Cisco aims new container offering at feds

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DataCenterKnowledge is talking this week about Cisco’s latest planned product: a container computing solution.

It’s no surprise that Cisco Systems has confirmed that it is officially developing a data center container offering. In reality, Cisco (CSCO) has been busy in the container market for some time, most visibly in procuring a container for the Nebula cloud computing project at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif. The Nebula “data center in a box” was built inside a FOREST container from Verari Systems filled with Cisco Systems’ Unified Computing System (UCS).

Now Cisco is packaging a UCS-packed container as a product, with the U.S. government as its anchor customer. “We’re looking at a model of building a Cisco container – with a Cisco part number – that will contain the unified computing platform,” said Bruce Klein, Cisco’s U.S. public sector senior VP, who told InformationWeek that Cisco had orders for 150 containers for the U.S. military.

Of course Cisco has its work cut out for it going after the three customers that actually want these things. Rackable/SGI, Sun, Verari, HP, all have (or had) container offerings, and I have yet to talk to a company that will commit to having more than low tens of these things sold in the vaguest of terms. Is there really a business here?