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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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Maintain or Replace – be Energy Efficient or not – continuing the debate

So the other day my wife told me the water in the shower didn’t seem as hot as it normally does. “Maybe something wrong with the water heater?” she said. I did all the normal checks: no water on the basement floor, pilot is lit, check, check. All seems ok.

We happened to go to Home Depot to buy some other stuff, but we ran into the water heater guy.  His diagnosis: water heater going bad. (Full admission, it is 11 years old)

I kind of buy his story, it makes sense. Here is an appliance that is 11 years old that I never maintained. Expected life is 10 years, so I am already plus one, right? And maybe a new one would be more efficient, right?

But isn’t that the sort of internal argument manufacturers go through every day? Sunk cost (what they already paid for) vs. Maintenance vs. Replacement? How efficient are the machines you bought 10 or 15 years ago? How do you know? How much does it cost you for a shutdown for two to three days while you secure a replacement machine and install it? Wouldn’t that information be valuable to you if it was visible? How do you know?

Energy management/awareness is certainly a big part of this sustainability issue. Check out this video from Chet:

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Cisco Live! Industrial Intelligence Day, 12th July 2011, Las Vegas

Let me tell you about a great opportunity if you’re an executive or professional in the Manufacturing or Industrial sector. Cisco is hosting a special ‘Industrial Intelligence Day’ on the 12th July 2011 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas held in conjunction with Cisco Live.

The event is especially tailored to bring together manufacturing, controls, operations and IT executives and professionals. The theme of the day is ‘Industrial Intelligence’, and will cover the subject  of converging industrial automation systems based upon standard IP networks with business applications including voice and video to more responsively and cost-effectively manage industrial operations globally.

The day is packed with information, training, and industry best practices and is sure to be one of the smartest investments you can make in your career—and one of the smartest investments your employer can make in you.

By attending Cisco Industrial Intelligence at Cisco Live, you can:

  • Learn how Industrial Intelligence brings production closer to IT and converges industrial automation networks with business systems to improve the efficiency, safety, agility, and utilization of your production assets.
  • Receive training in architectures specific to industrial automation from Cisco and alliance partner Rockwell Automation including wireless and wired technology advancements, availability, security, sustainability and energy management.
  • Engage Industrial Intelligence and IT Networking thought leaders from our partners and the industrial analyst community via a live panel discussion plus join a community of manufacturing executives and IT and Control professionals deploying and operating Industrial applications and networks.
  • Experience and see “hands-on” demonstrations of Industrial Intelligence solutions and technology and interact with experts at the World of Solutions Expo at the largest Cisco user conference, Cisco Live.

Register by June 12th to receive the $100 off Early Bird offer. Click here to register.

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Understanding Cisco UCS Value – As easy as C-I-S-C-O

Sometimes Cisco creates some elaborate videos to convey ideas or concepts to the market or our customers. The production value is incredible and the imagery is often amazing.

Stop reading now if you’re looking for that here :-)

A good friend, the Data Center practice lead at a premier Cisco partner, asked me if we had any whiteboard videos that explained the value of Cisco UCS that he could use to help do on-going training with his sales team. They needed to be simple. He was already aware of the outstanding Cisco UCS Advantage video library, but he needed something up a few levels that was easy to remember. Read More »

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Cloud Management Confusion? Not Here…

Just the other day, one of our competitors crowed that Cisco customers must be confused about how to manage Cisco equipment when attempting to build a Cloud Computing environment. From their perspective, customers should embrace the mainframe days when a single company delivered all the hardware and software, along with an army of ever-present consultant to make it all work. Don’t worry about complexity Mr.Customer, there isn’t any because you don’t ever see it. And don’t worry about the $bill$ either, because the contract will rollover from one IT administration to the next IT administration.

Based on Cisco’s presence at EMC World last week, I can understand why they would be confused. Not only did live, managed Cisco and VCE Vblock equipment show up in several keynotes (Pat Gelsinger, Paul Maritz, Sanjay Mirchandani), it was also discussed in packed breakout sessions, and in the booths of Cisco, EMC, EMC IT, VCE, newScale, BMC, CA and VMware.

Within the Cisco booth, we highlighted just one of our Cloud Management solutions, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, in the context of our broader “Cisco Cloud Solutions” strategy.

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