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Cisco UCS: Beating the Odds

When the odds are against you, there are two roads you can take:
1. Buy into the negativity and become a self-fulfilling prophecy or
2. Persevere to rise above the adversity and exceed everyone’s expectations.

When Cisco joined the server party several years ago and set out to design a new system that addressed our customer’s power, management, and server administration costs challenges, the cynics said, “It couldn’t be done.”

Then, when Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS), a new system that blended compute, network, storage access and virtualization into a single unit, was announced two years ago, skeptics predicted that it would never succeed.

Now, less than two years after UCS first shipped in July 2009, Cisco holds the third position in global market share in x86 blade server factory revenue as of Q1 CY11, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, May 2011. Furthermore, businesses worldwide shifted over 10% of the x86 blade market to UCS, and in the U.S. nearly 20%, as mentioned in Cisco’s Vice President of Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit Soni Jiandani’s blog post.

This information comes on the heels of last week’s exciting announcement, Cisco UCS B250 M2 Blade Server won the “Best of Show” award in the Hardware and Storage category at Microsoft TechEd 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.

I’ll let you guess which road Cisco took to beat the odds.

We couldn’t have done it…without our partners! Read More »

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Citrix Synergy: Bringing Together Cisco, Citrix and NetApp Solutions

This week the Channels blog will be bringing you coverage of Citrix Synergy in San Francisco. This event demonstrates how virtualization, networking, and cloud technologies work together. Cisco and Citrix have collaborated to ease the implementation of desktop virtualization by making virtual desktops simpler, more cost effective, and more robust for mainstream enterprise adoption by our mutual customers.

The event looks to be filled with interesting sessions—breakouts, keynotes, and hands-on demonstrations. This morning, we sat in on a channel breakout session where we heard about accelerating Citrix XenDesktop deployments using the combined desktop virtualization solutions from Cisco, Citrix, and NetApp.

We’re also happy to pass along the news that Cisco won an award!

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Social Media Spotlight: Eight Tips for Writing an Engaging Blog Entry

In our previous installment of Social Media Spotlight, we took a look at how blogs can help tell your company’s story and draw in new customers. Well, now it’s time to take a deeper dive into how to craft a blog post.

Alex Krasne and I have been writing and blogging for quite a while now (about 30 years, combined, to be exact), so we know a thing or two about how to shape ideas in a way that engages readers and generates a conversation. Here are our eight tips on how to write a solid blog entry.

Read on to find out the details on our eight tips, as well as links to several partner blogs: Read More »

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FlexPod: More Flexible Than Ever, and Gaining Customers

What’s a FlexPod—is it a highly flexible case for your favorite MP3 player? A cool new modern chair? No, FlexPod is a design architecture combining networking, computing and storage infrastructure that’s now available through 120 channel partners worldwide!

Yes, that’s right—since its launch in November of last year, FlexPod has seen tremendous growth in the marketplace, with 120 partners worldwide now offering this flexible, scalable shared infrastructure that helps customers lower deployment risk, increase data center efficiencies, and create a flexible IT environment to build a private cloud. FlexPod, which is built on the Cisco UCS server platform, Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp unified storage, has also been adopted by more than 150 customers.

Furthermore, to make it even easier to purchase and deploy a FlexPod, Avnet Technology Solutions today announced it is pre-bundling the FlexPod, based on the Cisco and NetApp reference design architecture guides, for our resellers partners in the U.S. and Canada. Avnet will now provide a single source through its newly introduced FlexPod Services, offering partners all the products, assembly, testing, technical expertise, and support they need to successfully bring FlexPod to market.

Do your customers use SAP applications? Then you’ll also be interested in the last piece of today’s FlexPod news.

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New Microsoft Solutions Offer Partners More Ways to Differentiate

In a competitive market, differentiation makes all the difference. Whether you’re selling sneakers or servers, being able to offer the widest selection of products to meet a broad set of needs is critical in helping to drive growth and grow profits.

So today’s announcements of three new reference configurations focused on Microsoft applications and technologies will likely please you—now our partners will have even more opportunities to sell a broader set of solutions, giving customers more choice.

Today, along with our storage partners, Cisco is greatly expanding our channel partners’ ability to offer customers Microsoft-based private cloud, data warehouse, or OLTP configurations based on shipping Cisco UCS server and Nexus networking products. Three standalone, discrete reference architectures are now available: A Cisco-developed SQL Server 2008 R2 Data Warehouse solution; a Cisco-developed SQL Server 2008 R2 Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) offer; and Cisco as the server partner with NetApp as they bring to market their NetApp for Private Cloud offer as part of Microsoft’s Hyper-V Private Cloud program.

How will this impact you? Here are more details.

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