Image credit: imediaconnection.com
In an earlier blog, I discussed the incredible success behind the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) in Darwinian evolutionary terms. Since I wrote that blog three months ago, we’ve continued to grow rapidly and have strengthened our position as the #2 blade server player worldwide from 19.3% to 21.5% revenue share (per IDC 2CQ2013 server market tracker, September 2013), with 33.9% revenue share in the US.
Prediction – The #1 spot is well within our reach sooner than you may think.
As we grow our installed base with roughly 1,000 new customers every month, our conversations about the future of UCS have taken an interesting turn. Until now in what I’ll call the “UCS 1.0” phase, Cisco focused on virtualization and private cloud as the dominant use cases that were top-of-mind for industry CIOs and we struck a resonant chord based on our growth – just look at our numbers.
We were market makers with expanded-memory 2-socket Intel EX blades (remember the B230’s?), which were gobbled up like candy into large-scale VDI deployments much to the surprise of the industry. We also jump-started a very attractive RISC-to-x86 migration practice, including Cisco IT’s own production environment: a 40TB mission-critical database that ran on HP Superdomes – a “circle of life” moment for me since Superdome was my program from 1999-2003.
We’ll continue leading in customer value for our original design centers, but we are now focusing on market expansion with what we call “UCS 2.0”, expanding into data-intensive, mission critical, analytics and service provider cloud environments with an increased level of R&D funding and strong corporate support from our top executives.
Prediction – You’ll see us more focused on architectural solutions for key industry vertical markets with tuned solution environments that leverage Cisco’s wide portfolio and that of our partners.
One such act of support is the announcement today of our intent to acquire WHIPTAIL, a leading solid-state systems company that boasts the highest scalability in performance and capacity of any scale-out flash vendor on the market today. WHIPTAIL systems span from single-node entry products to 30-node behemoths that drive almost 400TB’s of flash, 40GB/sec of bandwidth and 4 million random R/W IOPS – for starters.
Prediction: Cisco will unseat Infiniband with low-latency Ethernet fabrics. Check out our USNIC technology for starters…
In our customer interactions it became very clear they view application acceleration using persistent solid-state memory as a use case that belongs in the server tier, not the storage tier.
In an application-centric world, we started thinking not about server vs. storage infrastructure, but how applications viewed data – hot “important right now” data, warm “may be of interest data” and cold “let’s keep it around for background mining or compliance” data.
We arrived at the conclusion that UCS needed to be best-in-class at accelerating hot data layers. Hot data is closest to applications and therefore has high affinity for the server tier. Hence WHIPTAIL.
Assertion: Flash is a “boundary technology” that can be viewed as part of the memory or storage hierarchy. With respect to storage it’s faster and more expensive per GB. With respect to DRAM memory it’s slower but cheaper per GB. It therefore allows cost/performance arbitrage for applications by applying an accelerated persistent data model that can save on DRAM and de-complicate underlying permanent backing stores.
WHIPTAIL is a great fit with the fabric computing UCS architecture and also complementary to our C-Series rack mount servers and our SingleConnect capability in our UCS Manager that allows mixed-density blade/rack deployments to be managed from a common pane of glass.
Our intent is to fully integrate UCS computing and WHIPTAIL solid-state technologies over a Nexus fabric to create scalable persistent memory systems. That’s our vision.
Why? Because customers will be able to do things they could not before. Such as loading vast amounts of data in seconds and minutes, not hours or days – or – shrinking their performance footprint to a rack vs. 30 racks – or – accelerating Hadoop on all solid-state infrastructure – or – extending in-memory analytics to a scale previously not thought possible. That’s why.
As converged infrastructure advances as an ensemble computing architecture, boundary technologies like solid-state memory can be viewed as part of the memory or the storage hierarchy. Cisco’s point of view is to make it part of the memory hierarchy in the compute tier. That allows customers the best of both worlds – performance acceleration for applications while retaining their investment in permanent backing stores and simplifying their overall data center total cost of ownership (TCO).
To close on a Darwinian note, if UCS existed in the Cretaceous Period it would have been a Velociraptor (meaning ‘swift seizer’)– sleek, fast and ferocious – eating everything in its path. Velociraptors are believed to have hunted in packs, which is great considering the strong partner ecosystem that Cisco and UCS have built with industry leaders like EMC, NetApp and VCE as shining examples. We are committed to maintaining and expanding our hunting pack – more on that later!
if Cisco UCS existed in the Cretaceous Period it would have been a Velociraptor. Image credit: dark.pozadia.org
Tags: acquisition, Big Data, Cisco, Internet of Everything, Paul Perez, UCS, unified computing system, WHIPTAIL
Big data and cloud are drastically changing today’s IT landscape. The proliferation of traditional and new data sources plus the movement of data to the cloud complicate a company’s ability to access all of its data assets. This creates an important need to complement traditional data warehousing by providing a real-time, consolidated logical view of data, better known as data virtualization.
Today, Cisco is announcing its intent to acquire Composite Software, a market leader in data virtualization software and services. Composite’s technology connects and optimizes many types of data from across the network and makes it appear as if it’s in one place, allowing companies to make better business decisions. Together, Cisco and Composite will help to accelerate the shift from physical data integration to data virtualization.
