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How Cisco IT Adopts New Technologies in the Data Center

I’d like to give you an inside look at our Allen Data Center and go over how Cisco IT is adopting new technologies and capabilities while at the same time running the business. I’ll answer your top of mind questions and cover topics such as: Read More »

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A New Generation of Cisco UCS Power Calculator

We are proud to announce the new Cisco UCS Power Calculator and Estimation Tool. It features an all new User Interface (UI) and is currently live at

The tool contains many new features, including the ability to create templates and projects where configuration data is stored. Templates and projects improve agility as well as enable collaboration among users through exporting and importing user-specific  configuration data.


Additionally, the new power calculator offers a powerful RESTful API, which allows third party applications to connect and generate power estimations by simply passing through actual configuration data.  This architecture provides a single source for all power estimates.


Common to the Cisco UCS management tool portfolio, the API-driven architecture for the new power calculator enables integration opportunities with a number of Cisco tools. One example is tighter integration with Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW) power calculator widget – for real-time estimation of solution power while building out configurations.  Third-party, non-Cisco tools (e.g. DCIM) can also now connect directly to the power calculator and assist users with data center infrastructure planning. For questions on how to integrate your application with the new power calculator and estimation tool’s REST API, please contact Roy Zeighami or Jeffrey Metcalf at (

Previous versions of the Cisco UCS Power Calculator will be retired with redirects to the new Cisco UCS Power Calculator.

Cheers and Thanks! to Intel for the collaboration!

UCS Power Calculator:
UCS Communities:
UCS Platform Emulator:
UCS Developed Integrations:

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Top Cisco Innovations

To celebrate 30 years of innovation at Cisco (#We are Cisco), we’ve asked Cisco Champions what they think is the most important Cisco innovation to date. Cisco Champions are seasoned IT technical experts and influencers who enjoy sharing their knowledge, expertise, and thoughts across the social web and with Cisco. The Cisco Champions program encompasses different areas of interest, such as Data Center, Internet of Things, Enterprise Networks, Collaboration and Security. Cisco Champions are located all over the world.
(Cisco Champions are not representatives of Cisco. Their views are their own)

Here are their top answers.

Cisco Nexus Series
The most important innovation for me is the Data Center Networking Solution with Nexus Portfolio N2K, N5K, N7K, and N9K, that allows us to address all challenges for our customers. I really appreciate the new campus solution based on C6800 with IA switches which uses the same technology as FEX. It really simplifies architecture and reduces OPEX with a single point of management.
Bertrand Bordereau
Bertrand Borderaeu
Network Consulting Engineer
@BBordereau Read More »

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Cisco UCS Delivers Best Two-Socket Server SAP SD Benchmark Result with Microsoft Windows

Cisco Unified Computing System™  is unique among vendors with its comprehensive set of solutions for SAP and SAP HANA workloads—solutions that include servers with two to eight processors. Cisco Cisco UCS® C220 M4 Rack Server delivered 16,025 users and a SAPS score of 87,680: the best two-processor, two-tier result running Microsoft Windows 2012 Datacenter Edition.

Some of the key highlights of this result are:

  • Best Two-Socket Server SAP SD Benchmark Result: The Cisco UCS C240 M4 running Microsoft Windows Server 2012 delivered the best two-tier SAP SD Benchmark result with SAP Enhancement Package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012. The solution supported 16,025 SAP SD Benchmark users while maintaining a consistent application response time of less than one second
  • Scale to meet demand: Cisco UCS C240 M4 Rack Server configured with the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 family can support up to 16,025 concurrent SAP SD Benchmark users in a Microsoft Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft SQL Server 2012 environment.
  • Optimize application throughput: High-performance rack servers, blade servers, and network fabrics enable Cisco UCS to handle many SAP application tasks, with results showing that the system can process 1,753,670 order line items per hour or 5,261,000 dialog steps per hour.
  • Cisco Consistently Improves Two-Processor, Two- Tier SAP SD Benchmark Performance: As illustrated in the graph below, these results show almost a 60 percent improvement over performance delivered by the last generation of Intel Xeon processor E5 product family CPUs.


SAP SD Comparison
The SAP SD Benchmark is designed to stress the computing infrastructure and determine whether a consistent response can be delivered as more users consume system resources. Cisco tested a Cisco UCS C240 M4 server equipped with two 2.30-GHz, 18-core Intel Xeon processor E5-2699 v3 CPUs, 256 GB of main memory, and a Cisco UCS Virtual Interface Card (VIC) 1225. The server ran both the SAP software and the 64-bit Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise Edition in a bare-metal configuration. Check out the Performance Brief and the detailed official benchmark disclosure report for additional information on the benchmark configuration.

Let’s see, what does this latest result mean for our customers?

