This week we’re announcing new systems at the upper end of the UCS server product line: some heavy-duty iron for heavy-duty times. These are important new tools for our UCS customers: the digital age is accelerating, IT needs more horsepower to keep up, and there is a lot at stake.
Consider this: less than 10 years ago, some of the largest mainframes scaled up to half a terabyte (TB) of main memory. What if I were to tell you that these latest generation UCS blade servers will scale to 3TB? Sound like a lot? It is. And that’s just the two-processor version. Connect two UCS B260 M4 blades with an expansion connector and they become a UCS B460 M4, a four socket server that will scale to 6TB. Putting that into perspective: a spiffy new laptop might ship today with 8GB of memory. Multiply that by 750 and you have 6TB.
Not too long ago, all the content Wikipedia would fit in this type of footprint (in 2010 it was just under 6TB with media.) Here is a fun illustration of what this scale of data would look like on paper (just the ~10GB of text, not the images.) Now remember, we’re not talking about fitting all that data on the local disks of the server – we’re talking about fitting it in main memory. This is becoming crucially important in the field of data analytics, where “in-memory” is the key to speed and competitiveness. Applications like SAP HANA are at the forefront of this trend. Today, at Intel’s launch event in San Francisco, Dan Morales (Vice President of Enabling Functions at eBay) joined us to talk about how they’re betting on this type of analytic technology to help them make the eBay Marketplace work better for buyers and sellers (and eBay shareholders.) I’ll post a video clip of that soon; his description of the challenges and opportunities, at eBay scale, is worth a watch.
Our collaboration with Intel is one of the best technology combinations in the industry today. Consider what we both bring to the party. Intel: innovation in processor technology that drives Moore’s Law. Cisco: innovation in connecting things across the data center and around the world. UCS is an outcome of two blue-chip tech powerhouses investing in real innovation and the results have changed the industry.
In 1991, Stewart Alsop famously wrote: “I predict that the last mainframe will be unplugged on 15 March 1996.” He just as famously had to eat his words. He munched on those twelve years ago, and while mainframes and RISC-based systems remain, there is an inexorable trend as the heaviest analytic workloads continue to shift to the type of scale-up x86-based systems we’re talking about today. It only makes sense. So while this will garner me plenty of comments from the architectural purists out there, I say “go ahead and plug a mainframe back in.” It will fit right in your UCS B-Series blade chassis…
Today is a big day and a turning point in the server world with Cisco’s partner Intel launching a new line of Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v2 product family cpus. These new processors offer numerous benefits over their predecessors summarized in the next slide. In addition, the Cisco UCS instantiation of these processors provides unique cost saving benefits.
These new Cisco servers—like all Cisco UCS servers—have the inherent advantage of UCS Management and SingleConnect technology. The Cisco UCS Manager abstracts all aspects of a server in software allowing administrators to create a software model (service profile) of a desired server and then instantiate that server all in software. In other words, server hardware is abstracted and modeled in software. UCS-managed servers can be provisioned and deployed in minutes instead of days. The UCS server benefits customers are seeing are indeed numerous and significant and summarized here.
Beyond these cost savings, these three UCS servers comprise the top-of-the line, high-end Cisco servers that address the most demanding, enterprise-critical, memory-intensive customer workloads including the following:
Large-Scale, Virtualized Applications
Large memory, consolidation workloads
These new UCS servers also present numerous other advantages that can be aggregated to six words: (Scale Up, Scale Up, Scale Out)
Scale Up — through UCS Manager and its service profiles, a workload can be easily moved to a larger, more powerful server. The previous server’s service profile need only be instantiated on a new server. Load a new OS and the app and presto, new versions of the scale-up concept—easily move to a new bigger server. The new server appears to both the OS and hypervisor exactly as the older server, except more resources are available.
Scale Up—the UCS B260 M4 blade server scales out to
160 Gbps of I/O bandwidth,
1.5 TB of memory with eventual scalability to 3.0 TB of memory
2 mezzanine slots and 1 built-in mLOM
Up to 2, 15-core, Intel® Xeon® processor E7 v2s CPUs running at 155 Watts
An innovative design: The Cisco UCS B260 M4 server’s features a simple upgrade by adding another UCS B260 M4 blade module, along with the UCS M4 Scalable Connector, to double the compute, memory and I/O capability of the server.
