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Cisco should know about Whiptail's DNA. Cisco was an early investor in Whiptail, and it has a record of occasionally acquiring companies in which it invests, Cisco's Perez said. However, he said he was not able to comment publicly on other possible storage vendors in which Cisco invested.
TIG's Norbie said the real winner in this acquisition is storage startup PernixData, which develops technology that ties the flash storage and SSDs in multiple servers into a cluster to provide a high-performance storage tier for virtualized environments.
"PernixData is integrating server and flash storage," he said. "The Cisco acquisition of Whiptail unlocks validation of a move toward more pools of shared resources. It's a good day for PernixData in a subtle way. They'll see the benefits in the future."
For solution providers, the integration of server and flash storage resources will mean a change in how they approach customers, Norbie said.
"Typical VARs have a Cisco practice and a separate storage practice," he said. "Now the question becomes, who owns what? TIG is 100-percent focused on mission-critical solutions for customers regardless of the boundaries."