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Cisco Unified Computing System: Best Data Center Innovation Award

imageCisco Unified Computing System (UCS) just won “Best Data Center Innovation” award at BladeSystems Insight 2009 event. Details will be available here soon.BladeSystems Insight is an executive summit for data center blade server technologies, took place April 19-21, 2009 in Las Vegas before an audience of over 150 hosted end-user executives, vendor sponsors, key industry analysts such as Forrester & IDC, association leaders etc. This award was based on voting from attending IT executives near the end of the event when attendees have had the opportunity to experience and evaluate the full range of companies, products and presentations.

Unified Computing System: Ferrari Borrowed Our Codename

As mentioned on the IPTV broadcast yesterday, the preliminary benchmarking for out new blade servers for our Unified Computing System is pretty darn good–something along the lines of 164% faster than previous-gen Intel-based two-socket systems. I think this not only makes a clear case for the upgrading to Intel Xeon 5500 Series processor but, the same way you would not put a Ferrari engine in a Cavalier, you also want to upgrade to a system that is designed to take advantage of that kind of performance, not just retro-fitted to deal with it. Here is a rundown of our preliminary results for some key industry benchmarks that cover a variety of workloads: image

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Wishful Thinking: The CEE Edition

So, before we dig into CEE (Convergence Enhanced Ethernet), I have a quick quiz for you: take a look at the two pictures below and make note of the differences:

image image

Ready? OK, back to the topic at hand….So, one of our competitors marked their entry into the realm of Ethernet switching with an FCoE capable switch. I honestly thought was kinda cool, since their actions continue to validate a vision, Data Center 3.0, we laid out almost two years ago and a unified fabric strategy we laid out a year ago. During their launch, however, the company made a curious pronouncement: said newly announced switch was the “industry’s only end-to-end Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)-based solution that brings the Fibre Channel (FC) standard and Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) together.”This had me scratching my head a bit since we announced the Nexus 5000 a year ago, with a fine collection of ecosystem partners, and have customers with the solution in production already. Perhaps there is something magical in CEE that I missed? Well, if you read IBM’s Redbook paper on FCoE and CEE, you will see that CEE looks remarkably similar to our discussion of the elements of Data Center Ethernet (DCE). The reality is that neither CEE and DCE are standards but rather marketing shorthand for a half a dozen extensions to the Ethernet standards that are in the process of being finalized and published–the exact same standards. We collectively came up with constructs like DCE and CEE because “IEEE 802.1Qaz” and its brethren is somewhat awkward to into conversation. Thankfully, this naming dichotomy is going to be short-lived. As the standards move towards finalization, you will either see adoption of the formal name, such as Data Center Bridging (DCB), of they will simply be folded into the term “Ethernet”, as has happened in the past.Oh, and as for the ducks, much like DCE and CEE, they are the same. :)

Green Data Center Panel Discussion

Taken from the GigaOm Green:Net 09 show in San Francisco on March 24th, 2009. Moderated by Rich Miller of Data Center Knowledge, this is a good sampling of how large IT vendors are looking at Green from both an industry as well as a data center standpoint.This is a good view if you want to understand some of the higher level considerations of getting more Green in your data center. Most of the panelists also provide some insight into new technologies that are coming to market to help in the deployment and management of energy. Our take was on Cisco EnergyWise as a means to implement common monitoring and control of data center energy.Panelists for this session were:Kenneth Brill, Executive Director, The Uptime InstituteAlbert Esser, VP Power and Infrastructure Solutions, DellRich Lechner, VP Energy and Environment, IBMChristina Page, Director Climate and Energy Strategy, Yahoo!Myself, Robert Aldrich, Principal, Energy Management Solutions and Services, CiscoWhat was clear to me… Read More »

Cisco Unified Computing System: A Biography

Silvano Gai, Tommi Salli, and Roger Andersson have pulled together a good book to tell you everything you every wanted to know about the Cisco UCS: Project California: a Data Center Virtualization Server – UCS (Unified Computing System),” ISBN: 978-0-557-05739-9, Cisco System, April 2009.