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The Bases are Loaded for a Cisco UCS Grand Slam

August 22, 2014 at 10:20 am PST

“The innovation pipeline is very strong, and you can expect to see announcements in the fall that will continue to accelerate our momentum with UCS and add to our competitive advantage.”

Those are comments from Cisco’s earnings call last week, and on September 4th I hope you will join us for the unveiling of the next wave of Unified Computing that John Chambers was speaking of.

We don’t invoke the term innovation lightly at Cisco.   As Frank Palumbo recently talked about, change is the only constant, and our data center customers need to stay in front of that change.   What we’re hearing from them often centers on three critical concepts:

 1.  We need a common operating environment that spans from the data center to the very edge.   “Edge” in this sense is used to describe the many worlds that exist beyond the walls of the data center, where the demand for computing power is inexorably growing.  For service providers that can mean IT infrastructure located at the Customer Premise.  For large enterprise and public sector IT teams the Edge is found in the branch offices, retail locations and remote sites where innovation is exploding with dynamic customer experiences and new ways of doing business.   It’s at the wind farm and the end of the drill bit miles below the oil rig.   It’s in the “fog” of connected sensors and smart objects in connected cities.  And it is the handheld devices that billions of people are using today to consume and generate unprecedented volumes of data and insight, and the 50 billion people and things that Cisco estimates will be connected by 2020.

 2.    We need a stronger engine to accelerate core applications and power data-intensive analytics.  (AKA, “you’re going to need a bigger boat”)  The imperative for faster and better decisions has never been greater and the tools to extract the signal from the noise in the data deluge require big horsepower.  Recommendation engines, real-time price optimization, personalized location-based offers, improved fraud detection… the list goes on in terms of opportunity created by Big Data and the IoE.  All while IT continues to deliver the core applications -- that keep business running – uninterrupted and faster than before.

 3.    We need a common operating environment that spans traditional and emerging applications.  Complexity is the bane of innovation and the bane of IT.  In addition to the familiar workloads, which are well understood in terms of bare metal scalability and virtual encapsulation, there is growing use of applications architected for massive horizontal scale.    In-memory, scale up analytics are being utilized right alongside cloud-scale technologies like MapReduce to tackle different elements of business problems in different ways.  Very different architectures, with very different demands on computing infrastructure.  The conditions for complexity loom.  Will a hero emerge?

When UCS was born it shook up many of the fundamental assumptions of what data center infrastructure should be expected to do and what IT could do to accelerate business.   With this launch, history repeats itself, as we work to help customers future proof the data center for change tomorrow and transformation today.   Our development team has taken the next stride in the journey of re-inventing computing at the most fundamental levels, to power applications at every scale.

Le_Yankee_Stadium

I hope you will join us for the event on 9/4 to see how we’re taking our strategy forward in the data center.   We have a bit of a baseball theme in the launch since we’re delighted to be joined by Major League Baseball’s Joe Inzerillo at our event in New York.   So follow the conversation at it unfolds over coming weeks with #UCSGrandSlam and #CiscoUCS.   The bases are loaded.   

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TPC-H Benchmark Establishes Cisco UCS C240 as the Fastest Two-socket Server for Microsoft SQL Server 2014

Cisco (UCS®) continues its tradition of performance and price/performance leadership with the announcement of a world-record TPC-H benchmark at the 1000GB Scale Factor running Microsoft SQL Server 2014. On august 20th 2014, the Cisco UCS® C240 M3 Rack Server delivered the Best Two-Socket Server Performance and Best Overall Price/Performance on the TPC-H Benchmark at the 1000GB Scale Factor.  

The Cisco UCS® C240 M3 Rack Server captured the number-one spot for overall price/performance on the TPC-H benchmark at the 1000GB scale factor with a price/performance ratio of $0.73 USD per QphH@1000 GB and demonstrated 304,362 queries per hour (QphH@1000GB), making it the fastest two-socket server running Microsoft SQL Server 2014.

