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…
With enough hype to rival even the most popular of Superbowl’s, Big Data experts will converge on New York City in just a couple weeks! But big data has good reason for all the hype as businesses continue to find new ways to leverage the insights derived from vast data pools that are continuing to grow at an exponential rate. A big reason for this is the ability to leverage Hadoop with the Hadoop Distributed File System and MapReduce functionality to analyze the data very quickly and provide incredibly fast queries that, although not even possible previously, can now be accomplished in minutes or less. We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface in terms of the financial returns made around Hadoop and the infrastructure to support Hadoop deployments but one thing we do know, it’s going to be big and it will continue to get bigger!
So how does Cisco fit into this picture?
Cisco is partnering with leading software providers to offer a comprehensive infrastructure and management solution to support customer big data initiatives including Hadoop, NoSQL and Massive Parallel Processing (MPP) analytics. Leveraging the advantages of fabric computing, the Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture (CPA) delivers exceptional performance, capacity, management simplicity, and scale to help customers derive value more quickly and with less management overhead for the most challenging big data deployments.
Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture for big data enables rapid deployment, predictable performance, and massive scale without the need for complex layers of switching infrastructure. In addition, the architecture offers unique data and management integration with enterprise applications hosted on Cisco UCS. This allows big data and enterprise applications to co-exist within a single management domain that simplifies data movement between applications and eliminates the need for unique technology silos in the data center. You can also check out my previous blog, Top Three Reasons Why Cisco UCS is a Better Platform for Big Data, to get an idea of what we’ll be sharing at the show.
Have you considered Cisco UCS for your Big Data projects? I’d like to invite you to come and hear more in a couple weeks at Strata Hadoop World in New York City. We’ll have a number of demos and experts on hand to answer all of your questions.
Big Data has become mainstream as businesses realize its benefits, including improved operation efficiency, better customer experience, and more accurate predictions. However, companies are often challenged by the complexities of traditional server solutions.
In this webinar, learn how to unlock the value of Big Data with the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS). Cisco UCS delivers the performance, capacity, management simplicity, and scale that businesses need to increase agility, speed time to value, and deliver a competitive advantage to increase revenue.
Our one-hour technical presentations will demonstrate how to build elements of the Cisco Unified Data Center platform. We will show you how to design your infrastructure and management for traditional and virtualized environments. You’ll also learn about available services to help deliver it.
To attend, please click the “ATTEND” link below:
Hope you can join us and let me know if you have any comments or questions, or via twitter at @CicconeScott.
Next week at Oracle OpenWorld, I will be giving an abbreviated theater presentation on how Cisco UCS is changing the economics of the datacenter (full presentation below). If you will be at OOW, please stop by the Cisco booth (#1021 -- Monday 9/23 @ 12:30pm, Tuesday 9/24 @ 4pm, & Wednesday 9/25 @ 2:30pm) for the presentation or anytime the exhibit hall is open to discuss how the Cisco Unified Computing System is the best platform for your Oracle environment.
Deploying new servers is a routine task in data centers. Whether it is tied to server refreshes, net new compute initiatives or to an expansion of existing compute capacity, adding new servers can be a time consuming activity for IT personnel. This server deployment process has historically been very manual, with many solutions requiring:
Multiple tools or scripts
Repeated human interaction by the server team throughout the deployment process
Coordination of activities across server, networking and storage administrators for every server deployed.
All of these add to complexity, increase time to production, increase costs, and unavoidably increase the potential of human error.
What is needed is a dependable, repeatable process that automates and streamlines server deployment activities. This lets IT staff to devote their time to more value added activities which improves operations and productivity, yielding a much better TCO picture. Automated, fast, efficient, scalable management and infrastructure -- this is where Cisco UCS and UCS Manager excel.
The efficiency of Cisco UCS server deployment is tied to UCS Manager. Cisco took a unique approach to computing and focused on the common point of interaction, the fabric. Servers don’t operate in isolation. They are part of a total environment that at the minimum encompasses servers, networking, management and storage – a Fabric Based Infrastructure . Cisco’s comprehensive and efficient architecture is the key to why customers worldwide are rapidly adopting UCS.
This detailed paper (below) does a side by side “time to deploy” evaluation of the Cisco UCS B200 M3 and the HP BL460c Gen8. The strength of UCS and UCS Manager for automation is clear in the ease of use and lack of complexity.
Below is a new time lapse side-by-side video -- B200 M3 is 77% Faster Blade Deployment vs. HP BL460c Gen8.This new video (July 2013) illustrates the Business Advantage of the Cisco UCS Unified Compute, Unified Fabric and Unified Management -- Cisco’s Unified Data Center. Comparing this video to the one we did for the B200 M2 is 47% Faster Blade Deployment vs. HP BL460c G7 (May 2011), Cisco UCS Manager has shaved a full minute off the deployment time for two blade servers and still only takes 14 steps to set up the automated process. HP’s time to deploy increased dramatically and is still very serial nature with lots of manual inputs.