No two companies in history have as lasting and productive a partnership as EMC and Cisco. And that love will go on forever, no matter what you may have heard. In this special April 1 post, I’ll examine all the ways these two were meant for each other.
Ever since Cisco launched their UCS line of servers and EMC bought VMware, clueless tech pundits have proclaimed that the love between these two IT giants was doomed. After all, with so much expansion and acquisition, how could they avoid competing? But that’s not going to happen. As EMC CEO Joe Touchy tells me, referring to Cisco CEO John Shambers, “I love this guy. Love him. Absolutely freaking love him to death. Forever. I mean it.”
This confession should put an end to the idle speculation that arose after EMC’s VMware bought Nicira and began disrupting Cisco’s core networking business with NSX. And after Cisco pulled out of VCE, their joint venture with EMC. And after Cisco bought Whiptail, an all-flash storage array company. And after EMC began selling converged computing systems. And after both companies partnered with the industry foes of the other.
But none of that matters because Cisco and EMC are BFF’s. That Nicira thing was all VMware’s doing; Touchy never even heard about it. And EMC didn’t want Cisco in VCE anyway. And Whiptail is all about application acceleration; it’s definitely not a storage product. And converged computing doesn’t compete at all with UCS. And what’s a partnership anyway?
None of this will change with future acquisitions, either. When Cisco buys Nimble Storage, it will totally be a talent acquisition play. And EMC will buy Arista just to get into the HPC space. And Cisco will respond by buying NetApp for their OEM business. Then EMC will buy Juniper because it will help sell storage to internet carriers. And Cisco and EMC will get into a bidding war for Brocade just because they both love each other so much. See? No competition at all.
I tried to get a photo of Touchy and Shambers hugging it out to illustrate this article but they just couldn’t get their schedules together. “We hug all the time,” they said in a joint statement. “Like Romeo and Juliet, our love will last forever. We even got matching tattoos. Don’t read anything into any of these acquisitions.”