Reinventing the Data Center for a Digital World: Cisco HyperFlex Systems
Successful innovators can sneak up on you. Apple’s iPhone actually followed a string of other smart phones from competitors like Nokia, Microsoft and Research in Motion (Blackberry). Nor were Google, Facebook or Netflix the first movers in their markets- or Henry Ford if you want to go further back. There were already competitors in each of these markets. What they did was create a much better mousetrap that met their customer’s specific needs- and then executed brilliantly.
That’s what we’re doing with our new HyperFlex. Our hyperconvergence play isn’t just an example of Cisco innovating to create a slightly better product. HyperFlex is based solidly on a long term, bigger vision and real customer needs, and a changing market that demands this sort of flexibility and scalability–a total, unified solution.
Our entire vision, strategy and execution is conducted in lockstep with our customers. The goal: on one level, to assure we help customers match their workloads to the right architecture. Longer term, to help them stay ahead of the curve as we move into the new Digital Age, while advancing technology in the data center.
For starters, we spent enormous time listening to our customers in developing HyperFlex. Here’s what they requested:
- Help in modernizing their data center
- A data center automated, orchestrated, and open
- Not to be locked in (run apps on premise to public cloud)
- Self service capabilities (make sure to extend on premise policy model into the Cloud)
- Ability to move workloads into the cloud
When it was all over, they’d requested-and we delivered- advances on several fronts:
- An increase in operational efficiency
- Faster delivery of IT services
- An increase in IT agility
Then we worked with them on implementing these solutions.
Health care providers are a great example of the need for this technology. They’re competing in a fast moving, rapidly changing 24/7 business. The current IT technology is falling short in many cases to keep up with the growing IT demands. Many badly need to modernize their often antiquated data centers.
Companies like Memorial Care, a regional health care delivery system in Southern California, are specifically looking for ease of use, flexibility and scalability. Paul Holt, executive director of IT, said that led them to investing in HyperFlex (they are using Citrix XenApp (VDI) and will integrate with ACI soon).
Future protection and flexibility are critical. Frank de Reij, CEO of Meander Medical Centre in the Netherlands, put it this way: “The advantages with using HyperFlex are its flexibility and building blocks. You can mix and match the CPU power and storage power required for all apps and scale..”
Another feature customers love is the “simplicity”- and how we’re building this on the UCS base. “The simplicity was huge,” said Mark Campbell, Virtualization Administrator at NCR, which is using HyperFlex for VDI, app dev/testing and eventually private cloud. “There was no new learning curve..”
Hyperconvergence from Cisco liberates customers in several ways. New applications can be deployed in minutes, not hours or days. No more putting in orders and waiting for specialists to add storage or servers. Now team members can do it, cutting the process dramatically. The software-driven system enables a more fluid, on-demand response. “Instead of thinking physically, we can now think virtually,” Kevin Torres, VP of Memorial’s IT said.
HyperFlex isn’t just an appliance box in the corner — it’s part of a bigger infrastructure play. Integrated DC infrastructure, Cloud suite, ACI are all building blocks for the new digital data center, spanning hardware and software, from the data center to the cloud to every device. We’re preparing our customers for the new digital era.
We do that through ongoing innovation. Cisco introduced innovation in the data center: IP Telephony Virtualization, Application Economy, Hybrid cloud and now hyperconvergence. Cisco has a history of entering markets like this and driving industry transformation, then taking large market share. We plan to continue that with HyperFlex, creating a bridge to the next-gen digital data center.
In a few years we’ll look back and marvel at how we separated compute, storage and network into silos, and how we laboriously managed them separately. HyperFlex (and Hyperconvergence) is a giant leap forward in unifying the Data Center as one, creating tomorrow’s digital platform today.
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