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Expanded Cisco and Nimble SmartStack Portfolio Helps Provide Customers with Faster Time to Business Value

Business is changing faster than ever, placing new and dynamic demands on server, storage and networking infrastructure. Traditionally, infrastructure was pulled together by engineering to solve a specific problem and then thrown over the wall to operations for ‘care and feeding’. Configuring and testing hardware configurations is often not core to our customers business and absorbs precious IT resources that could be directed towards revenue-producing projects.

Once the infrastructure is deployed, it sits there. It is often too complex to change or reconfigure, even scaling the infrastructure can present risk and unexpected downtime.  All too often IT is trying to orchestrate itself to align to the business versus the business being enabled to orchestrate IT. You can deploy IT Infrastructure in a better way, which allows the business to reduce the time-to-value while improving agility to achieve more with each dollar spent on IT.

These business challenges are also placing even greater demands to plan, procure, deploy, test and roll out new workloads in a faster, more efficient, manner than the traditional approach of purchasing compute, network and storage and then combining these pieces together. Third-party data also confirms this premise. For example, a leading market research organization says: “IT organizations spend 23.3% of staff time and resources on pre-system deployment”*.  Once deployed, infrastructure must also be dynamic and granular responding to future needs like cloud and IoT.  These trends combined with declining data center budgets are forcing closer cooperation among vendors to put together entire systems.

In order to address these challenges, last week Nimble Storage announced expanding the SmartStack portfolio which combines Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure with the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform and various software workloads.

SmartStack

From a customer standpoint, there are many benefits to this expanded SmartStack portfolio which can be grouped into three main areas:

  1. Faster time to business value using SmartStack initial deployment through Cisco Validated Designs and Nimble reference architectures
  • Cisco Validated Designs are precise blueprints that significantly speed infrastructure deployment and assurance that Cisco Validated Designs and Nimble reference architectures are rigorously tested and validated by both Cisco and Nimble
  • Faster time to solution deployment and fewer errors as pre-testing, configuring, sizing are expedited using these extensive engineering documents as exact guides
  • Quicker, more agile infrastructure redeployment through industry-leading, UCS management (UCS Director, UCS Central and UCS Manager)
  1. More SmartStack workloads with a growing set of Cisco Validated Designs and an increasing library of Nimble reference architectures addressing nearly all major use cases
  • Finally, SmartStack provides customers with a platform to bring our unique capabilities together. Cisco and Nimble both bring more to the table than network, compute and storage technologies.
  • For instance, Cisco will provide innovative technologies such as UCS Director and UCS Manager. The Nimble Adaptive Flash platform is built upon CASL™ architecture, which scales performance and capacity seamlessly and independently.
  • The goal of the SmartStack solution is to deliver these and future technologies to customers as more Cisco and Nimble technologies are collectively added to the joint solution through Cisco Validated Designs and Nimble reference architectures.
  1. Highly secure future foundation for innovation between Cisco and Nimble
  • The growth of cloud, mobility, and Internet of Things is accelerating change in the data center and placing more demands and challenges on the underlying infrastructure.
  • The challenge is to have IT infrastructure that can keep pace with this change. SmartStack brings the “industrial revolution” to the traditional “piece work” of infrastructure deployment. SmartStack delivers on this challenge both today and tomorrow, leaving yesterday’s IT legacy behind.

* Villars, Richard L. and Jed Scaramella, IDC, Converging the Datacenter Infrastructure: Why, How, So What? May 2012

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Big Data Partner Commentary: Speed, Efficiency and Disruption through Insight

Often it is said that ‘partnering’ is part of the Cisco DNA and its true: Cisco’s Partner ecosystem for years has brought together an ecosystem of trusted partners which deliver solutions, software and services that provide needed business solutions and outcomes.

Cisco has a strong ‘bench’ of technology partners, too. These partners allow us to combine Cisco solutions with their technology platforms resulting in integrated architectures focused on specific industries or use cases. Frequently these are delivered in the form of a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) and are available freely on the Cisco Design Zone.

