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Blade Server TCO and Architecture – You Cannot Separate Them

September 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm PST

I have heard this a lot over the years, in one way or another – “The only price that really counts is what I actually pay for my server.” 

Alright, so why bother with a TCO analysis?  The truth is that server acquisition costs only contribute 20% (or less) to a 3 year server TCO.  Management and other OpEx costs contribute the remaining 80%.  If you go to 5 years, the acquisition cost starts to fade into obscurity.

There are a number of studies you can find online that call out server acquisition cost at 15% to 17% of TCO, or even less.  One is an Information Week report that quotes a 2007 IDC study.  The Information Week article is very good, with multiple sources and definitely worth a read.  Since 2007 there have been myriad improvements in processor performance, as well as, server and architectural innovations (Cisco UCS).  All of these supply ample rationale for a low CapEx component for Server / Data Center Total Cost of Ownership, see the figures below.  

[The WW Server Related Spend… chart is from IDC, “New Econmoinc Model of the Datacenter”; IDC 2011]  [Only the graph is from the cited source, the table is my analysis of the numbers presented by the graph.]

WW Server Spend & Mgmt

Summary of the figures above:

  • Server purchase spend and associated power & cooling spending is flat (red and green bands above)
  • Physical server management cost is the down (blue aband bove)
  • Virtual server management cost are way up and increasing (orange band above)

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New Intel Processors – Seven New Cisco UCS Performance Records

On September 10th, 2013 Cisco introduced support for the Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-2600 v2 product family on the Cisco UCS B200 M3, C240 M3, and C220 M3 servers.  On the same day as the Intel announcement Cisco captured seven world records on industry benchmarks on Cisco UCS to highlight the breadth of Cisco’s product line and the way in which Cisco can accelerate performance across the data center— on enterprise applications, Java application servers, desktop virtualization, and raw CPU power.

As we know, there is no better way to compare performance than by using industry-standard benchmarks, and with seven  new world record performance benchmark results Cisco has demonstrated Cisco Unified Computing System’s outstanding performance and IT productivity across key data center workloads. Check out the Performance Brief for additional information on the seven new Cisco UCS world record benchmarks. The detailed benchmark disclosure reports are available here.

Cisco UCS delivers versatility with performance leadership across a wide range of workloads, enabling customers to eliminate infrastructure silos historically driven by unique application needs.  The performance leadership across a wide range of workloads provided by Cisco UCS is validated by the seven World records announced this week which include:

 It is interesting to note that although all vendors have access to same Intel processors, only Cisco UCS unleashes their power to deliver high performance to applications through the power of unification. The unique, fabric-centric architecture of Cisco UCS, with exclusive Cisco SingleConnect Technology, maximizes Intel innovations and as a result Cisco UCS with the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 family delivered up to 48 percent better performance over the prior generation of Intel Xeon processors as shown in the graph below:

Ivy Bridge Graph
 So the momentum continues…In four short years, the Cisco UCS has captured over 81 world records for performance and IT productivity taking its place among the most trusted server vendors on the market. Check out the Cisco Unified Computing System™ 81 World-Record Performance Results.

The architectural advantages of a single cohesive system optimized for virtualized environments coupled with the industry leading performance validated by World Record Industry-Standard Benchmarks makes the Cisco Unified Computing System an “infrastructure platform of choice” to provide industry-leading performance in your data center. Don’t forget to check the excellent blog by Todd Brannon at http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/tick-tock-goes-the-server-clock

These world-record performance results further reinforce the fact that Cisco is not just selling servers—it is re-inventing the server market. For additional information on Cisco UCS and Cisco UCS solutions please visit Cisco Unified Computing & Servers web page.

Girish Kulkarni

Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Unified Computing System 

gikulkar@cisco.com

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My Experience at VMworld, San Francisco, 2013

This year at VMworld, San Francisco, I had a choice, to attend either as a Visitor or as a Demo Booth staffer. I quickly chose the latter, as I could not resist getting face-time with customers! My decision proved fully justified, as I gained a lot from the discussions on the show floor. I was so busy, the 4 day event ended before I could notice it.  It was really a great learning experience for me at the event to hear first-hand why customers prefer vBlock and FlexPod over other Cloud offerings. Many folks mentioned, that the unified support model that comes with vBlock and FlexPod, Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) that minimize guesswork and risk, combined with lower TCO and high-performance that comes with Cisco UCS, were all major factors that influenced their decision.

Along these very lines, I was able to grab some time with Jim McHugh, (our VP of Marketing for UCS) to discuss the emerging customer trends in private cloud, desktop virtualization,  and other innovative solutions Cisco is building with VMware and its strategic partner ecosystem

Related Links

www.vce.com
www.cisco.com/go/flexpod
www.cisco.com/go/ucs

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Your Guide to Cisco at TechEd Australia

September 2, 2013 at 4:58 pm PST

TechEd Australia kicks off today and the Cisco team is on hand to showcase how Cisco and Microsoft are teaming to develop integrated solutions that are enabling new levels of IT innovation in the data centre.

Make sure to come by booth #56/57 to speak with Cisco experts about how the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Nexus switch family integrate seamlessly with the Microsoft portfolio of enterprise applications and technologies, including:

  • Cisco UCS for Microsoft Private Cloud and applications (SQL and Exchange)
  • Cisco UCS Manager for Microsoft System Centre
  • Cisco UCS PowerTool for Microsoft Windows PowerShell
  • Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V

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Cisco UCS in an application centric world

August 29, 2013 at 10:17 am PST

Over the past few months I have been blogging about Cisco UCS in the context of various trends in the IT industry.

  1. Cisco UCS in an industrialized world
  2. Cisco UCS in a world with lotsa data
  3. Cisco UCS in the world of open source computing
  4. Cisco UCS in a world with windows
  5. Cisco UCS in a converged world
  6. Cisco UCS is a cloudy world
  7. Cisco UCS in a social world
  8. Cisco UCS in a mobile world

One thing is clear -- IT world is changing and at a pace much faster than we have ever known.  It seems appropriate to culminate the series in the world of applications.  All entities, big and small ultimately want their data center infrastructure to run applications.  They could be collaboration applications for internal use or with partners.  The applications could be developed in house or could be commercial off the shelf (COTS). Some of the applications can provide the firm a competitive edge in the market – think recommendation engine used by Amazon.  At the end of the day the application is providing a valuable service.  With the advent of the Internet of Everything (IOE), there are many sources of data and connections that applications have to consider while delivering the service.

Imagine the Amazon recommendation engine taking into account your location and the temperature from a gauge near you.  Assuming that application services are delivered from a data center, the application must also be cognizant of the different access mechanisms, desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets and mobile phones. The rate of change in these new technologies is brisk.  As these rapid changes take place, Cisco offers Application centric infrastructure to ease the transitions.  Read Cisco CTO, Padmasree Warrior’s blog on this.

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