Cisco is to release more network management hardware and software under its Data Centre 3.0 product suite to speed the delivery of enterprise software applications, business users at the Cisco Networkers 2008 conference in Barcelona were told today.
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Analysts said the tools are designed to strengthen Cisco's hold in datacentres by providing the underlying network infrastructure and applications such as videoconferencing, voice communications and collaboration to run over the network.
Cisco announced several new optimisation products at the conference. These included the Cisco ACE 4710 appliance, which allocates the computing power of virtual servers to run specific applications faster and Cisco WAAS mobile software, which provides application acceleration for mobile workers.
Ram Velga, senior director of datacentres at Cisco, said deciding how to make the best use of bandwidth when applications needed more processing power was the main challenge for datacentre managers.
"The ongoing trend of consolidation - people pulling more network applications into a tighter space - and the ongoing trend to virtualise servers and storage increases the bandwidth required and changes the addressing schemes network managers must have in place to make sure their applications run," he said.
Christopher Mines, senior vice-president at analyst firm Forrester, said Cisco was keen to push its "network as a platform" vision, which positions its hardware and software at the heart of running and operating datacentres. With this in mind, end-users should try and negotiate larger discounts if they decide to run only Cisco products.
"More and more IT functions will sediment into the network over time, and Cisco is trying to position its network operating system as a platform for both applications development and deployment. Once this becomes the foundation of the datacentre, it can be expensive to change, so users should consider this when negotiating contracts," said Mines.