back to article Don't you forget about VCE... Cisco gets cosy with Pure Storage

Not content with partnering with IBM and its storage to sell its UCS servers, Cisco is now doing a Flexpod-style dance with EMC’s arch flash array enemy Pure Storage. These recent shocks to the VCE alliance between EMC and Cisco must surely have contributed to Cisco’s tactical withdrawal and EMC’s taking of VCE in-house. Joe …

  1. Joe 48

    Hang on

    What about Whiptail, sorry Invicta? Ciscos own all flash array!

    Seems a odd link up to me.

    1. Archaon

      Re: Hang on

      "What about Whiptail, sorry Invicta? Ciscos own all flash array! Seems a odd link up to me.

      That product isn't doing what it needs to do yet. This is a sticky plaster to cover that up in the short-to-medium term. While I've seen and understand the other comments saying this is a Pure-led arrangement, I still suspect if Invicta was up to snuff then Cisco wouldn't be particularly interested in a partnership like this.

      If and when Invicta starts to do what Cisco want it to do then partnerships like this with be swept aside. Consequently - and this is a dig at Cisco rather than at Pure - I would suggest that anyone who buys that short term sticky plaster is a little bit mental.

  2. @hansdeleenheer

    the upper hand of the deal

    this deal is a PureStorage deal, not a Cisco deal.

    Similar to the NimbleStorage deal.

    Similar to the SimpliVity deal.

    Similar to Nutanix + DELL deal.

    Similar to ... how many of these examples do you need?

    1. Dmitriy Sandler

      Re: the upper hand of the deal

      There is a bit of a difference between many of these deals. How many are actually backed by Cisco? How many have joint support offerings through Cisco? How many have Cisco published documentation? One has to wonder why support has to go through channel for this.

      HINT: Nimble has all of the above.

      Disclaimer: I work for Nimble Storage, but my views are my own.

      1. @hansdeleenheer

        Re: the upper hand of the deal


        Als reasons you are pointing out are practical implementations, not the intent why the deal is made in the first place. If you look at it from a practical point the NTX-DELL deal for example is a true OEM where the product is a DELL SKU, sold by their people and even supported by their staff.

        This is about who is at the receiving end of the table from a market perspective. In that light it is every single time the startup that benefits from partnering with the A-brand.

        1. Dmitriy Sandler

          Re: the upper hand of the deal


          You're absolutely right in regards to the Dell + Nutanix deal. I was referring more to the wave of startups claiming they have a joint architecture WITH Cisco (as Pure's announcement would lead one to believe). There's a difference between something like FlexPod or SmartStack where Cisco is an actively participating partner offering joint support, validation, documentation, etc. and something like what was announced today which is a one sided engagement. Sticking someone's servers into your design does not make it a partnership. I would encourage people reach out to their Cisco contacts to get their take on was eluded to earlier, there's a reason there's no announcement about this from Cisco in contrast to what they had done with other actual partners. Kudos for the marketing ploy, but shame for misleading the public.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cisco would do a Flexpod deal with a dog food vendor if they thought they could move another UCS and switches.

    1. Joe 48

      If it makes you the #1 blade provider then why not. Considering the short space they've been doing it they are knocking on HP's door.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I call BS

        Cisco number one blade vendor ? in what region and by what measurement ? Ah you meant in America only and by Revenue not shipments, you're confusing marketing and manipulation with facts.

        1. Joe 48

          Re: I call BS

          I said If. Not they are. Not the clearest on my part I agree. Hence the second sentence stating they are knocking on HP's door, who are no 1.

          1. Archaon

            Re: I call BS

            Yes, Cisco do like to tout those "#1 worldwide" figures and I've no idea why. I first heard that from them in around 2011 by which point the product had only been around for a couple of years.

            Cisco are #2 worldwide on blades because of a relatively strong showing in the USA. If you remove the USA from the numbers or if you look at all servers (rack/tower/blade etc) then those figures take an absolute hammering. Which is all understandable as they're a big USA company and they focus on blades. I'm not saying you should discount the achievement of getting to #2 worldwide in blades in just 5-6 years, but like all marketing, take it with a pinch of salt.

