Cisco pulls plug on Dell blade partnership

Cisco has walked away from the joint development of blade networking products with PC titan Dell, CRN has learnt.

Sent last week, an internal Dell email leaked to CRN reveals the Cisco Nexus 4001d blade switch, due to be launched next month, has now been cancelled. The FEX blade switch, planned for a summer release, has also been canned. The products had been developed to be compatible with Dell's M1000e blade chassis.

"Cisco Catalyst blade, Dell OEM, and S&P switches are currently unaffected," adds the email.

The email goes on to claim that the networking vendor is currently spreading the news to the market. "Cisco field representatives are widely communicating this message now," says the email.

One industry source, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed Cisco's move leaves Dell high and dry.

"Cisco has just dumped on Dell from a great big height," said the source. " After months and months developing Nexus components with Dell, Cisco has pulled the plug. This has left Dell in the lurch."

Dell and Cisco announced a partnership to develop joint datacentre products little over a year ago. Shortly afterwards, Cisco unveiled its own datacentre architecture offering when it launched its UCS range of servers and related technologies.

ANS Group partners with both vendors and chief executive Scott Fletcher was unsurprised by news of Cisco's cancellation.

"It makes sense as it has got its own architecture now and this shows Cisco wants to go it alone," he said. "(Its architecture) is probably a couple of years ahead of Dell."

CRN is awaiting response from Cisco and Dell. Follow for developments and more channel reaction.

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