Scale Out— these new Cisco servers inherit the benefits that all UCS Managed servers enjoy: fast, automatic, consistent, repeatable and error-free provisioning and deployment of servers. In fact, an aggregate of UCS customers saved:
61% reduction of ongoing administrative/management costs
54% reduction in power & cooling
77% reduction in cabling with an average cost savings of 71%
41% reduction in other operations costs
84% reduction in provisioning times
The cost-savings, UCS innovation, performance and expansion of the Cisco UCS server product line continues apace. Indeed today is a big day and an opportunity to examine the advantages of UCS servers. See what other customers have already discovered that UCS is changing the shape of the industry: Cisco is ranked #2 world-wide in x86 blade server revenue market share, with 33.9% share in the US, and a top 5 ranking among server vendors overall. Turn and consider, today, a new, better way to scale-up, scale-up and scale-out!
Selecting the right cloud service provider for your company requires more than just browsing through prospective cloud vendors’ websites and reading about them online.
How do you decide which vendor to trust for the performance, reliability, and security you need?
Whether you are in the process of migrating to the cloud or a current cloud adopter, a recent Business 2 Communityarticle provided the acronym, “PERFECTION” to remember 10 important technological and business considerations when choosing a cloud service provider.
Finding this perfect cloud service provider can seem like a daunting feat, right?
In this post, I’ll discuss how organizations can have confidence in their cloud vendor decisions. They need to be assured the technology powering their services leads the industry in performance and scalability. And most importantly, the vendor they choose should not only act as a cloud provider, but also as a cloud partner.
Here’s a deeper look at the top 10 considerations for selecting a cloud partner and how Cisco, through Cisco Powered, is able to help you with your cloud strategy.
In my previous customer adoption series blog, I discussed how LinkedIn used Cisco MDS to solve their storage growth needs. Today, I would like to address how Molina Healthcare utilized Cisco MDS 9700, Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus to overcome challenges posed by growth and new regulations. Healthcare Industry is transforming rapidly and you need a dynamic infrastructure that helps you to transform seamlessly. The Cisco solution has greatly simplified management of all of Molina’s data center resources. One operating system and a single point of management have accelerated provisioning, delivered operational consistency, and reduced cabling costs
Having systems that offer a wide range of connectivity options, high scalability, and simplified management have set Molina on a high-performance path to its future. No matter how rapidly healthcare needs change, Molina Healthcare is ready.
If you were to believe the industry press, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that many companies across the world were rolling software defined networking (SDN) technologies into their networks today. I’m part of Cisco’s Services team and my colleagues across the world are the experts in helping you all design and deploy networks. If there is a large or complex leading (or bleeding!) edge network out there being designed, you can place a safe bet that someone from the Cisco Services team is involved helping our customers achieve their targets. If you’re involved in deploying any type of high technology equipment, you’ll appreciate that there is a world of difference between selling, demoing, and actually making it all work in your environment when it comes to new technology. Our team are in the latter camp.
So what are our consultants telling me about SDN in the real world? Excluding a few notable high profile cases (usually involving hyper-scale data centers) they are not seeing -- as yet, to be honest -- many early deployments. However they are seeing a growing number of customers interest in learning about and evaluating SDN related technologies -- including Cisco ONE, NFV and in particular Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). And they are providing some early feedback on the use cases of SDN that customers are most interested in. They are all clear, however, on this point: this is the time to learn what SDN and Cisco ONE can do for your network in the future.
So how do you get started in SDN? Let me outline 5 key steps to help you get started. I’ll also point you to a technical white paper written by Mitch Mitchiner and Reema Prasad, two of our Customer Solutions Architects in Cisco Services, two of our experts responsible for making all of this work for you, your team and your business. I also recommend you check out the video link I’ve provided, for an excellent live demo of Cisco ONE technology, first presented at Cisco Live last year. This video gives a live demo of latency-based routing, one of the use cases described in Mitch and Reema’s paper.