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UCS Innovation for Core Data Center Applications

We have a number of exciting additions to the UCS family, which we are announcing today.  Application architectures are fundamentally changing, which is driving a change to the core infrastructure.   Today, you will hear about new innovations in the area of scale-out computing, which are optimized for the delivery of new applications, data analytics and the scale that is required to support these apps.

As part of this announcement, we are delivering significant innovations around what I’ll call the core data center applications.  Put another way, these are the more traditional applications that keep the business running and keep employees productive.  Cisco is announcing our fourth generation of our workhorse two-socket blade and rack systems as well as a broad set of enhancements to UCS Management.

Over the past five years, when I ask customers why they purchased UCS, it comes down to two key areas:  more power to drive applications faster and simplified management, which accelerates IT operations. Let’s talk first about the core data center platforms and the new innovations there.  Once again, Cisco is raising the bar on “enterprise class” stateless computing and performance.  Today, we’re announcing the Cisco UCS M4 series, which are optimized for the widest set of enterprise use cases.  Delivered through the new UCS B200 M4, C220 M4 and C240 M4, Cisco continues to deliver the highest performance CPUs, maximum memory and highest I/O performance.  Besides support for fastest and highest core count and memory, we have added significant flexibility to the platforms via modular LAN-on-motherboard (LOM), Modular HBAs and Flex Storage options.

In addition to the M4 generation of servers we are introducing our 3rd gen VIC technology.  This generation brings native 40Gb and advanced networking features such as NVGRE and VxLAN to UCS.  The latest VIC will also enable ultra low latency RDMA capabilities.. As really fast flash storage becomes mainstream and clustered applications gain popularity, high bandwidth, low latency interconnect technology will be required for applications to see the full benefit of performance  improvements.  With this technology, applications requiring low latency can see up to an 85% improvement without the complexity of building Infiniband fabrics.

As much as we like talking about performance (and believe me, we like that a lot), the biggest innovation UCS brought to the datacenter was a dramatically simplified management paradigm with our UCS Management portfolio.   Today, we’re announcing the addition of the software programmable ACI fabric through the Nexus 9000 and APIC into UCS Director.  UCS Director is also delivering a software development kit and open API to accelerate third party integration with Cisco’s technology partners.

Finally, we are delivering new application container support within UCS Director, which provides both virtual and bare metal isolation of workloads, automated with UCS Director.  Users simply request a container for a particular set of application components and UCS Director deploys the necessary infrastructure configuration required.  Taken together, UCS Director becomes an even more robust control point for IT infrastructure as IT customers can now request application services and have computing, storage and networking services (such as firewalling or Layer 4-7 switching) delivered across a programmable networking fabric.

Taken along with the M-series and the UCS C3160, this announcement represents a huge step forward in the UCS portfolio to enable customers to move faster into the new application paradigm while still supporting their core data center applications.

 

 

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Cisco and Partner Akili showing Best Practices for Oil and Gas at SAP Conference in Houston

September 3, 2014 at 1:22 pm PST

Akili and Cisco at Conference

Cisco and Akili  feature their joint Oil & Gas Technology Solutions with SAP HANA running on Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) at the Best Practices for Oil and Gas conference Sept. 16-19 in Houston, TX.

The Best Practices for Oil & Gas Conference is North America’s leading forum for upstream, midstream, downstream and oil field services professionals to collaborate across the value chain. You know Cisco’s top aim these days is Business Outcomes for our customers. The fourth annual event has a significant shift to a business focus and features first-hand knowledge on how business solutions that have been successfully implemented at oil and gas organizations across all industry segments.

T Boone PickensThe event will feature special guest speaker T. Boone Pickens, an oil and gas and American business legend, sharing his views on enhancing U.S. energy policies. It will also feature Cisco as one of the exhibitors and, working with Gold Sponsor and Cisco partner Akili, we’ll be talking about business solutions and how customers can gain competitive advantage while improving bottom line profitability and reducing costs.

Akili and Cisco’s exhibit will highlight their shared offerings of industry Best in Class Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas including:

  • SAP ERP Solution for Upstream Oil and Gas
  • SAP BPC Solution for Integrated Financial and Operational Planning
  • Real-time business intelligence and predictive analysis across finance and operations
  • HANA Solutions built on flexible, converged infrastructure for rapid deployment, scalability and cost containment
  • Cisco UCS - the high performance,  scalable, cost-effective, SAP certified platform for exceptional in-memory compute

Akili bus value

We’re looking forward to seeing you there! For more information on Cisco in Oil and Gas please go to this link. For more about Cisco, Analytics and SAP, go to this link.

Best Practices for Oil & Gas will take place September 16-19, 2014, in Houston, TX. For more information and to register visit www.sap-oil-and-gas.com.

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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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