A blog post on the Cisco’s website announces Cisco joins Open Compute Project as a Gold member:
To that list, I am pleased to announce that we recently joined the Open Compute Project as a Gold member. The motivation behind our membership is similar to our involvement in the aforementioned open networking projects: we see the OCP community as an excellent forum to work with our customers to co-develop solutions to meet the challenges they face.
via Cisco Blog: Seeds of Change.
There is a lot of momentum around Open Compute as an early stage technology even though it has little to deliver to today. While delivering profits in the next two quarters is admirable and essential to Cisco’s share price, the organisation seems determined to cover all possible future paths for data centre technology.
As you many know, OCP is structured into a number of projects (networking, server design, storage, etc). While there are a number of areas where we could (and will likely) engage, the first project will be Networking (shocking, I know), where we feel we can make some useful contributions to the existing work underway.
Cisco doesn’t know the future any more than anyone else but it does have the resources to bet on all the possible winning combinations. For example, from a perspective of open/closed product strategies:
- Closed SDN(ACI) and open SDN (OpenDaylight, onePK)
- Closed virtualization / cloud(VMware) and open virtualization / cloud (OpenStack),
- Closed servers (UCS) and open servers (OpenCompute).
Cisco simply has the profits and revenue to participate in every market space.
The EtherealMind View
Customers should realise that betting on Cisco isn’t a guarantee that their product or technology strategy will survive in the long term. As I see it, it’s time to hold those big projects and wait for a clear direction. If you must buy, then buy small and keep it separate from your mission critical infrastructure. You are less likely to be stuck with an end of life product like the Cisco ACE or CS-MARS.
But Cisco will be interesting participant in the Open Compute debate. And many of the existing members will be looking to see what Cisco can bring to the table that lowers the real cost of the data centre hardware and particularly the purchase price, which isn’t how the company normally works. It will be fun to watch.