may have the right dope on this insight, and his company takes more of a multivendor approach by working with products from several partners.

His second point is the newness of the offering. Although Cisco is by no means a newbie in the IT business, this is a new approach for them, and he says, "I'm not sure the largest accounts in the world will put their most critical apps, that happen to reside in a very expensive data center, in a version one product."

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