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Ready, Set…Cloud! Vblock, VxBlock and Cisco ACI usher in operational simplicity and software defined innovation for the cloud era

Complexity is easy. Simplicity is hard. Solving operational complexity has been one of the hardest challenges in data center and cloud build-outs. For customers, the challenge of interfacing with different infrastructure vendors and driving integration has been a significant hurdle in the past, slowing application rollouts. The success of the integrated Infrastructure approach has largely been due to focused efforts on behalf of multiple vendors to come together to solve this challenge, resulting in a new hyper-growth market category being created. According to IDC’s Q3CY2014 integrated infrastructure tracker, the integrated infrastructure market has grown to ~$5.5B annually and most analysts have this market growing at 30+ percent YoY.

A shining example of solving this huge challenge has been VCE’s Vblock offerings that have been on a stellar growth path. Nothing speaks better of this than customer success and market traction it enjoys –

  • VCE surpassed a $2 billion annualized demand run-rate for Vblock and Vblock-related products and services exiting Q3 2014.
  • Its sixth consecutive quarter of greater than 50% year-over-year demand growth.
  • Clear leader in integrated infrastructure systems according to Gartner and IDC
  • A leader in the Gartner, Inc. Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems, based on an evaluation of VCE’s completeness of vision and ability to execute.

With its UCS Integrated Infrastructure solution approach Cisco has been literally in the midst of all of this action. Cisco UCS, Nexus and MDS switches have been key components of the integrated offering along with innovations from the other companies.  Customers have loved the operational benefits as they scale their cloud build outs. Last October next-generation “ACI-ready” Vblocks were introduced allowing customers to further accelerate their journey to SDN and cloud.

And now it is time to raise the bar even further. As VCE introduces VxBlocks in addition to the flagship Vblock offering, as well as vScale architectures and VCE Vision 3.0, Cisco and VCE are together committed to build on the past success as we align our sights to the future –

  • VCE and Cisco are committed to drive open, future proof converged infrastructure solutions through the GA shipments of ACI-Ready Nexus 9K enabled Vblocks and Cisco UCS. We already have 100+ joint customers in production.
  • VxBlocks will be featuring Nexus 9K as their default networking platform to support all their different flavors of SDN within their integrated infrastructure, even as Cisco UCS will continue to be their default compute platform. As of Cisco’s last fiscal quarter, there were over 1700+ Nexus 9000 and Cisco ACI customers, making the Nexus 9000 one of the highest growth products within the company even as new Cisco APIC customers shot up to over 300+ within two quarters. Cisco UCS has been on a tear in terms of market share worldwide and has continued to set world record benchmarks.
  • The Vscale Fabric is ACI enabled and includes the Nexus 9000s as the networking component of the fabric.  This  allows customers to choose ACI and get the added benefits of such.  If a customer chooses to deploy ACI in the fabric then the APIC would be a deployed as an add-on.   The Vscale architecture also uses MDS as the SAN fabric enhancing the convergence capabilities.

 What Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Brings to Vblocks and VxBlocks:

Cisco ACI is all about operational flexibility and choice. For example, customers can enjoy the  benefits of the Nexus 9396 in a standalone mode, or deploy it as an ACI leaf configuration. This is called “ACI-ready”. They can also be “ACI-enabled”, which means the Nexus 9396s are ACI leafs connected to spines and APIC clusters all part (provisioned and supported) of a Vblock or VxBlock.

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Integrated Infrastructure in the Data Center: a Chat with Cisco IT

Coming from the enterprise data center product side of the house, I’m always curious to hear from real-world IT practitioners what problems they wrestle with, how they think about their goals, and what keeps them up a night. At Cisco, we’re lucky to have one of the leading enterprise IT shops on the planet. And they’re not shy about sharing their opinions on what we’re doing with our products and solutions both good and bad.  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?

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Cisco UCS is #1 in Integrated Infrastructure

What is integrated infrastructure? Major analysts firms differ slightly on the taxonomy and makeup of the various integrated systems that comprise this market segment. However, they do agree that these systems include a combination of servers, networking, storage systems, and management.  Cisco realized that bringing together industry and market leading technologies would help accelerate IT infrastructure deployment, lower design costs, simplify management, and enable high levels of utilization. Integrated infrastructures offer the foundation for private cloud deployments, virtual desktop solutions, and enterprise applications.

Everyone agrees that the integrated infrastructure market is booming and that Cisco is a core vendor in this market segment with leading integrated infrastructures built on top of Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus. IDC believes this market is going to grow at greater than 30% for the next few years to more than $14B in 2017. Today, Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus participate in the top three Integrated Infrastructures –FlexPod Solutions with NetApp, Vblock Systems with VCE, and EMC VSPEX.  FlexPod and Vblock have captured more than 42% of the market and utilize Cisco UCS and Nexus exclusively.

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In addition, Hitachi Unified Compute Platform Select and Nimble Storage SmartStack also chose to build integrated infrastructure solutions with Cisco UCS servers and Cisco Nexus switches. If you add up the numbers from IDC, Cisco participates in integrated infrastructures that account for roughly 69% of the market from a revenue perspective. Very impressive!

It is also impressive that just five years ago we announced Cisco UCS and it is now the #1 provider of x86 Blade ServersII-Cisco 1 blog in the Americas and #2 World Wide (according to the most recent IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker – May 2014).  Cisco UCS has delivered some ground breaking technology. The policy-based Service Profiles and Cisco SingleConnect technology changed how we connected, managed, and provisioned servers. Cisco continues to drive this strategy forward with Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), offering comprehensive control of a much broader set of data center infrastructure that is oriented to the application environment.  FlexPod, Vblock Systems, and Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX plan to integrate Cisco ACI with Cisco UCS Director to accelerate application delivery and streamline operations. Both NetApp and VCE recently announced they will also integrate Cisco’s Intercloud Fabric with FlexPod and Vblock Systems, enabling the management of cloud-enabled workloads across heterogeneous environments.

This rapid rate of customer adoption for Cisco UCS and integrated infrastructures enabled by Cisco is evidence that real innovation can deliver IT infrastructure that transforms the data center. For more information on integrated infrastructures enabled by Cisco please check out this new white paper.

 

Customers Choose Innovation: Cisco UCS is the #1 Blade Server in the Americas from Cisco Data Center

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#EngineersUnplugged S4|Ep8: VSPEX 101

In this week’s episode, everything you wanted to know about VSPEX but were afraid to ask. We’re talking VSPEX 101 with Chris Romano and Chad Dunn. They why, the how, and the use cases to back it up. Complete with a VSPEX unicorn, let’s watch:

**The next shoot is last week of January at Cisco Live in Milan! If you want to be internet-famous, contact me ASAP to talk about being on the show.**

This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

Join the behind the scenes by liking Engineers Unplugged on Facebook.

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