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Cisco UCS helps NHL’s Minnesota Wild Skate to Where the Puck is Going

December 11, 2013 at 11:43 am PST

NHLUCS

Speed is one thing that Cisco UCS and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild franchise share in common. If you have ever been to a professional hockey game you recognized and probably came to appreciate the speed, skill, and nimbleness of the players out on the ice. For Cisco UCS, speed is an attribute inherent in what we do, too – our compute business is highly competitive and requires constant, skillful, and quick innovation to deliver the best and newest in technology to our customers.

The NHL’s Minnesota Wild franchise rely on a Cisco UCS based I.T. infrastructure for their Microsoft Dynamics and CRM software portfolio. To better serve and interact with clients the Wild I.T. staff established three goals for their recent IT infrastructure transformation project:

  • Simplify infrastructure to boost staff productivity,
  • Improve resource management for controlled growth
  • Promote sustainability to conserve resources and provide environmentally conscious facilities for clients.

Looking at their long-term goals for cloud computing, the Wild staff decided to invest in a solution based on our Unified Computing System™ (UCS®) servers with Tegile based hybrid storage solutions. In doing so, the Wild established for them a highly agile data center environment that supports their current and future cloud initiatives with a virtual desktop infrastructure solution. The end results of the I.T. transformation project for the Wild were impressive as they:

  • Achieved 43 percent reduction in support costs
  • Reduced power by 63 percent and heat output by 68 percent
  • Reduced data from 42TB to 17TB

Once again we see the UCS architecture delivering improved performance at lower operating costs for a Microsoft oriented environment – Dynamics and CRM. In the case of the Minnesota Wild, a small I.T. organization when compared with larger enterprise I.T. organizations, they were able to deliver significant business value to their organization and position themselves for future technology shifts. Read more about the Minnesota Wild and their Cisco UCS experience here.

Learn more about Cisco’s Unified Data Center Microsoft solution capabilities at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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New Independent Analyst Research on Private Cloud Software Solutions

In previous blog posts, my colleagues have written about Cisco’s leadership in cloud infrastructure (#1) and cloud professional services (#1). And as I’ve blogged about in the past, we have a growing portfolio of cloud and infrastructure management software solutions. Now Cisco is getting recognition as a strong performer in cloud software innovation and strategy.

Cisco was among the select companies that Forrester invited to participate in its new Forrester Wave report, The Forrester Wave: Private Cloud Solutions, Q4 2013. The report focuses on commercial software offerings for enterprise private cloud deployments, ranking the 10 most significant vendors (from an initial field of 27) based on 61 different criteria – with more than 100 customer interviews. You can download the full report here.

In this evaluation, Cisco received the highest score in strategy and is in the top three overall for our current offering.   Read More »

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Cisco UCS Demonstrates TPC-H Benchmark Leadership with the SAP Sybase IQ Database

Cisco continues its tradition of performance and price/performance leadership with the announcement of a world-record TPC-H benchmark with the SAP Sybase IQ database on the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS™) platform. On October 31st 2013, Cisco published the best single-system x86 performance and price/performance at 3000 GB on the TPC-H benchmark. Cisco UCS C420 M3 Rack Server achieved 230,119.9 QphH@3000GB on the TPC-H benchmark with the SAP Sybase IQ database.

 As tested, the benchmark configuration consisted of a Cisco UCS C420 M3 Rack Server with 1 TB of memory and four 2.7-GHz Intel Xeon E5-4650 processors with 20 MB of cache space. The system ran SAP Sybase IQ Version 16 Single Application Server Edition (SASE) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server Release 6.4. Check out the Performance Brief for additional information on the benchmark configuration. The detailed official benchmark disclosure report is available at the TPC Website .

 Some of the key highlights of Cisco’s TPC-H Benchmark results are:

  • Cisco UCS C420 M3 Rack Server achieved 230,119.9 QphH@3000GB on the TPC-H benchmark with the SAP Sybase IQ database. This is the best performance result of any single-system x 86 configurations.
  • Cisco UCS C420 M3 Rack Server demonstrated a price/performance ratio of US$1.29 per QphH@3000GB, delivering the best single-system price/performance at 3000GB. This result also illustrates the power of Cisco UCS C420 M3 Rack Servers to deliver industry-leading performance at significantly lower cost of ownership.
  • Cisco’s result also demonstrates 42 percent better performance at 48% less price-performance than the HP DL980 G7 server.
Cisco UCS C420 M3 Server 230,119 QphH@3000GB 1.29 USD per QphH@3000GB Availability Date 12/30/13
HP ProLiant DL980 G7 162,601 QphH@3000GB 2.68 USD per QphH@3000GB Availability Date 10/13/10

 

For additional information on Cisco UCS and Cisco UCS solutions please visit Cisco Unified Computing & Servers web page.

Girish Kulkarni

Sr. Marketing Manager

Cisco Systems

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Server TCO Tools – Everybody Has One and They Are Different.

Every server manufacturer has a Server TCO tool, of sorts. Why do I say “of sorts”? Because rather than a straightforward approach to TCO, some tools color the input parameters with fixed pre-sets, conditions and assumptions. Certainly every tool has some assumptions and pre-sets; they just need to be applied equitably across all scenarios and all vendors. If not, you get results that “…would strain credulity…” in the immortal words of Captain Barbossa [Pirates of the Caribbean – At World’s End; my daughters love these movies. OK, me too.]

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Simplifying Cloud Infrastructure Deployments with Cisco Common Cloud Architecture built on Cisco UCS and OpenStack

In three short years OpenStack has become cloud management platform that is “Too Big to Fail” (according to Citi Research). Whether it is true or not, OpenStack is definitely gaining traction and is making a profound impact not only as a viable Cloud management option, but also on the software economics for Cloud solutions.

Cloud computing is rapidly transforming businesses and organizations by providing access to flexible, agile, and cost-effective IT infrastructure. These elastic capabilities help accelerate the delivery of infrastructure, applications, and services with the right quality of service (QoS) to increase revenue. Cisco’s approach—innovative and unified data center infrastructure that provides the underlying foundation for OpenStack technology—enables the creation of massively scalable infrastructure that delivers on the promise of the cloud.

Cisco Common Cloud Architecture built on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) with OpenStack provides the foundation for flexible, elastic cloud solutions enabling speed and agility.  As the saying goes “Every Skyscraper is built on a strong foundation of pillars”, the OpenStack platform requires the core requirements from the underlying infrastructure – simplification, rapid provisioning, self-service consumption model, and elastic resource allocation. Cisco UCS uniquely provides a policy based resource management model, which simplifies by integrating compute, networking and storage with the ability to scale and automate deployment.

This foundation addresses every stage of cloud deployment be it private or public cloud offerings. Some of primary workloads targeted for OpenStack based deployments are:

  • Self-service development and test environments
  • Massively scalable software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions
  • High-performance, scale-out storage
  • Web server, multimedia, big data, and cluster-aware applications
  • Applications with extensive computing power requirements and mixed I/O workloads

To accelerate these cloud infrastructure deployments, Cisco has developed starter configurations focused on compute-intensive, mixed or heterogeneous and storage-intensive workloads. The various server nodes are typically sized to include the OpenStack controller, compute, Ceph storage, Swift proxy and Swift storage.

 

Cisco UCS Solution Accelerator Paks for Cloud Infrastructure Deployments

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.12.12 AM

Scaling beyond 160 servers can be implemented by interconnecting multiple UCS domains using Nexus 3000/5000/6000/7000 Series switches, scalable to thousands of servers and to hundreds of petabytes storage, and managed from a single pane using UCS Central in a datacenter or distributed globally as shown in figure.

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