Note: The Skinny blog is written by Rick Smith, editor and co-founder of Local Tech Wire and business editor of

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. –Despite all the talk about “cloud computing” and virtualization these days, especially in the Triangle where Red Hat and rPath are helping blaze the path, not too much is heard about Cisco.

In fact, Chairman and Chief Executive officer John Chambers had to go out of his way during a recent conference call with analysts to broach the subject.

EMC outbid NetApp for DataDomain in a bid for storage and virtualization dominance. So what is Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) doing?

“The one question I didn’t get … is where we are going with cloud some of these new architectures and how our strategy in cloud really pulls in many of the other strategies in many areas,” Chambers said at the conclusion of the conference call that discussed Cisco’s recent quarterly earnings and prospects for growth.

Sitting in on the call with Chambers was Cisco Chief Technology Officer

“Padma, maybe if you give us a snapshot on that since you are leading the strategy for me on cloud and the implementation and little bit how it might add to some of the other things we are doing,” Chambers asked, according to a from SeekingAlpha.

Warrior, who has to have the most appropriate last name in the take-no-prisoners tech business, made several key points in just a few moments. Note the emphasis on security, which is one of the biggest concerns among users of virtual servers and cloud environments.

“Sure. Thank you, John,” Warrior said.

“Cloud as we believe is perhaps one of the most network centric architectural shifts that we are going to see in the IT industry in a long time. And the reason we believe that to be the case is virtualization is going to be the foundation to drive that.

“And so UCS [Cisco’s universal computing system] becomes a core element from an architectural perspective in how we can enable large enterprises to build their own private cloud as well as service providers to provide the capability of virtual private clouds to enterprises and small businesses.

“Our cloud strategy is to link from an infrastructure perspective what we are doing in the data center all the way to the application delivery through SaaS [software as a service]. With SaaS offerings that we currently have with WebEx conferencing, security as a service with IronPort and some of the other capabilities.

“The key differentiation that we are focused on with respect to the network enablement is in providing security, which is a key concern of most enterprises in the today architecture with cloud as well as enabling higher levels of service agreements and providing the interoperability between different cloud architecture.”

Cisco acquired IronPort and WebEx in 2007 – just two of the pieces Chambers keeps adding to the networking giant’s technology matrix. He appears to have armed Cisco well for the virtualization battle in the clouds at all levels – and Warrior is the general tasked with the mission to execute the winning strategy.

One wonders it someone will ask Chambers about the cloud battle next conference call?

Get the latest news alerts: at Twitter.