            I've not seen any FY15 market share figures but based on past years and what I've seen in the past year I'd expect worldwide server market share to be:

            1) HP

            2) Dell

            3) IBM (yes, still up here but probably for the last time)

            4) Probably Lenovo because of Chinese market and IBM acquisition

            5) Cisco

            Below that top 5 you'll probably see Fujitsu and Oracle below that and then we devolve into "others" (who typically hold nearly 50% of the market but fragmented all over the place).

  4. thegreatsatan

    Did you see a PR from Cisco?

    There is your answer.

  5. purestorage

    Hi all - Matt @ Pure here (Disclaimer: I lead PM/Marketing at Pure).

    I think it would be a mistake to read today’s announcement as any form of wavering support from Cisco in any of their Converged Infrastructure partners (EMC/VCE, NetApp, IBM, etc.) or their internal flash technologies (Invicta) as this article questions.

    Cisco UCS has become a juggernaut in the data center. If one wants to maintain and expand one's juggernaut status, delivering great integration and converged solutions with EVERY major storage and flash vendor seems like a solid strategy to me.

    And in case it wasn’t clear, FlashStack is a Pure program, supported by our partners VMware and Cisco. You’ll see us expand FlashStack to cover other technologies and partners over time.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Another clever example of Pure Storage marketing. Being on the receiving end of this marketing $#!t makes me really batty (I am the infra guy at a channel VAR).

      For example: their POC process - let's call it a "Love your storage promotion." My ability to move a customer forward to a decision is greatly diminished because the customer just prints out their orange colored pages and taps it in a meeting. I hope folks can take off their orange colored glasses and see the reality.

      BTW Dimitry: Smartstack is a Nimble program too. Let's not kid everyone about this. A Cisco rep isn't going to sell Nimble's value prop nor did they setup the distribution integration. You guys did. Another pain in the @$$ for me as it distracts customers unnecessarily.

      1. Dmitriy Sandler

        While SmartStack is a Nimble originated program, the point of differentiation is that it a JOINT agreement with Cisco. While not all of Cisco's teams may be out evangelizing SmartStack, you'll actually find some that do. I completely agree with all the sentiment that in all of these programs the storage vendor is the one that benefits most. My only point is there's a huge difference between something like SmartStack that, while initiated by Nimble, was completed and coordinated in conjunction WITH Cisco whereas this latest announcement is a one-sided marketing ploy. It bothers me not because there's another vendor working with Cisco (competition is good for the market) but because ultimately it misleads customers into believing there's something there that doesn't actually exist.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > I completely agree with all the sentiment that in all of these programs the storage vendor is the one that benefits most.

          Dmitriy, respect your honesty.

          > While SmartStack is a Nimble originated program, the point of differentiation is that it a JOINT agreement with Cisco.

          But it's not a joint program or agreement. My Cisco channel team has clarified this multiple times. For me to take your word, I want Cisco to come out and formally endorse Smart stack. Not once have I seen this happen. Matter of fact Cisco didn't even provide you a quote when you were promoting their own UCS Mini.


          It's Nimble's Smart stack as you mention in your own press release.


          Both you guys and Pure (no they are not off the hook either) need to avoid using Cisco as marketing rocket boosters. As a VAR sales engineer calling on customers, this does nothing but confused them

  6. sheldon_nimble

    Hi all,

    Sheldon from the SmartStack solutions team at Nimble Storage here. I wanted to clarify a few points:

    - Cisco recognizes SmartStack as part of their official UCS Integrated Infrastructure portfolio. See the UCS family poster on Cisco’s site:

    - SmartStack architectures are jointly validated with (and logo'ed) with Cisco. On the ROBO VDI SmartStack reference architecture noted earlier, Cisco posted a blog for the launch that can be found on Cisco’s site:

    - Cisco also supports first-call entry and support coordination with Nimble, through their Solution Support for Critical Infrastructure program:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sheldon, I give you the poster [Matt must be furiously taking notes right now], but the rest still isn't an official endorsement. Its participation in a cisco program like IBM (yes EYE BEE M), HDS etc.

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