Cisco to speed up data centre virtualisation
Dubai, June 6, 2009
Cisco, the leading networking solutions provider, recently announced plans to grow and evolve its community of data centre channel partners and customers, in order to accelerate the market transition toward virtualised data centres.
The ICT market leader is already expanding its data centre network across the region, with an office having opened recently in Bahrain. Cisco is now building on this introducing several channel programs designed to help partners gain new revenue opportunities and evolve their businesses toward a unified data centre practice.
A key part of Cisco’s strategy is an expansion of the unified computing system (UCS) family, with the new C-series rack-mount servers designed to help accelerate the adoption of unified computing and data centre virtualisation solutions.
The servers, which are expected to be available during the fourth quarter of this year, have been designed to reduce the total cost and increase the business agility of UCS customers who require a rack-mount product.
Together with the blade servers, Cisco’s UCS addresses the broad spectrum computing requirements for next-generation data centres.
To support this expanded system, Cisco is announcing an authorised partner programme, which will allow the organisation’s specialised partners to sell the new rack-mount servers after completing on-line training and an examination set by Cisco.
“Cisco’s comprehensive Unified Computing System architecture allows us to easily offer new form factors that respond quickly to our customers’ needs,” said Prem Jain, senior vice president, server and access virtualisation business unit for Cisco.
“With the UCS C-series rack-mount servers, we are opening the unified computing opportunity to a broader range of our channel partner community while providing our customers a migration path to the unified computing approach of the future,” he added.
To motivate channel partners to invest in building a unified data centre practice, Cisco has expanded its existing value incentive programme (VIP) offering for all of Cisco’s data centre technologies, including unified computing, storage networking, and WAN optimisation, as well as for its existing offering for data centre switching.
VIP is Cisco’s flagship profitability program that rewards partners for investing in architecture practices around collaboration, data centre virtualisation and borderless networks.
Cisco has also introduced two new IT career certifications targeted at customers and channel partners, with job roles such as data centre architect, data centre builder, and data centre technical operations professional.
The new qualifications follow a study conducted by the US-based consultancy organisation, Forrester Consulting, which found that 65 per cent of IT managers surveyed indicated that within the next five years, technical certification would be somewhat or absolutely critical in determining whether an individual should be assigned responsibilities in a network operations control, a central data centre role.
The certifications on offer, Cisco data centre unified computing design specialist and the Cisco data centre unified computing support specialist, build on foundational skills including storage networking, data centre networking infrastructure, data centre application services and virtualisation.
These qualifications validate design and support expertise across multiple data centre technologies that make up the unified computing architecture. Cisco says that it is committed to the development of skilled IT professionals as part of its Learning@Cisco program and information about courseware and exams is scheduled to be available in the third quarter of this year at ciscolearningnetwork.com.
Edison Peres, senior vice president, Worldwide Channels Go-To-Market Group for Cisco, believes that the organisation’s plans reveal a commitment to ev