"Over the past year we've really started to see this market gain traction," Siracuse said. There's a lot of interest from the health care market, oil and gas exploration companies, government agencies, and the education market, including academic research centers that are running out of data center capacity, he said.
Cisco's entry in the market steps up its rivalry with HP, IBM, and Dell, which have already seen Cisco encroach on their server businesses with its Unified Computing System, which combines server hardware and network gear in a single package.
"We're trying to expand our data center applications, and we need this as part of the portfolio," Siracuse said. "This is our first product. We'll be looking at other solutions moving forward," he said.
Pricing will vary depending on how the product is configured and deployed, he said. In general, containerized data centers typically cost more than $1 million, including the IT equipment inside.