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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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FlexPod’s Success and Technology Roadmap Point to a Bright Future

The integrated infrastructure segment continues to be one of the fastest growing IT markets. We recently highlighted that Cisco was the leader in the integrated infrastructure market with industry leading integrated systems built on top of Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus. The FlexPod platform, jointly developed by Cisco and NetApp, is a leading solution in this segment.

The alliance between Cisco and NetApp has been rewarded with tremendous success. FlexPod has generated $3 billion in shared revenue since its inception in 2010 with a $2B annual run rate, making FlexPod one of the fastest growing solutions in Cisco and NetApp history.  In addition, FlexPod now has more than 4100 customers in over 100 countries being sold and supported by a network of 1,000 FlexPod channel partners. Read More »

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What Cisco’s Top Cloud Infrastructure Means to You

Arguably 2014 is already turning out to be a big year for cloud. Some have even called it “The Year of the Cloud.” Cloud implementation continues to play an essential role in overall IT strategy:

  • A recent report says 80% of cloud adopters saw improvements within 6 months of moving to the cloud.
  • According to the recent Future of Cloud Computing Survey, “organizations average 52% current use of applications that advance business priorities – underscoring the increasing value placed by organizations on facilitating the delivery of services beyond IT via the cloud.”
  • More than half of respondents in the same survey cited business agility (54.5%) and scalability (54.3%) as the main drivers for cloud adoption.

Synergy Research Group _ Cisco Holds off HP in Leadership Battle for Cloud Infrastructure

In today’s business landscape, a variety of organizations and industries are embracing cloud as a way to make a real difference in their business.

Cisco is committed to helping our customers evolve their business and take advantage of the latest transformations in IT.  We are starting to see the results of that commitment. This is evident by the way that our customers have embraced UCS, as proved by being named #1 in blade server market share, and recently with Synergy Research naming Cisco #1 in cloud infrastructure equipment market share to deploy their cloud strategy.

So, what does Cisco being named the #1 cloud infrastructure provider mean for you?

Read More »

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