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Ethernet equipment

Cisco Brags About UCS (Again)

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is patting itself on the back Wednesday, claiming 10,000 customers for its Unified Computing System, the data-center architecture comprising servers, storage and networking elements.

Why this matters
Even if you're not a UCS fan -- because not everyone wants an all-Cisco architecture -- you can't ignore the customer base it's built. During the summer, Cisco boasted about market-share gains, particularly against HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ).

Those gains have held up so far; IDC market statistics rank Cisco at No. 3 in worldwide market share for x86 blade servers during the third quarter of 2011, and No. 2 in the U.S. behind HP.

The long-term implications of UCS might not have begun playing out yet, though: Cisco really p*ssed off former partners HP and IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) by starting to sell servers (HP especially). It's also possible that data-center customers might demand heterogenous options in the future, something Cisco would have to contend with.

By the way, the 10,000th customer did not win a new car or anything. A spokeswoman points out that it would have been too difficult to pinpoint just who the 10,000th customer was.

For more
Related to UCS: At its Cisco Live event in July, Cisco revamped the 6500 router line and touched off a fun PR rivalry with HP. Relive the magic:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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