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Rumor: EMC, Cisco JV to Target Data Centers

One of the rumors floating around this week is that EMC Corp. and Cisco Systems will create a joint venture focused on enterprise data centers. Does this make sense?

One of the rumors floating around this week is that EMC Corp. and Cisco Systems will create a joint venture focused on enterprise data centers. This report began circulating last week, when The Register said the two tech titans would team "to market a jointly developed product." The JV would not include VMware, the report said.

The story has spread far and wide today after a Wall Street Journal writeup. "Code-named Alpine, the venture would be aimed at data centers - the giant computing rooms that power the Internet and corporate networks - say people briefed on the effort," Ben Worthen writes. "It would specialize in installing systems that combine a new server Cisco recently started selling with Cisco networking gear and EMC storage systems, these people say."

EMC and VMware have been crucial partners as Cisco has rolled out its Data Center 3.0 vision and Unified Computing System switches and servers. This has triggered recurring rumors that Cisco might use its huge cash hoard to acquire VMware of even all of EMC.

The latest speculation focuses on the fact that UCS doesn't have a built-in storage component. The Register noted the possibility of offering customers unified support - a "single throat to choke." The Journal suggests that Cisco's entry into the server market has soured relations with IBM and HP, forcing it to turn to EMC for sales help. Network World theorizes that if a joint venture succeeds, it could then be acquired by Cisco.

We've heard from the technology press. What do you think? What advantages might a Cisco-EMC joint venture offer that can't be realized by their current partnership? Share your insights and theories in the comments.

TAGS: Cisco
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