For Cisco Big Data and Analytics solutions, where our Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data is the foundation, partners are key. We partner with industry leading Big Data firms to deliver flexible architectures and solutions which help to make your data the foundation of your digital business. Below, in alphabetical order, are new videos from some of our Big Data partners. Each is a Big Data leader in their own right and each has worked closely with Cisco to bring solution(s) to market. These are short and sweet videos – so carve out a few moments in your day and view a few:

Cloudera: Children’s Hospital of Atlanta Customer Success Story

Read More »

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Using best better practices with Cisco UCS Manager

I’ve been working with Cisco UCS since the very beginning. From the earliest days, whenever a customer ran into problems, I would often be asked to help figure out what was going wrong and to help fix it. Generally, this would involve a review of the system, and when we found less desirable configurations we would work with the partner and customer to clean things up. As a part of this process, I began documenting the good and the bad I saw, which evolved into what I describe as UCS “better” practices. This post aims to describe some of these practices and why they are useful. Follow-up posts will expand on this and include additional important practices. Read More »

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It’s Easier Than Ever to Grow Your Business

Cisco aims to help its technology provider partners and resellers expand their customer base and resources through new solution designation benefits.

During the past year, we have focused on delivering expanded toolsets and resources to our Solution Partner Program members, empowering them to connect with resellers, reduce costs and integrate with additional Cisco technologies. Today, I’m excited to share with you how we are continuing to help you grow your business.

We have introduced two new solution categories: Platform Ready and Co-Resident. These new categories will allow you to differentiate your solutions, reach new customers and make your solutions easily identifiable with specific, searchable solution designations in the Cisco Marketplace Technology Solutions Catalog.

Sound good so far? I hope you’re as excited as I am about these new solution categories. Let me take a moment to tell you a bit more about them and some of the benefits for you, your customers and resellers.

Platform Ready

With 43,000 customers, our Unified Computing System (UCS) is a great market to tap into. Our Platform Ready designation tells people your solutions work with UCS, so it’s a great way to start reaching those customers.

It’s easy to meet the Platform Ready criteria, so you can go to market, fast. And your solutions will stand out in our Technology Solutions Catalog, where our customers and resellers can easily search for them.

Learn more about the Platform Ready Requirements

Co-Resident

Our ­Co-Resident designation lets people know your solutions are authorized to co-reside on our Business Edition 6000 and 7000 communication platforms. That’s a market of 30,000 servers, 3 million users, and $4.3 billion of potential value. Just waiting to be tapped.

It’s easier than ever to achieve Co-Resident status, so you can start getting your share in no time. And if you get your solution in our Technology Solutions Catalog (add hyperlink), even more customers and resellers are bound to notice it.

Learn more about the Co-Resident Requirements

With solutions that are Platform Ready or Co-Resident, you and your solutions will stand out from the crowd.

So, what’s in it for resellers? Solutions with these new designations provide resellers with confidence that these solutions meet a specified Cisco standard. Resellers gain an opportunity to sell a broader portfolio of tested solution offers without having to build it themselves and get more upsell, cross-sell and services opportunities.

Customers will have the confidence these solutions will work in their Cisco environment and meet Cisco’s interoperability or co-resident standards thereby reducing cost and risk for them. But most importantly, they’re available – and will work for you – right away.

What’s Next?

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Disruption = Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data + Efficiency + Speed

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Data is the foundation of the digital business. You know it, I know it. We get it. Let’s move on… But now a new question arises: As a Leader in your organization are you fully maximizing and leveraging your data to discover from analysis new business insights? New operational efficiencies? New Customer trends and patterns?

We can help… Cisco and our Big Data partners capture, organize, prepare, and handle your available data, while providing the speed, consistency and repeatability necessary for deploying and managing a successful Big Data and Analytics infrastructure and service. Become a disruptor in your market by unlocking the value hidden in your data through data management, data preparation and data analytics to create tomorrow’s trends. Manage diverse sets of data and technologies cohesively, while delivering the analytics and data access control required by your business.

Make the transformative power of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data your foundation.

Our Cisco UCS® Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data – a Cisco Validated Design – offers comprehensive infrastructure and management capabilities for Big Data. The Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure solution helps to improve performance and capacity. It also offers additional complete solutions with industry-leading partnerships such as Cloudera, Hortonworks, IBM, MapR, Platfora, and Splunk. Read More »

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