Cisco Cisco Cisco!!! ....said in the tone of a Brady Bunch "Marsha Marsha Marsha!"
Cisco certainly has had the spot light for some time now and certainly shows no sign of slowing down. Many have stated that economic recessions will foster tremendous innovation, and I think John Chambers got a head start on that in 2008. 2009 is full-steam ahead. They recently announced that they were venturing outside of their core market, by entering the server market (NY Times | SF Gate).
I honestly don't know what to think of the announcement just yet. I don't think IBM, HP and Dell will be as upset as some are making it out to be, but it will be interesting to watch. Chambers mentioned at C-Scape that their 2009 acquisitions will be scrutinized a little more and there may not be as many executed as in years past. With $26 Billion to spend, there are plenty of options:
1. EMC - I just don't think so. It's been analyzed and blogged to death, but I just don't see it.
2. Sun Microsystems? -- Maybe; but if I had to guess, I don't think that would happen.
3. Netapp? possibly. MarketCap is $4.49B and if Cisco makes 4 or 5 acquisitions this year that could be a good fit. Very solid company, large customer base (many Internet companies as well), and Cisco has pushed storage networking technologies for some time.
4. Rackable? With a MarketCap of $116.57 Million it is pocket change for Cisco, but could work. In the Unified Computing blog post Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrier talks about eliminating "manual integration" and I wonder containers are in the picture somewhere. Purchasing Rackable would give Cisco the commodity hardware for their servers and the ICECube to package their servers, storage and network gear into.
Padmasree mentions "open standards" a few times. I wonder if we'll see some announcement with Cisco and Eucalyptus - the open source cloud computing solution. I would hypothesize about a cloud computing company acquisition, but there are too many think of at this late hour. To me, the smart move would be to buy a company that specializes in cloud computing / virtualization security.
Padmasree Warrior may have a new job soon though -- as she is one of two candidates for the first U.S. CTO position.