Mehta admitted that until Blade signed a deal with Juniper Networks in October last year, Cisco was 'the only game in town' for users of blade switch systems who wanted a unified communications platform from the backbone to the network edge.
When Juniper took a stake in, and partnered with, Blade late last year the company became a more comprehensive competitor for Cisco's unified computing strategy. And Mehta has come out fighting, saying 'Cisco's centralized networking platform is the dinosaur of the age.'
Mehta claims that Cisco (and partners VMware and EMC in creating the V-Block) have effectively created a vendor lock in, which he hopes customers will resist. 'Large customers realize that the network will become more important in the future. They all have horrible memories of vendor lock in from the past.'
Blade's datacentre networking platform, called Unified Fabric Architecture, does not lock users into particular vendors, being agnostic about issues such as hypervisors, according to Mehta. 'We are all about providing people with choice.'
But choice will also create challenges for Blade given that this market is currently being fiercely contested by a number of vendors.