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Building Momentum: Cisco's History in the Data Center

April 8, 2008


Cisco's role in data center limited to providing basic external connections from the data center to outside networks.


Cisco's first big move into the data center. Company spins in Andiamo Systems and launches the MDS 9000 line of switches for managing data storage networks (SANs). New product line a major success, bringing the company from obscurity to market leadership in just three years.


Cisco further bolsters its data center efforts with introduction of its application networking services (ANS). Marks a turning point as company starts developing networking "intelligence" that helps data center applications function better by automating certain processes. Products include Cisco's Application Control Engine (ACE) and Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) technologies.


  • Cisco improves coordination and management of data center with introduction of VFrame, a software application for linking data center server, networking and storage resources together as a set of "virtualized" services. VFrame provides a way to quickly view all the resources an application needs, helping simplify and automate setup and maintenance tasks. VFrame demonstrates that Cisco is starting to view the data center more holistically and beyond the "box" level.
  • Begins building system of technology partners to address data center issues and makes investment in VMware, a global leader in virtualization software.

Jan. 2008

Cisco unveils the Nexus 7000 series, its flagship networking switch for consolidating data center networks and facilitating server virtualization. The brawny and ultra-fast switch is arguably Cisco's most important product in four years.

April 2008

Charles Waltner is a freelance writer in Piedmont, Calif.

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