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Xsigo and Nicira -- Not the Same

Oracle's recent acquisition of Xsigo raised a lot of questions. Many concluded that this was Oracle's way of hitting back at VMware's acquisition of Nicira, but I believe that not to be true, as Xsigo and Nicira are not the same.

Xsigo's technology aims at virtualizing I/O and reducing cable count, whereas Nicira allows you to build complete computer networks. They both do share one similarity in that they reduce proprietary networking equipment.

Xsigo can be compared to HP's Virtual Connect, albeit Xsigo in my opinion has a more extensive and very powerful solution.

In a nutshell Xsigo is a top-of-rack solution that standardizes and virtualizes the connection between the servers and the top-of-rack switch using either InfiniBand or 10GB Ethernet. The advantage in my mind is that it provides future-proofed capabilities to the environment. That top-of-rack switch can accept 10GB cards, Fiber Channel Cards, regular Ethernet cards, etc., and when new technology surfaces, you just add another module and blade to that switch without needing to recable or change adapters at the server level.

Xsigo also virtualizes the server-side cards. Instead of having 10 Ethernet NICs, 4 Fiber Channel Cards, 2 10GB NICs, you now have one or two adapters on the server side and you virtualize all the rest. Now, you can carve out the I/O between the server and the top-of-rack switch into multiple virtual fiber channels, Ethernet, etc.

Xsigo is a truly elegant solution, but I am not overly excited that Oracle has acquired them because of the latter's track record of uncertainty around acquisitions. I am concerned about Xsigo's future at Oracle.

So, now you can imagine why I'm astonished when analysts draw comparisons between Xsigo and Nicira, as these companies produce very different products.

What are your thoughts on how Oracle will leverage Xsigo?

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 08/01/2012 at 4:59 PM


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