Earlier this year, Cisco opened a major front against one-time partners Hewlett-Packard and IBM in the hotly competitive, and fast-growing server market with its blade, and so-called Unified Computing System initiative. The competition, and headlines it generated, become so intense so quickly that Cisco even posted a blog entitled "Is HP Now a Friend or Foe of Cisco?"
Cisco, in that post, said its new strategy was simply about answering HP's decision to enter its own business several years earlier. Cisco's Chief Technology Officer Padmasree Warrior told the Wall Street Journal in March, "We're going to compete with HP. I don't want to sugarcoat that. There is bound to be change in the landscape of who you compete with and who you partner with."
Cisco's entry into the server market, especially as massive data centers crop up all over the place like mushrooms representing enormous growth opportunities for the major players in the space, sent shivers and ripples through HP and IBM. In fact, other than all the innovation and growth in the wireless world, servers, databases and data centers might represent the single biggest, and most dynamic opportunities for major tech firms. IDC says server business this year alone will top $100 billion sector wide.