Quick Alert: Avaya’s Fire Sale Purchase vs. Cisco’s “Toaster Box”

Avaya is the latest to enter the next generation data center fight with their one-box-data-center strategy.  Avaya’s strategy is based upon the VSP 9000 switch that Avaya acquired from the great Nortel fire sale of 2009.  Confidence is high at Avaya as their Vice President and General Manager of data center solutions, Steven Bandrowczak, calls Cisco’s UCS a “toaster box” solution.

However, someone needs to remind Avaya that the Nortel VSP 9000 was announced on May 19, 2009 at Interop as an alternative to the Cisco Nexus 7000.  Note: The Cisco Nexus 7000 is currently shipping. The 9000 is built off their 8600 software running on Nortel’s Carrier Grade Linux coupled with a fully programmable network processor.  The last time I checked, UCS is lot more than a Nexus 7000 switch.

It’s a good thing Avaya is going to follow Nortel’s strategy of selling to existing Nortel switch customers because I don’t see Cisco, HP, or Juniper customers jumping ship to the untested combination of Avaya/Nortel.  Anyone remember the Cajun switch?

As far as the “toaster box” comment, if you don’t have something nice to say then…  It’s a bit revealing that as of today, Avaya has no intention of entering the other two pillars of the next generation strategy; namely servers or storage.  Instead, Avaya will rely on the status quo via other vendors to handle these issues.  Not very UCS or Converged Infrastructure like is it?

Avaya can take refuge in the fact that they have a formidable Communications Software Business, but they need to seek shelter in the battle for the next generation data center.  Of course, they have $900 million reasons to do otherwise.