Cisco and HP used to be close partners. That all changed when Cisco introduced their own server platform and HP acquired 3com to aggressively go after the networking market.
While the two companies today are rivals, they have now come together for a product collaboration that will serve to benefit their joint customers. The new product is the Cisco Nexus B22 Fabric Extender (FEX) for HP BladeSystem. The FEX enables HP users to get the benefits of Cisco’s Unified Fabric.
“These blades act like line cards that extend the value and power of the Nexus 5000 top of rack switch within the customers’ existing HP blade system,” Soni Jiandani, SVP of Server, Access and Virtualization Technology Group at Cisco told InternetNews.com.
Dayna Fried, Worldwide Public Relations at HP explained to InternetNews.com that the Nexus FEX is designed to connect up to 16 HP blade servers to a Cisco Nexus series switch.
“Customers using this module will be able to take advantage of Cisco networking by connecting HP BladeSystem, something they have not been able to do previously,” Fried said. “This means more choices and investment protection for our joint data center customers.”
As to how Cisco and HP came together for the new solution, Jiandani said that both HP and Cisco recognized that they have a large base of joint customers. The new solution came about from their customers demanding to leverage their existing HP servers and enclosures with Cisco’s networking infrastructure.