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Whiptail Acquisition Makes Cisco A Storage Player -- Sort Of

Cisco this week said it would acquire flash storage technology vendor Whiptail for $415 million, a move the company said was aimed at boosting the performance of its server products.

The planned acquisition immediately raised questions about the potential impact on Cisco's storage system manufacturer partners, EMC and NetApp, and on Cisco's commitment to VCE, the Cisco-EMC joint venture.

Cisco said it would integrate the Whiptail technology with its own Cisco UCS server platform to speed up its application-processing capabilities. That will make Cisco more competitive in the server market against rivals Hewlett-Packard and Dell. Cisco took pains to say it has no plans to compete as a storage system vendor and that the VCE alliance remains strong.