  • This result proves that Cisco UCS servers make an excellent foundation for any standards-based infrastructure solution.
  • Cisco UCS dramatically reduces the number of physical components needed to support demanding SAP landscape applications, enabling IT departments to make effective use of limited space, power, and cooling resources.
  • By deploying SAP on Cisco UCS, IT departments can support more users and accelerate response times. Many users can be supported—up to 16,025 in the benchmark configuration—with little hardware
  • IT departments can choose from a broad range of Cisco UCS blade and rack server models to scale deployments further by using larger servers or by adding servers to create scale-out deployments with small footprints.

It is interesting to note that although all vendors have access to same Intel processors, only Cisco UCS unleashes their power to deliver high performance to applications through the power of unification. The unique, fabric-centric architecture of Cisco UCS integrates the Intel Xeon processors into a system with a better balance of resources that brings processor power to life. For additional information on Cisco UCS and Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure solutions please visit Cisco Unified Computing & Servers web page.


The statement of comparison is based on highest-performing system using two Intel Xeon processors and running SAP Enhancement Package 5 for SAP ERP 6.0 on Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition in a two-tier configuration. Results referenced are available from the SAP website at: and are current as of December 1, 2014.

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Building an Enterprise Data Hub, Evaluating Infrastructure

Cisco, MapR, Informatica


Want to get the most out of your big data? Build an enterprise data hub (EDH).

Big data is rapidly getting bigger. That in itself isn’t a problem. The issue is what Gartner analyst Doug Laney describes as the three Vs of Big Data: volume, velocity, and variety.



Volume refers to the ever-growing amount of data being collected. Velocity is the speed at which the data is being produced and moved through the enterprise information systems. Variety refers to the fact that we’re gathering information from multiple data sources such as sensors, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, e-commerce transactions, log files, supply chain info, social media feeds, and the list goes on.


Data warehouses weren’t made to handle this fast-flowing stream of wildly dissimilar data. Using them for this purpose has led to resource-draining, sluggish response times as workers attempt to perform numerous extract, load, and transform (ELT) functions to make stored data accessible and usable for the task at hand.

Constructing Your Hub

An EDH addresses this problem. It serves as a central platform that enables organizations to collect structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data from slews of sources, process it quickly, and make it available throughout the enterprise.

Building an EDH begins with selecting the right technology in three key areas: infrastructure, a foundational system to drive EDH applications, and the data integration platform. Obviously, you want to choose solutions that fit your needs today and allow for future growth. You’ll also want to ensure they are tested and validated to work well together and with your existing technology ecosystem. In this post, we’ll focus on selecting the right hardware.

Cisco UCS Big Data Domain


The Infrastructure Component

Big data deployments must be able to handle continued growth, from both a data and user load perspective. Therefore, the underlying hardware must be architected to run efficiently as a scalable cluster. Important features such as the integration of compute and network, unified management, and fast provisioning all contribute to an elastic, cloud-like infrastructure that’s required for big data workloads. No longer is it satisfactory to stand up independent new applications that result in new silos. Instead, you should plan for a common and consistent architecture to meet all of your workload requirements.


Big data workloads represent a relatively new model for most data centers, but that doesn’t mean best practices must change. Handling a big data workload should be viewed from the same lens as deployments of traditional enterprise applications. As always, you want to standardize on reference architectures, optimize your spending, provision new servers quickly and consistently, and meet the performance requirements of your end users.


Cisco Unified Computing System to Run Your EDH

Cisco UCS for Big Data

The Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data delivers a highly scalable platform that is proven for enterprise applications like Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft. It also provides the same required enterprise-class capabilities–performance, advanced monitoring, simplification of management, QoS guarantees–to big data workloads. With lower switch and cabling infrastructure costs, lower power consumption, and lower cooling requirements, you can realize a 30 percent reduction in total cost of ownership. In addition, with its service profiles, you get fast and consistent time-to-value by leveraging provisioning templates to instantly set up a new cluster or add many new nodes to an existing cluster.


And when deploying an EDH, the MapR Distribution including Apache Hadoop® is especially well-suited to take advantage of the compute and I/O bandwidth of Cisco UCS. Cisco and MapR have been working together for the past 2 years and have developed Cisco-validated design guides to provide customers the most value for their IT expenditures.


Cisco UCS for Big Data comes in optimized power/performance-based configurations, all of which are tested with the leading big data software distributions. You can customize these configurations further, or use the system as is. Utilizing one of Cisco UCS for Big Data’s pre-configured options goes a long way to ensuring a stress-free deployment. All Cisco UCS solutions also provide a single point of control for managing all computing, networking, and storage resources, for any fine tuning you may do before deployment or as your hub evolves in the future.


I encourage you to check out the latest Gartner video to hear Satinder Sethi, our VP of Data Center Solutions Engineering and UCS Product Management, share his perspective on how powering your infrastructure is an important component of building an enterprise data hub.


Gartner Video










In addition, you can read the MapR Blog, Building an Enterprise Data Hub, Choosing the Foundational Software.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions, or via twitter at @CicconeScott.

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