cisco-systems-westcon-ingram-micro-ucsDistributors are falling over each other to show Cisco Systems channel partners some data center love. A prime example: Only hours after Westcon Group Inc. said its Comstor division will distribute Cisco's Unified Computing System, Ingram Micro reiterated its Cisco data center push. But there's a bigger story here: Cisco's server channel is growing. Here's the scoop.

No doubt, distributors expect Cisco to have some success disrupting the traditional server and storage markets. Weston earlier today crowed about an agreement for Comstor to distribute Cisco's UCS solutions.

A few hours later, Ingram Micro asserted that Ingram Micro Worldwide is and will continue to support Cisco's major data center play -- including the UCS portfolio. Moreover, Ingram Micro's Cisco Business Unit about about a year ago formed a "Tiger Team” focused on Data Center Architecture.

The VAR Guy hasn't seen any claws yet, but it sounds like  a UCS distributor cat fight is in the making.

Still, there are some differences between  the Ingram Micro and Westcon/Comstor strategies. While Ingram offers a range of third-party servers, Comstor is more of a specialty networking distributor moving into the server market -- purely through the Cisco relationship.

Not to be left out of the party, Tech Data told about its growing Cisco UCS relationship.

Cisco's Server Channel Grows

Regardless of which distributor a VAR chooses, the big winner appears to be Cisco and its end-customers. Instead of flooding the market with UCS solutions Cisco has been ramping up in a controlled approach.

Two prime examples:
  • Cisco's UCS B Series blade servers will have about 200 Authorized Technology Provider partners worldwide by July 2010, up from about 63 right now.
  • Cisco's UCS C Series rack mount servers will have fewer restrictions and roughly 1,000 partners by July 2010.
At the same time, The VAR Guy hears continued chatter about Cisco partnering with Lenovo to launch a networking-PC partnership that counters Hewlett-Packard.

Plenty of chatter. But The VAR Guy needs to research exactly how well Cisco's servers are selling so far.

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