Recent results clearly reinforce the growing understanding that Cisco has unleashed a more highly evolved and effective solution into the computing ecosystem. While the principles outlined by Charles Darwin in Origin of the Species can stir controversy, I find them to be an accurate model for technology evolution and quite useful for describing how we’ve arrived at this latest watershed in the x86 server market.
Our first observation would be the extremely rapid rate of customer adoption for Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS). Darwin would tell us that there must be significant advantage in “fitness to purpose” inherent to UCS that have driven this velocity. This is certainly true. Looking back at where we’ve been and how we’re positioned to go forward, here are key factors I see at play that create these advantages for UCS adopters:
- Primitive incumbents in the server industry attempted converged infrastructure by choosing to combine compute and storage first. Cisco chose to converge compute and fabric first. This is a critical threshold event because it turns out that most optimizations for virtualization and cloud are fabric-oriented. With our Virtual Interface Cards we made server NICs and HBAs part of the fabric, not part of the server, a significant mutation in computing design. Further, Cisco abstracted every single identity and configuration element for servers, network access and storage into a programmable software model – inventing fabric computing with stateless servers. Simple. Flexible. Resilient. Advantage: UCS
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