The TPC-H benchmark evaluates a composite performance metric (QphH@size) and a price/performance metric ($/QphH@size) that measure the performance of various decision support systems by running sets of queries against a standard database under controlled conditions. As tested, the benchmark configuration consisted of a Cisco UCS® C240 M3 Rack Server equipped with 768 GB of memory and two 2 Intel Xeon E5-2690 v2 processors. The system ran Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Enterprise Edition and Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition. Check out the Performance Brief for additional information on the benchmark configuration. The detailed official benchmark disclosure report is available at the TPC Results Highlights Website.

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

Best Price/Performance: The Cisco UCS® C240 M3 Rack Server captured the number-one price/performance spot on the TPC-H benchmark at the 1000-B scale factor with a price/performance ratio of $0.73 USD per QphH@1000GB. This result beats 8-socket HP ProLiant DL980 G7 running Microsoft SQL Server at 219,887 QphH and $ 1.86 USD/QphH@1000GB by 60 percent.

 Best Two-Socket Server Performance for Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Cisco demonstrates 304,362 queries per hour (QphH@1000 GB), making it the fastest two-socket server running Microsoft SQL Server.
LE-46305-PB-TPCH-ForGirish 

Server

Processors (Cores/Threads)

Performance

Price/Performance Ratio

Availability Date

Cisco® UCS C240 M3

2 Intel Xeon E5-2690 3.0 GHz (20   cores, 40 threads in total)

304,362 QphH@1000GB

$0.73 USD per QphH@1000GB

August 20, 2014

HP ProLiant DL980 G7

8 Intel Xeon E7-4870 2.4 GHz (80 cores, 160 threads in total)

219,887 QphH@1000GB

$1.86 USD per QphH@1000GB

August 30, 2011

This result joins the more than 90 previous world-record performance results set by Cisco UCS since it was announced five years ago. Many of these world-record results use real-world workloads, including business applications, Java middleware, database performance, high-performance computing, and virtualized and cloud computing environments. Check out the Cisco UCS Performance Benchmarks website for additional details.

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

Based on TPC-H Benchmark Results as of 8/22/2014.

Source: Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC), www.tpc.org.

 

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Future-Proofing the Data Center in a World of Accelerated Change

One thing that I frequently hear when speaking with our data center customers is how the application landscape is in a constant state of accelerated change. Demands on the IT department have evolved rapidly over the past few years, compelling many customers to transform their operations with virtualization and cloud computing. Today’s challenges include addressing the ever-expanding scale of cloud; processing analytics for the data-intensive workloads generated by the Internet of Everything; and deploying and managing distributed edge-scale computing for smaller, more remote IT environments.

dc-cables Rather than trying to anticipate every data center trend, staying ahead of the curve for our customers is about having the ability to innovate when needed. In other words, to be prepared for the data center of the future, the application infrastructure needs to be “future-proofed” for whatever comes next. Future-proofing the data center means having business agility, which in turn translates into application agility.A future-proofed infrastructure employs a common operational model among the application, network, security, and cloud architectures. It delivers agility through simplified operations and assured performance. At the same time, it’s able to scale as more users create information in new ways—and as organizations strive for deeper intelligence, faster decisions, and solutions that offer a competitive edge.

Five years ago, we shattered convention and transformed the data center industry by bringing networking, computing, and storage together into a single platform. Since then, we have delivered results to more than 30,000 Cisco UCS customers, and we recently achieved the No. 1 in the Americas market position for x86 blade servers.

Industry analysts and our data center clients tell me that Cisco data center solutions position IT managers for success by helping to future-proof their application infrastructure. On September 4, we’ll share how we continue to be focused on innovation by announcing the broadest offerings of new Cisco data center technology since the launch of UCS in 2009. I invite you to join us to learn more about how Cisco and its partners will help customers achieve desired business outcomes with the Cisco Unified Computing System.

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Cisco and Microsoft: Radically Improving I.T. Effectiveness Together

Today at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) in Washington D.C. we entered into a new phase of our Microsoft relationship. Together Cisco and Microsoft announced a multi-year, worldwide sales and channel program focused on driving infrastructure solutions for Server Migration, Private Cloud, and SQL Server engagements. Based on key technologies such as UCS, Nexus, Hyper-V, and Windows Server 2012 R2 these solutions help to enable I.T. organizations to radically improve their I.T. effectiveness while improving their business outcomes.

