Does Cisco + Open Source = Server Market Shakeup?


Except when the Free Software Foundation brought suit against Cisco Systems for GNU General Public License violations, I seldom have had the opportunity to write about the networking giant in this particular forum. But Seeking Alpha's Joe Panettieri made some interesting suggestions in Tuesday's post, and I think he may be on to something.


Cisco has been pushing into the consumer market of late, and many have said the effort will not end well. But Panettieri points out that the company is also preparing to move into the blade server space. If the rumors are true, he says, the company would do well to partner with open source operating system and application providers.


Everyone can, and indeed has, partnered with traditional vendors like Oracle or Microsoft, Panettieri says. To "shake up" the server space, Cisco should also make beelines for providers like Red Hat, MySQL, SugarCRM, Alfresco and others. And to make things even more interesting, according to Panettieri, Cisco should test the open source phone platform Asterisk on its own servers and "prepare to cannibalize" its existing communications offerings.


All interesting thoughts, but will Cisco want to shake things up that much? And if there are open source licensing issues now, without the suggested partnerships, would adding them increase the licensing issues?