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Cisco & BMC enable breakthrough efficiency yields at Monsanto

Having just returned from VMWorld in Copenhagen, I stopped for a few minutes over a cup of hot tea to reflect on how dramatically the issues and priorities have changed from just a few years ago.  From just a few years ago, the focus has changed from “getting to virtualization” to “managing virtualization”.

With each Data Center event I’ve participated in this year, I’ve heard the cry from CIOs and IT Leaders everywhere for help in simplifying the management of their increasingly complex, virtualized environments.    IT systems management has emerged as the foremost area of concern (and top spending priority) among enterprise and mid-market businesses.

Increasingly, customers are asking for a single unified and integrated systems management solutions, that would simplify operations and provide agility. This is not surprising given that IT spend on server operations management (OpEx) now exceeds that of server purchases (CapEx). To compound the situation, rapid growth in virtual servers, has made this scenario even more complex.

My conversations with several impacted customers at VMWorld, Europe, yielded a consistent response; The solutions proffered by most incumbent server vendors were not meeting their needs.   Most incumbent vendors add software management layers for every piece of component added to the server infrastructure. This has led to a house of cards situation, difficult to scale, sustain and make changes. Many customers have benefited from the Unified Management capability offered by the UCS platform and are looking for a similar unified management solution that would extend to full stack server provisioning and configuration automation

Monsanto, a large agricultural biotechnology company, selected BMC Software for a large-scale Business Service Management (BSM) deployment project to reduce system downtime by improving the way IT manages changes to the network. Monsanto selected Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) as the blade server platform to achieve its goal of 70 percent server virtualization as it begins deploying a cloud-based infrastructure. To test the system, Monsanto  implemented a Proof of Concept (POC) with 16 Cisco UCS B-series Blade servers with BMC BladeLogic for server provisioning automation and BMC ProactiveNet Performance Management (BPPM) for server diagnostics and monitoring. The POC proved to be a resounding success and production rollout of UCS with BMC software is currently underway. The POC validated the Joint Cisco & BMC solution’s ability to meet or exceed Monsanto’s business objectives in: Preservation of Capital, Business Agility, Innovation and creating new realities, Standardization and Cost Management.

Because Monsanto’s business is seasonal, business requirements include the need for IT systems to work flawlessly during peak seasons like harvest and sales seasons. Monsanto found Cisco’s UCS and BMC’s BladeLogic to be ideal choices in maximizing their asset utilization and optimizing their IT investments in people, processes, tools, and policies.

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