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Looking back on 2009 – The Future of Cisco UCS

With all the news over the last few days regarding the continuing growth of Cisco UCS, sometimes it worth taking a step back to look at how we got here. For me, I took a look at a blog post I wrote in March 2009 (pre-FCS), and it’s interesting to see how much mindset shifting has happened in such a short period of time.

A couple of important things should jump out at you:

  • Cisco UCS is a simpler, more powerful way of building Data Center (or Cloud) infrastructure.
  • While change can be hard, a change to Cisco UCS doesn’t have to be difficult for your organization or your IT staff.
  • The short, medium and long-term vision for Cisco UCS (even from an outsider’s point of view) was clear back in 2009, well before we laid out Cisco’s strategy to evolve the Data Center of the future.
  • Even as server technology has evolved over the past two years, the core UCS architecture focus on automation has continued to differentiate the product.
  • No company has greater experience in helping customers transition through technology and business shifts, as is evident by the diagram above. In today’s confusing IT environment, businesses look to technology partners they can trust to help them through transitions and deliver solutions that are ahead of the curve.

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Cisco servers? They said UCS would never succeed…

Two years ago, we started something that many in the industry said was crazy.  We delivered a new system that united compute, network, storage access and virtualization into one cohesive system.  There was rampant speculation that Cisco had taken a crazy path to doom and destruction.

Yet, today I’m proud to share that in just two years, sales of the Unified Computing System are outpacing market growth for x86 blades, and Cisco has become the #3 player worldwide in x86 blade server factory revenue. *

Blades are forecast to be the fastest growing segment of the x86 server market** and market data illustrates the impact of UCS innovation:   businesses worldwide shifted over 10% of the x86 blade market to UCS, and in the U.S. nearly 20%.  Cisco’s rapid growth underscores our leadership in the industry transition to fabric computing and converged infrastructure.  On our most recent earnings call, Cisco reported 5,400 UCS customers and an annualized order run rate of $900M for UCS product orders.

As we began our design efforts, we knew we couldn’t set out to design simply another server.  We heard from our customers that power, management, and server administration costs were sapping their budgets, leaving few resources for innovation.  So we included customers in R&D sessions to help us design from the ground up an evolutionary new system that integrated networking and management:  flexible and scalable enough to handle any workload.  We aimed to create the ideal, programmable, platform for virtualized and cloud environments, and to help solve many of the very real challenges they faced.

Today’s market share news demonstrates our approach is taking hold.  But this is just the beginning:  we are committed to evolving UCS and delivering continued technology innovation.  Thanks for joining us on this journey – we have leagues more innovation ahead of us. ***

* IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, May 2011

** IDC Q4 CY10 Server Forecaster

*** If you’d like to learn more, below you’ll find additional information on UCS milestones, product awards and customer comments

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Cisco UCS: Customers Win

Two years ago Cisco entered the server market with the introduction of the Unified Computing System.  Our competitors met the move with skepticism, blank stares and questions around Cisco’s market strategy.  Our customers wondered what a networking company new about computing.  We didn’t let the naysayers or the doubters distract us.  We continued the hard work of innovation and communicating the architectural superiority of the Unified Computing System.  Soon customers and competitors began to take notice. Read More »

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They Were Wrong About UCS…What Else Are They Wrong About?

May 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm PST

As we near the 2nd year anniversary – July 20, 2009 -- when we first shipped the Cisco Unified Computing System, we’re having some fun looking at past milestones, sharing success stories, and putting to rest competitive FUD.

Many industry pundits thought Cisco was taking a big leap off a steep cliff when we introduced UCS.  Proving the naysayers wrong is always satisfying, so we offer this fun video entitled: “They said it couldn’t be done”– bad predictions throughout history. We hope you’ll enjoy this and see how Cisco’s Unified Computing System fits into that mix.

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Cisco UCS : There is a movement

May 24, 2011 at 10:49 am PST

Almost 2 years ago , we not only launched  a new product , but more importantly a new concept – We called it “unified computing ” and named the products Unified Computing Systems (UCS)
At that time , the media highlighted the fact that Cisco was entering the server market , and of course the incumbent providers were prompt to claim how fool we were
They said that” it couldn’t  be done” . But we insisted and even declared “There is a movement “
This was supported  by the fact that we have been hearing repetitively from our customers that working in silos (servers, network and storage) was not anymore efficient. That virtualization was getting real traction. That the demand and the appetite to reduce costs in IT organization were stronger than ever. Of course , from a marketing and communication points of view we wanted to believe that “the movement” was towards our Unified Computing Systems. So we created this video “There is  a movement“ 

Since then we have been working very hard at Cisco and with a growing number of partners  to make this movement towards the Unified Computing Systems a reality .

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