For example, the NYSE Euronext produces billions of data per day through quotes, trades, orders, receipts. This data is housed in multiple locations. Composite provided a solution with its data virtualization platform, which functions as a virtual data warehouse to provide access to trades, orders, quotes and other data for analysis, compliance and reporting across 14 exchanges. With data virtualization’s flexible data delivery infrastructure, the organization increased business responsiveness, improved the breadth of analytic insight and lowered its costs.
Consistent with our model for Next Generation IT, Composite will expand Cisco’s portfolio of Smart Services and extend our next-generation services platform with software and hardware solutions. By connecting network knowledge (APIs) and programmability with Cisco’s industry leading Unified Computing System, and adding Composite’s software and query optimization expertise, Cisco will be well positioned to provide highly differentiated capabilities to our customers.
In addition, this acquisition reinforces our commitment to support partner consumption models and assist our partners in broadening their services portfolios.
This acquisition builds on Cisco’s framework for a unified platform and our software services strategy with the recent acquisition of SolveDirect. Composite’s data virtualization solution, combined with SolveDirect’s process integration platform, will provide cross-domain data and workflow integration capabilities to enable real-time business insights and operations.
Tags: acquisition, data virtualization, Hilton Romanski, M&A, services, software
Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire Ubiquisys, a privately-held company headquartered in Swindon, UK for $310 million in cash and employee retention incentives. Ubiquisys is a leading provider of intelligent 3G and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) small-cell technologies that provides seamless connectivity across mobile heterogeneous networks for service providers.
The acquisition of Ubiquisys exemplifies Cisco’s innovation framework based on a build, buy and partner approach. The Ubiquisys acquisition also complements Cisco’s mobility strategy along with the recent acquisitions of BroadHop and Intucell, reinforcing in-house research and development, such as service provider Wi-Fi and licensed radio. These technologies will tie together the mobility architecture that leverages the intelligence of the network from the wireless edge of the network into the wired core.
As carriers around the world increase cellular data capacity to serve the rapidly growing population of smartphone and tablet users, adding small cells is one of the most cost-effective ways to multiply data capacity and make better use of scarce spectrum assets. Ubiquisys’ indoor small cells expertise and its focus on intelligent software for licensed 3G and LTE spectrum, coupled with Cisco’s mobility portfolio and its Wi-Fi expertise, will enable a comprehensive small cell solution to service providers that supports the transition to next generation radio access networks.
The acquisition of Ubiquisys further reinforces Cisco’s commitment to service providers and strengthens Cisco’s mobility capabilities to continue to extend the intelligent mobile network.
Ubiquisys’ product portfolio and team will be integrated into our Small Cell Technology Group led by Partho Mishra.
Tags: acquisition, Hilton Romanski, M&A, mobility, small cells, Ubiquisys
At Cisco, we take very seriously our ability to anticipate and catch market transitions. A few years ago, we saw a market transition that would affect our Service Provider customers in the area of Mobility. With 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi deployments rising, the world was clearly shifting from Coverage, Capacity to Services… and the importance of customer experience rising amongst operators worldwide. As a result, we set in motion a new strategy for our Service Provider Mobility Group (SPMG). The key to our strategy was to develop an architecture that would enable Service Providers to offer a differentiated experience to their customers.
Our Mobility CTO Paul Mankiewich refers to the new mobility operator requirements as “the Grand Challenge.” The inflection point is here. Not only do our key SP customers recognize it, but our competitors are also seeing the tremendous business opportunity represented by the “Grand Challenge,” especially as it relates to emerging Monetization use cases that are propelling the market’s rapid growth.
Our vision to Read More »
Tags: acquisition, cisco quantum, competitors, mobile, mobility, monetization, news, Service Provider
The network is emerging as the central nervous system for business in today’s hyper-connected world. As a result, it will be expected that people, things and sources of data are all connected and communicating with each other in real time. Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire SolveDirect, a privately held company headquartered in Vienna, Austria that provides innovative, cloud-delivered services management integration software and services.
The move towards multi-sourcing and cloud services is accelerating the development of large ecosystems of companies – from enterprise IT and manufacturing, to SaaS providers – that need to share data in a secure and scalable way. Most of the interactions between these service partners today require manual effort, growing cost and complexity for an organization as their number of service partners grows. SolveDirect’s cloud-based solutions offer enterprises and service providers a flexible way to integrate with service partners, and automate sharing of processes, data, and workflows in real-time by eliminating manual practices and bottlenecks, driving significant operational efficiencies. SolveDirect’s capabilities will enable Cisco to extend our portfolio of smart and connected IT services to our global ecosystem of customers, partners and resellers.
Acquisitions and investments are a key part of Cisco’s build, buy and partner innovation strategy. The SolveDirect acquisition aligns to Cisco’s goal of developing and delivering innovative solutions that streamline data and workflows across a unified network. The SolveDirect team will join the Cisco Services team, under the leadership of Mala Anand, senior vice president, Cisco Services Platforms Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will acquire all shares of SolveDirect. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2013.
Tags: acquisition, Hilton Romanski, services, SolveDirect