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Cisco Takes Aim at H-P With New Servers

(Updates Cisco's share price)

SAN JOSE, Calif. ( TheStreet) -- Cisco (CSCO - Get Report) has unveiled new versions of its controversial UCS device, which it claims will extend its server strategy further into corporate data centers.

"Our portfolio is expanding; customers will have more selection with us," said Paul Durzan, director of product management for Cisco's Unified Computing business. "It's expanding the amount of form factors we have to provide our customers with more choice."

Initially available as a blade that fits into an eight-blade chassis, Cisco has launched three versions of the device that can fit into conventional data center racks.

"There's some people that believe that rack-mounts are the way to go," said Durzan. "People will generally choose racks because they don't need as many blades as a blade chassis holds."

The networking giant also took the wraps off an "extended memory" version of its blade, which is aimed at companies looking to consolidate servers onto a UCS device.

Cisco's foray into the server market has already changed the tech sector dynamic, heralding new partnerships and rivalries.

Cisco sent shockwaves through the sector earlier this year with its UCS launch, a controversial move that seriously annoyed long-standing partner Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report).

Not to be outdone, H-P fired a retaliatory shot at Cisco, unveiling its own BladeSystem Matrix, which it is touting as a "datacenter in a box," The server giant then upped the ante by forging a 10-year partnership with telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (ALU - Get Report) and has not missed an opportunity to trash talk its new rival.

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