Cisco in the server hardware business? With VMware? Using Linux? Has the world gone topsy-turvy while I wasn't looking? If you think about it, Cisco's forte--routers--are lightweight computers that do one specific job--routing packets from one network to another. So, their foray into the dark realm of higher-end server systems isn't such a big stretch for them.
I should have known something like this was a-brewing when Cisco launched their "Inside The Box" contest using their AXP (Application eXtention Platform)--a Linux-based integration platform that runs on routers.
Here's a look at AXP direct from Cisco:
Linux-based integration environment to develop applications that run on routers.
Certified libraries to implement C, Python, Perl, and Java applications(http web server and SSH are also supported).
Service APIs for integrating applications into the network.
Multiple applications can run in their own virtual instance with the ability to segment and guarantee CPU, memory, and disk resources.
Applications can be tightly integrated with Cisco ISRs (Integrated Service Router); this is a key advantage of using Cisco AXP for hosting, compared to using other server-based solutions.
Wait, did that say "..applications can run in their own virtual instance?"
I guess that's where VMware comes in for the recent announcement about Cisco possibly selling server systems equipped with VMware software.
I think that whatever they announce next Monday, March 16 will have to do with the marrying of their AXP devices with VMware software to create what I'm calling "middleware" servers. These systems will act as intrustion detection systems, web servers, mail servers, other network service hosts (DNS, DHCP, NTP) that tie back into your network to a database, ERP, CRM or other system.
Do you have any ideas as to what Cisco is doing or is going to do? I'd love to know about it. Post your ideas here and we'll discuss.