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Cisco UCS Servers and Blade Server Evolution, part 1

Arguably the place to begin a Cisco UCS blade server journey would be with “Why Blade Servers”.  ‘Blades’ are cool.  There was “Blade Runner” (a cult classic) and the Wesley Snipes “Blade” movies, several TV series with ‘blade’ in the name, on and on; but for data centers and servers?  Why blades?  Where is the Blade Server TCO & ROI benefit that drives business decisions and therefore innovation and how do blade servers / chassis get there?

Before:

Blade servers have been around since about year 2000 and arguably came about as a way to make data center footprints smaller and reduce power consumption (reduced TCO).  Nothing new here for blade enthusiasts.  Rack servers were taking up more and more space and power in data centers.  The concept of blades was brilliant, insightful and simple. Take as many common rack delivered functionalities (services) as possible, and package them together for delivery to a fixed group of servers.  The easy targets for this were server power, cooling, and I/O (well, some I/O functions).  To look at it another way, a blade chassis takes a data center rack with servers, I/O cables and switches, then shrinks them into a ‘building block unit’.  Once you have the ‘unit’, put a single sheet metal wrapper around everything and voila, a blade chassis.  Overly simplistic I know, but a close enough visual.  If you want a step-by-step evolution, Sean McGee (a colleague of mine here at Cisco) did a darn good overview The “Mini-Rack” Approach To Blade Server Design.

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Partner Update Newscast Delivers a Fresh Batch of Top Cisco Stories

Summer’s coming to a close and Cisco partners have been doing much more than just hanging by the pool. They’ve been busy working on some very cool projects!

In this episode of Partner Update, we find out why Cisco partner Force 3 has been spending time with competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut and learn about a new blog series from Logicalis called Hype or Ripe.

But there’s a lot more in this action-packed newscast, so watch this week’s Partner Update to get a math lesson from Cisco Channels Chief Edison Peres, find out how architecture-based solutions can maximize ROI for customers and help ensure partner profitability, learn how Westcon Group is removing obstacles to global distribution, get the latest details from Forrester Consulting on ways that customers can benefit from Borderless Networks solutions, out with HP and in with Xerox print solutions, our VMworld update, and much more that you don’t want to miss.

Watch it all right here:

Keep reading for a list of links and a written transcript of our newscast. Read More »

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Partner Update Uncovers the Top Cisco News and Gets a Tattoo

Happy summer, everyone! The sun’s shining, it’s a new fiscal year, and, Andrew’s back from his honeymoon in Hawaii. Now we’re gearing back up to bring you all the partner news and info you may have missed over the last couple of weeks.

In this episode of Partner Update, we cover amazing incentives and profitability programs for partners, discuss an upcoming broadcast to help you learn more about how to deliver architecture-based solutions and maximize ROI for your customers, a new way to calculate customers’ Borderless Networks ROI, Amazon Consulting’s recommendations for solution providers, and two new Social Media Spotlight posts to help you learn the ins and outs of video editing and promotion. We also get to check out Andrew’s new Hawaiian-inspired tattoo.

Sit back, tune in, and watch the latest episode of Partner Update for all of your Cisco news (in less than five minutes.)

Keep reading for links and additional details on the news we covered this time and time stamps so you know where to find each item.
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Help Customers Embrace Change with New Borderless Networks ROI Benefits Calculator

Your customers want all the benefits that borderless networks have to offer; things like working from home, VPN access anywhere, and secure network access via any device. But how do you best walk customers through the costs, benefits, IT staff requirements, ROI, and the dizzying array of considerations around a sizable IT upgrade?

With a series of questions, scenarios, and analysis, the new Borderless Networks ROI Benefits Calculator is a free tool that helps partners analyze customers’ IT costs and needs—whether it’s a future network deployment or a post-deployment ROI analysis.

By plugging data into the calculator, you receive a tangible list of benefits that a customer would see from upgrading their infrastructure (like reductions in help desk costs, increases in end user productivity, or energy savings).

Cisco tapped independent technology and market research company Forrester Research to create the calculator. Forrester gathered data from its research on Cisco Borderless Networks and the market in general, interviewed Cisco marketing and sales personnel, spoke with organizations offering solutions, and conducted a survey of 121 IT network execs.

How do I get access to the calculator?

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Mobile Service Provider Growth Priorities

As the Mobility industry converges upon Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, I wanted to talk to you about subjects we will all be talking about at MWC – monetization, optimization, and the video experience.

There’s been considerable speculation about the demands that are placed on today’s mobile infrastructure and how rocketing traffic volumes will impact the network operator’s business model.

We decided to explore service provider’s expectations for the ongoing development of the mobile Internet. More specifically, their thoughts on monetization and network optimization, especially around bandwidth-intensive applications, like mobile video.

So we commissioned a market research study that was recently performed by Heavy Reading.  Based on interviews with over 50  mobile operators from around the world (the interview subjects did not know that this was a Cisco-sponsored survey), here is a summary of what they told us (full report embedded at the end of this post):

Charting a Profitable Growth Strategy

  • Growing an active, paying, mass market mobile broadband subscriber base is seen as a pre-condition for more sophisticated monetization strategies.
  • Operators view “Tiered Services” as the most attractive monetization use case. This is especially the case in HSPA+ and LTE networks which now have enough capacity that operators can start segmenting their service offerings.
  • Other use cases that operators can use to drive data penetration and usage were also favorable viewed, e.g., group data plans and session/day pass or other time-based charging services.
  • Models that can help meet the dual goals of subscriber growth and generate better yield from existing and higher-end subscribers are most attractive. Maintaining a balance between those two objectives is, of course, preferred.

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