Cisco Loses Another Unified Computing System Leader

Another visionary of Cisco Systems' popular Unified Computing System, Raju Datla, left the company this month, Cisco confirmed Thursday.

The news comes just one day after CRN reported that Paul Perez, vice president and general manager of computing systems at Cisco, also left the company this month to become Dell's CTO of the Enterprise Group.

According to Datla's LinkedIn profile, he left his position as vice president of the computing systems product group, leading the company's UCS software division, this month. He is now "exploring the unknown and the unseen," according to his profile.

[Related: Cisco Unified Computing Visionary Departs]

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Datla was the founder and CEO of Cloupia, a developer of data center and cloud automation and management software company that Cisco acquired in November 2012.

When contacted Thursday, Cisco declined to comment on the changes around the company's UCS product line.

CRN reported Wednesday that Perez had been courted by Dell for some time. Perez is expected to replace outgoing Dell Enterprise CTO Sam Greenblatt, who left Dell last month.

The departure comes several months after Ryan Snell, a top sales executive for Cisco's Invicta solid state storage unit, left the company following performance issues related to the scale-out version of its UCS Invicta flash storage product.

Cisco partners have mixed feelings about what the exits mean for the UCS product line, which they said has been doing exceptionally well within their companies.

"You do think, 'Well, is this going to hurt our company?' " said a solution provider and Cisco partner who declined to be identified. "Who's going to lead UCS into the future? What's it going to look like with new people running the helm? Will there be changes [to the product] soon?"

Perez will be temporarily replaced by Satinder Sethi, vice president of UCS product management and solutions, according to a Cisco spokesman. No replacement or information as to who will replace Datla has been released as of press time.

Another solution provider and Cisco partner who declined to be identified wasn't worried about his company's UCS future.

"This is just a transformation happening, nothing more," he said. "From an executive level, there's a lot of people at Cisco that are moving around within Cisco, and Cisco is looking to get a lot of people from the outside world that are going to be able help drive the rest of their vision -- and those people aren't internal all the time."

He said he trusts the decisions CEO John Chambers and his executive team makes, such as when Cisco entered the server space years ago.

"UCS itself is a great example; you had Hewlett-Packard, Dell dominating that industry. Cisco went into a difficult market and people said, 'Oh my God, anther server vendor?' But [Cisco] didn't go about it from a server perspective, they went about it from a data center enablement [perspective] and they knew that the industry was changing," he said. "They know what they're doing. … I don't see [Perez and Datla leaving] as a bad thing at all."