At Cisco we believe our foundational technologies -- with UCS as the compute platform, Nexus as the switching platform, and with UCS Manager and System Center management integration – provide customers an optimal infrastructure for their Microsoft Windows Server workloads of SQL, SharePoint, Exchange, and Cloud.  Our industry leading UCS integrated infrastructure solutions combined with storage from EMC or NetApp, delivers an even more robust end-to-end value proposition via our FlexPod or VSPEX offerings to our customers. These solutions position our customers well on their respective journeys to the cloud. You’ve read my thoughts here; but let’s hear from Microsoft and their comments on Cisco, Microsoft, our partnership, and value to our joint customers:

We have focused heavily on infrastructure solutions for the Microsoft ecosystem over the past ~2 years and now that our UCS integrated infrastructure architectures are proven we will be putting more emphasis on discrete Microsoft workload solutions. Our initial focus will be on Microsoft SQL Server 2014 and how UCS and its differentiated features, such as Service Profiles and Cisco SingleConnect, deliver improved performance, availability, and scalability.  Satinder Sethi, Vice President of UCS Engineering, details out the benefits of UCS and SQL Server 2014 in this video:

The solutions we deliver to our customers, whether they be private or hybrid cloud, workload or infrastructure focused, are architected and engineered by Cisco, and certified for the Cisco Validated Design (CVD) program as well as certified for the Microsoft Fast Track program. This delivers more value for customers as the prescriptive guidance in each solution offering enables customers to accelerate their deployments with lower risk.

If you happen to be at WPC 2014, please stop by the Cisco booth #801 to speak with our Experts; see things hands on; and simply learn a bit more.  You can also read more about Cisco’s channel programs for the Microsoft ecosystem in Cisco VP Denny Trevett’s blog.  Finally, please feel free to visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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UCS Integrated Infrastructure and New EMC VMAX3

New applications and cloud computing are placing new demands on IT infrastructure. The infrastructure needs to be capable of quickly responding to dynamic business priorities and changing market conditions.  Customers require an IT infrastructure that brings the scale, agility, and mission-critical availability the business demands, both today and tomorrow. Hence, the industry is witnessing a movement to integrated infrastructure.  What is integrated infrastructure? Integrated infrastructure combines compute, network, management, and storage technologies to simplify and accelerate application deployment.

Blog Image 7_8The integrated infrastructure segment continues to be one of the fastest growing IT markets. I recently  highlighted that Cisco was the leader in the integrated infrastructure market with leading integrated systems built on top of UCS integrated infrastructure (Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus, and UCS Director). In fact, in Gartner’s inaugural Magic Quadrant report for integrated systems, integrated systems based on UCS integrated infrastructure have been rated in the Leaders Quadrant.  In addition, IDC just released their Q1 2014 Worldwide Quarterly Integrated Infrastructure and Platforms Tracker with UCS integrated infrastructure participating in the top three integrated infrastructure solutions. These results show that innovation and solving customer pain points is still a solid formula for success.

At Cisco, we see the need for application centric and hybrid cloud enabled infrastructure to quickly deploy and dynamically locate workloads. With UCS Integrated Infrastructure and Cisco ACI, customers will be able to automate the provisioning of network, compute, and storage resources. With Cisco Intercloud Fabric, customers can build secure hybrid clouds and extend their existing data center to public clouds as needed and on demand. Both Cisco ACI and Cisco Intercloud fabric help lower costs, simplify infrastructure management, and accelerate the delivery of IT resources.

Today, EMC announced a series of new products and solutions under their “Megalaunch” umbrella. The launch includes major updates to EMC’s industry-leading storage platforms. The new VMAX3 enterprise data service platform is designed for hybrid clouds by delivering enhanced scalability and agility with data center performance and availability.

I am very excited about the capabilities of UCS integrated infrastructure with ACI, Cisco Intercloud Fabric, and the EMC VMAX3 being the foundation for high performance, automated, and trusted hybrid clouds.

UCS Integrated Infrastructure is a Leader in the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant. from Cisco Data Center

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