Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Data Center and Cloud

Why ISVs Must Transform In SMAC Environment

In today’s era of SMAC – Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud based solution, Pay-Per-Use licensing and Dev Ops software development methodology, Independent Software Vendors (ISV) are facing major challenges on many fronts. ISVs strive to differentiate from their competitors and gain new customers, as well as retain existing customers and generate additional revenue from them. This shift is happening throughout the software developer market and has surfaced technological and business changes for ISVs.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Introducing Cisco UCS M-Series Modular Servers with System Link Technology

Today, we are announcing a number of new UCS products.  But this is not just a product launch; it’s arguably the biggest product launch since the original UCS unveiling in 2009, both in terms of breadth and importance.  One of the products that we are unleashing is the Cisco UCS M-Series Modular Server, a brand new product line within Cisco UCS.

So important is the M-Series that I thought it was worth a quick blog to help frame it and show both how unique it is, and how it’s changing the game and really defining a new class of server.

We named the product M-Series to highlight its modularity, but that is only part of the story.  We have also taken to using the term ‘disaggregated server’ to help describe it.  I think it is an apt term, but want to further elaborate, as that alone does not do the M-Series justice.

As cloud scale applications become more prevalent and evolve in the datacenter the infrastructure needs change too.  Attributes like scale, performance and lifecycle require more flexibility than a traditional server can deliver efficiently.   What M-Series does is separate the CPU and memory complex from the other subsystems that would make up a traditional server.  Thus, when matching a particular application’s requirements to server infrastructure, M-Series allows for the independent scaling of all of the subsystems.  No longer does the need for a few more cores and GB’s of memory dictate the need to duplicate the entire traditional server with more power supplies, more fans, more raid controllers, more network adapters, etc.  And the same holds true for upgrading subsystems.  The lifecycle of an Ethernet adapter is not the same as a RAID controller and not the same as a CPU.  M-Series frees customers from the constraints.

Cisco UCS M-Series Modular Server

Cisco UCS M-Series Modular Server

Simply taking a server apart or disaggregating the subsystems alone is not what makes M-Series a game-changer, but creating a fabric that extends the benefits of UCS Manager all the way into the server is.  What sets UCS M-Series apart is something we call UCS System Link Technology.   This silicon-based technology gives M-Series the ability to connect these disaggregated subsystems via a UCS System Link fabric and create a truly composable infrastructure.  With the policy-based provisioning, deployment and management of UCS, the application can be presented the exact amount of resources from each subsystem for truly a software-defined server.

Similar to how a hypervisor parses resources from a traditional server and presents them in a virtual machine, M-Series now can do that and more, but at a hardware level.  A collection of these new composite machines defined from the M-Series infrastructure is the most efficient and agile way to power the emerging class of cloud scale applications.  Cisco UCS M-Series with System Link Technology is defining a new class of server architecture to power cloud scale applications.

Please watch this space for more information on Cisco UCS M-Series, as we will dive deeper into this new and exciting product.

UCS Innovation for Core Data Center Applications

We have a number of exciting additions to the UCS family, which we are announcing today.  Application architectures are fundamentally changing, which is driving a change to the core infrastructure.   Today, you will hear about new innovations in the area of scale-out computing, which are optimized for the delivery of new applications, data analytics and the scale that is required to support these apps.

As part of this announcement, we are delivering significant innovations around what I’ll call the core data center applications.  Put another way, these are the more traditional applications that keep the business running and keep employees productive.  Cisco is announcing our fourth generation of our workhorse two-socket blade and rack systems as well as a broad set of enhancements to UCS Management.

Over the past five years, when I ask customers why they purchased UCS, it comes down to two key areas:  more power to drive applications faster and simplified management, which accelerates IT operations. Let’s talk first about the core data center platforms and the new innovations there.  Once again, Cisco is raising the bar on “enterprise class” stateless computing and performance.  Today, we’re announcing the Cisco UCS M4 series, which are optimized for the widest set of enterprise use cases.  Delivered through the new UCS B200 M4, C220 M4 and C240 M4, Cisco continues to deliver the highest performance CPUs, maximum memory and highest I/O performance.  Besides support for fastest and highest core count and memory, we have added significant flexibility to the platforms via modular LAN-on-motherboard (LOM), Modular HBAs and Flex Storage options.

In addition to the M4 generation of servers we are introducing our 3rd gen VIC technology.  This generation brings native 40Gb and advanced networking features such as NVGRE and VxLAN to UCS.  The latest VIC will also enable ultra low latency RDMA capabilities.. As really fast flash storage becomes mainstream and clustered applications gain popularity, high bandwidth, low latency interconnect technology will be required for applications to see the full benefit of performance  improvements.  With this technology, applications requiring low latency can see up to an 85% improvement without the complexity of building Infiniband fabrics.

As much as we like talking about performance (and believe me, we like that a lot), the biggest innovation UCS brought to the datacenter was a dramatically simplified management paradigm with our UCS Management portfolio.   Today, we’re announcing the addition of the software programmable ACI fabric through the Nexus 9000 and APIC into UCS Director.  UCS Director is also delivering a software development kit and open API to accelerate third party integration with Cisco’s technology partners.

