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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Commoditizing Middleware: CISCO’s Foreplay!!

Bill Burnham writes that the IBM and Cisco Relationship Is Headed For A Break-Up. Excerpts with edits & comments:

IBM and Cisco may find it difficult to continue the partnership as Cisco has clearly made a strategic decision to try to destroy part of IBM’s core business. Cisco's approach to AON is based on innovative new technology that moves beyond the packet level to read application-to-application messages flowing within the network - such as purchase orders, investment transactions, or shipment approvals. With AON, the network now speaks the language of applications. This new technology integrates application message-level communication, visibility, and security into the fabric of the network. Cisco AON technology allows application message-level intelligence into the network to better meet the underlying needs of applications for real-time visibility, security, event-based messaging, optimized delivery, and other core integration and deployment services. This rollout foreshadows a coming battle that may rip apart the strategic alliance between IBM and Cisco. The two companies have partnered together on a myriad of initiatives from data center management, to security, to storage networking, seemingly secure in the knowledge that neither firm had any intentions of getting into the other’s core business. It is now crystal clear that with AON, Cisco has designs on at least a portion of IBM’s core business and that IBM must respond before one of its crown jewels, its infrastructure software portfolio, is rapidly commoditized.What Taf Anthias, formerly head of IBM’s MQ Series ,in his new role as head of AON @Cisco has tried & created networking devices that are not packet aware, but message aware. Message aware networking focuses on migrating basic tasks such as security, transformation, and message routing away from application servers and message brokers and into network devices. This migration should not only theoretically increase performance and enhance flexibility but it should also create the foundation necessary to properly run complex, highly scaled, Service Oriented Architectures. Message aware networking looks a lot like middleware message processing, but it requires a level of performance, security, flexibility and even dedicated hardware that makes it look a lot more like networking. The networking companies and the infrastructure software companies have recognized message aware networking as a dangerous, but potentially lucrative “demilitarized zone” that separated their two industries. With SOA & the rapid adoption of XML-based messaging, becoming important, Cisco has taken the first shot with AON, IBM, and other infrastructure software players such as BEA, HP, CA, and Microsoft, must respond or they risk ceding a significant portion of their “value add” to Cisco and other networking vendors.

Category :AON, IBM

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