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Server Specs: Cisco invests in secretive data center startup

Cisco invests in secretive data center startup; IBM teams up with Pace for mainframe training; Data center growth continues in the Pacific Northwest.

Cisco invests in secretive data center startup

Cisco Systems Inc. announced Thursday that it has taken an 80% stake in Nuova Systems for the advancement of data center technology.

More on Cisco's data center plans:
Cisco pushes for InfiniBand in the data center
Cisco puts network muscle behind virtualization, utility computing

Cisco said it would invest $50 million in Nuova with the possibility of another $42 million down the road, depending on how the company performs. The remaining 20% stake will be held by Nuova's employees. Meanwhile, Nuova will become a subsidiary of Cisco.

What the investment is exactly for is unclear, as Nuova hasn't announced a product that it's developing. But Cisco said that the company's technology will add to Cisco's products for data centers, which include Ethernet, server and storage switches.

Cisco spokesperson, John Noh, said if Cisco chooses to purchase the remainder of the company, it will happen around August 2007, and at that time there would be more product details.

Charles King, principal analyst with Hayward, Calif.-based Pund-IT Research, speculated that the mystery startup might be working on a technology to remove bottlenecks from storage virtualization. Another possibility might be software to manage different types of network environments.

"If you've got an interesting idea, you don't want your competitors to know what you're doing," King said. "Cisco partners with a lot of companies. If they're coming out with a competitive technology, they could have some unamused partners."

Nuova was founded by four former Cisco executives: Mario Mazzola, Luca Cafiero, Prem Jain and Soni Jiandini.

IBM teams up with Pace University for mainframe training

IBM announced this week that it would help Pace University augment educational courses and training so its students can grab IT jobs once they graduate.

More specifically, IBM wants to help students at the New York-based school become proficient in mainframe, Linux and open standards technology so that they can obtain training certificates and be better equipped when starting out in the real world.

IBM will be holding seminars, sponsoring faculty workshops and providing employees to mentor and advise students at Pace. It will also arrange for tours of three of its labs in New York. The announcement adds to the list of almost 2,000 universities that IBM has partnered with to help students build IT skills that are valuable in the job marketplace.

Data center growth continues in the Pacific Northwest

According to a recent report in the Seattle Post Intelligencer, a data center real-estate developer is building a 150,000 sq. ft. facility in central Washington state and contracting 30 megawatts of power from the local utility. The developer, Intergate Columbia LLC, is controlled by Tukwila-based Sabey Corp. and leases data center space. The company joins the ranks of Microsoft, Google and Yahoo, which all have large data center projects underway in the region.

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