As 2012 comes to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on what we’ve experienced in data centre virtualisation over the past 12 months.
Let’s start with our customers. We’re seeing Australian businesses of all sizes and industry verticals using Cisco UCS to gain solid advantages to their business and lowering IT costs. And while market share can vary from quarter to quarter, we are enormously pleased that for the first time leading analyst firm IDC has reported that Cisco is the current market share leader for x86 blade servers in Australia (Source: IDC Q3 CY2012 x86 Blade Server Market Share, Nov. 28, 2012).
As an early convert to the virtues of Cloud computing, it is fascinating to see the adoption of the ideas. Most organizations if not all, are figuring out how to harness cloud technologies to their advantage. It is interesting to get a perspective from an analyst who talks to users on a regular basis or better still find out what similar organizations are doing. In a few recent conversation with Mike Spanbauer, Industry analyst at Current Analysis, Cisco Executives, Jim McHugh and Brian Schwarz discussed several topics. One of topics was “Private Cloud”, highlighting the opportunities and challenges that adopters face.
When harnessed cloud technologies should therefore help users reign in IT costs and chaos while helping IT better align with existing business needs. It should also help IT scale up and down services with changing business needs. Common use cases for deploying cloud technologies are elasticity, flexibility, normalization and simpler management to address a heterogeneous infrastructure for varied workload demands. Cloud infrastructure addresses the short-term bursty nature of application development and test very well.
Cisco UCS is an innovative server platform uniquely positioned to help adopters succeed with cloud technologies. The converged server and network infrastructure is a necessity when everything is connected to the cloud. The need for scaling up and down rapidly is enabled by the programmability of the system. Software configuration of the server with its LAN and SAN connections helps in the reliability and time to value of the server infrastructure. This is possible with the service profiles supported by the Cisco UCS Manager. Service profiles also help normalize and abstract the physical infrastructure to meet the needs of varying workloads. The recent release of Cisco UCS Central and the API makes large scale globally distributed infrastructure deployment possible. With virtual machines enjoying direct access to the network with the Cisco VM-FEX technology users can take advantage of server virtualization and get optimal network performance.
And of course, it is very important to see how industry peers are using the Cisco UCS to solve the very challenges Cloud adopters face. Tune in to a webcast on December 6 at 9:00 am PST to hear from Cisco UCS customers Xerox and FICO Corporation, about how and why they used it in their Cloud environments.
In an earlier post, my colleague Reid Bourdet described how we migrated our largest Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco UCM) cluster to a virtual machine environment running on Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) servers. This was the 19-node (server) Cisco UCM cluster that serves the Cisco headquarters campus in San Jose, California; and we completed the migration over a weekend.
What makes that move even more interesting is that we’re nearly done consolidating 5 separate clusters into one virtual environment, and reducing the total number of servers by a factor of four. Virtualization on the Cisco UCS hardware allows us to consolidate multiple UCM nodes on a single blade. In this post, I’ll provide more details about the scope of this migration, the results we’ve gained, and how we’ll continue migrating other Cisco UCM clusters to Cisco UCS servers around the world.
SAP announces support for Virtualized SAP HANA for non-productive platforms at SAP Sapphire/TechEd Madrid
On the final day of TechEd in Madrid, SAP announced that they will be supporting virtualization for Non-Productive SAP HANA systems. No other details were given surrounding this announcement, but this is a significant departure from their previous position as it related to SAP HANA. This should be good news for Cisco given that the Cisco UCS server platform was built from the ground up to host applications in a virtualized manner. As we work with VCE, EMC, and NetApp this will only enhance our position in the SAP HANA space
Cisco had an excellent presence at the event. There were almost 700 visitors to our booth as we had on display, FlexPod from NetApp, VBlock from VCE and IT Process Automation. In addition we had as many visitors to the SAP HANA Test Drive area where Cisco had the C460 SAP HANA certified platform.
One area that got quite a bit of attention was the SAP Precision Retail mobility application on the Cisco platform. I attended two sessions that were well attended by attendees at the conference. There were at least 40 to 50 attendees at each session. In addition, the application was on display in the SAP Mobility area. Cisco is the only hardware vendor that SAP has worked with on this particular application and will be actively selling this application as part of their portfolio.
Michael Missbach, who manages Cisco’s SAP competency center in Walldorf Germany, was the leader in two Microforums on Tuesday and third speaking session on Wednesday. The first was SAP on the Cloud and the second was a Microforum with TUI Travel’s (HotelBeds) CIO Mr. Garcia. Mr. Garcia was able to discuss his installation of SAP on Cisco UCS as well as his use of SAP HANA on the Certified Cisco UCS server platform and how this architecture design has saved him approximately 150,000 Euros a year.
Day one was a successful day for Cisco at SAP TechEd Madrid. Our booth was full most of the day with customers looking and discussing the solutions in our booth.
We had a FlexPod and VBlock rack in our both which attracted quite a lot of attention. We were able to explain both of these solutions to those who came by the booth. We also spent quite a bit of time talking about ITPA and how that solution enhances Cisco’s UCS server platform for SAP HANA and how this differentiates Cisco from the remaining certified hardware vendors for SAP HANA.
Cisco UCS is also represented in the SAP HANA Test drive area, where SAP is demonstrating application development on a Cisco UCS C460 platform for SAP HANA.
Michael Missbach, who manages Cisco’s SAP competency center in Walldorf Germany, was the leader in two Microforums on Tuesday. The first was SAP on the Cloud and the second was a Microforum with TUI Travel’s (HotelBeds) CIO Mr. Garcia. He was able to discuss his installation of SAP on Cisco UCS as well as his use of SAP HANA on Cisco UCS and how this architecture design saves him approximately 150,000 Euros a year. Read the story here