Is Cisco The Borg?

By | March 18, 2009

So looking through some of the official Cisco bumf on their recent Unified Computing System announcement I noticed the following recurring message "Unify, Simplify, Amplify".  Almost wherever I turned, there was the message again "Unify, Simplify, Amplify".

The Borg

Watching one of the Cisco presentations I picked out the following snippets (I quote)

"…away from the manual assembly of individual parts, to a single scalable system.."

"single management domain" 

"….join the movement…… to one integrated system"

Sound like the Borg Hive, Collective or Unicomplex to anyone else?

Is "Unify, Simplify, Amplify" == ""Lower you shields and prepare to be assimilated.  Resistance is futile" ?

Resistance probably is Futile

While I have my own reservations about some of this stuff including the convergence to Ethernet……. I only use the Borg analysis as a representation of what appears to be industry juggernaut against which resistance is futile.  I don't actually think Cisco or even 10 GigE are inherently evil.

I try to maintain a balanced view of what is happening.  I do see many benefits but haven't quite shaken all of my apprehensions. 

I feel like we, the storage industry, have just been strapped into a roller-coaster and are waiting for the ride to start.  We're strapped in and the claxon has sounded so there is no getting out now.  Keeping with the rollercoaster analogy, I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach and cant quite decide if its excitement or fear.  Probably a bit of both.

Has anyone seen what the new Cisco kit actually looks like………………….






Welcome to the brave new world!

Oh and if The Borg Cisco really want to take on HP and IBM, they are probably going to be looking to assimilate acquire a storage vendor once things calm down a little.  Now that really would be a case of "Lower you shields and prepare to be assimilated.  Resistance is futile!"  She has her eye on you already, is closing in fast and always gets what she wants!

Oh and she doesn't look like this…….

She looks like this…….


9 thoughts on “Is Cisco The Borg?

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  2. Pete Steege

    Hi Nigel,  great post.  Seems to me it’s "change or die" for big IT vendors now that Cisco has irrevocably stirred the pot.
    I’m not convinced that Cisco needs a major storage component in-house to deliver on their UCS promise. That’s one piece that may serve them better as an open standard.

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  4. Lee Johns

    Anyone remember what happened to the Borg?  They ended up getting reverse assimilated.  If you are on the storage side looking in here you likely feel something has shifted.  However in fact Cisco is reacting to HP market moves to deliver HP BladeSystem.  HP entered the network market a while ago.  We did not proclaim we were solving world hunger when we did but we have built  a business which is converging servers, storage and networking and providing a broad ecosystem for partners to innovate around.  In the words of Captain Picard we just "made it so".  HP Virtual Connect technology does not aim to get you to replace Ethernet or Fibre Channel infrastructure you have already purchased, it helps you buy less network infrastructure in the future and simplifies the interaction of Server, storage and networking teams. 
    You are right to have that feeling in the pit of your stomach though if you are a stand alone storage vendor.    HP is on an "ongoing mission" to eliminate IT complexity and we have not left storage out.  Storage customers are looking for solutions that focus on virtualization, utilization, industry standard economics and application integration with storage services and management..  HP is focused on the convergence of infrastructure and it is therefore no surprise that that vendors who for too long have defined IT by the role they play are trying to find a way to be more relevant to customers.
    Ciscos announcement is quite frankly an endorsement that HP as a systems company had the right strategy.
    Lee Johns
    Director, Unified Storage, HP

  5. Nigel Poulton

    Thanks for the comments Lee, some interesting points –

    You said "We [HP] did not proclaim we were solving world hunger when we did…."  Congrats on that, I did not realise you had 😉

    For a while I have been disappointed with HPs efforts in the storage space, I genuinely think that HP "does not get storage".  May be Im wrong, may be Im too storage centric!? 

    Either way, I remain defiant (USS Defiant….pun not intended) that you have missed amazing opportunities with the EVA.  Years ahead of its time and a down right great product that should have far greater market share than it does….. sigh

    Oh and it seems most of your XP customers dont really rate you as a storage vendor.  Great products but dont get the focus.  All too often your storage guys are off the pace.  Not always though, I acknowledge you have some top guys.

    May be I need a broader outlook on life and you need a little more storage focus.

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