Finally, we are delivering new application container support within UCS Director, which provides both virtual and bare metal isolation of workloads, automated with UCS Director.  Users simply request a container for a particular set of application components and UCS Director deploys the necessary infrastructure configuration required.  Taken together, UCS Director becomes an even more robust control point for IT infrastructure as IT customers can now request application services and have computing, storage and networking services (such as firewalling or Layer 4-7 switching) delivered across a programmable networking fabric.

Taken along with the M-series and the UCS C3160, this announcement represents a huge step forward in the UCS portfolio to enable customers to move faster into the new application paradigm while still supporting their core data center applications.



Tags: , , , ,

Cisco UCS Mini – Edge-Scale Computing

September 4, 2014 at 8:24 am PST

Cisco’s Unified Computing System, originally designed for the datacenter is now optimized for Branch Office / Remote Office (ROBO), point-of-sale, and smaller IT environments with the announcement today of UCS Mini.  This solution delivers servers, storage, and 10 Gigabit networking in an easy to deploy, compact form factor. Expandable to 15 servers, UCS Mini provides a scalable solution with the proven management simplicity of the award winning UCS Manager.
Read More »

Cisco UCSO – A solution whose name length is second only to the list of customer benefits

Open source software is driving innovation in mobile devices and platforms, cloud services, big data and social technologies, as it continues to shape next generation data center architectures.  Specifically, interest in OpenStack has been growing: IT organizations are looking for new ways to increase efficiency and have expressed preference for a more agile, modular and vendor neutral approach to building cloud platforms.

Today, to capitalize on these important trends, Cisco and Red Hat announced that we will be building upon the strong success we have had with Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (REHL).  Cisco and Red Hat will accelerate joint engineering and product development around three additional key technology areas:  OpenStack, Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and the Intercloud. Cisco and Red Hat offer customers a broad and robust portfolio of integrated solutions for data center modernization, true hybrid cloud and big data. To gain more insights regarding the breadth of our alliance activities with Red Hat you can read Denny Trevett’s blog .

At the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) Launch Event in New York City, we have announced a powerful array of new computing  solutions and we also have introduced the initial phase and offering of this expanded relationship: UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Red Hat OpenStack or as some like to call it for short: UCSO. This offering is the combination of the Industry leading UCS Integrated Infrastructure with the Industry Leading Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform into a set of solutions – with accompanying Bill of Materials (BOM), 24x7 Solution Support and Professional Services -- based on Cisco and Red Hat Validated Designs to accelerate the deployment of OpenStack-based clouds.  With Cisco UCSO, mid-market and enterprise customers will be able to lower the risk associated with their cloud deployments while retaining control and choice over their environments with open and interoperable cloud architectures.

While adoption of OpenStack has been growing, customers continue to express concerns about the enterprise readiness of OpenStack, its ability to provide a complete solution and potential complexity of deployment.  By partnering with Red Hat and offering Cisco UCSO -- which is backed by our professional services -- Cisco and Red Hat will be able to address many of these concerns. Red Hat’s excellent track record in the open source community can provide our joint customers with the performance, scalability, and security they need for their private or hybrid cloud deployment. If you want to learn more about Red Hat OpenStack capabilities I would encourage you to read this blog or check out this video.

With Cisco Intercloud Fabric, ACI, and OpenStack, we take a leadership role in network services integration with Cloud technologies. In the future, Cisco UCSO will progressively leverage these capabilities to enable highly secure Intercloud portability of workloads across heterogeneous environments with consistent network and security policies.

‘Cloud-native’ applications (e.g., applications that are architected and designed to run on Cloud) represent ideal use cases for UCSO. Development and test of new applications, proof of concept implementations and workloads in a private IaaS environment are often brought-up during our initial customer conversations.

Our cloud strategy relies on our intent to offer the power of choice to our customers. Cisco’s commitment to open, interoperable and standards-based cloud solutions has been unwavering. In fact, Cisco has been a very active member of the OpenStack community and by partnering with Red Hat we can bring OpenStack to the enterprise, with confidence and without compromises.

In order to eliminate any barriers for adoption, Cisco Cloud Consulting Services will enable organizations to deploy the infrastructure and configure OpenStack in a short period of time. They will also provide the option for deploying customized Cloud capabilities and integrating with existing tools and processes leveraging prior experiences and best practices.

With a growing number of UCS integrated infrastructure solutions for Red Hat OpenStack, we will provide our customers with enterprise grade, foundational building blocks to modernize their IT operational models, processes and technologies to accommodate new cloud-scale workloads and related requirements while achieving:

• Accelerated Deployment Times – For organizations that need to more quickly deploy cloud solutions to address business needs.

• Lower Cost – For organizations that want to increase operational efficiency associated with cloud deployments by leveraging open source solutions.

• Lower Risk – For organizations that need to lower the risk associated with their cloud projects while avoiding proprietary vendor solutions.

• Increase Portability – For organizations that need to implement cloud strategies that include a combination of Private, Public and Hybrid clouds with seamless interconnection among the various deployment models and full portability of workloads.

• Accelerate ROI – Cisco Cloud Consulting Services can provide expertise for deployment and configuration of OpenStack environments in a short period of time.

Additional Resources