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New UCS Servers deliver innovative scaling options and record-breaking power

This week we’re announcing new systems at the upper end of the UCS server product line: some heavy-duty iron for heavy-duty times.   These are important new tools for our UCS customers:  the digital age is accelerating, IT needs more horsepower to keep up, and there is a lot at stake.

Cisco UCS Servers with Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 V2 Deliver Unmatched Customer Benefits from Cisco Data Center

Consider this: less than 10 years ago, some of the largest mainframes scaled up to half a terabyte (TB) of main memory.  What if I were to tell you that these latest generation UCS blade servers will scale to 3TB?   Sound like a lot?  It is.  And that’s just the two-processor version.   Connect two UCS B260 M4 blades with an expansion connector and they become a UCS B460 M4, a four socket server that will scale to 6TB.  Putting that into perspective: a spiffy new laptop might ship today with 8GB of memory.   Multiply that by 750 and you have 6TB.

Not too long ago, all the content Wikipedia would fit in this type of footprint (in 2010 it was just under 6TB with media.)   Here is a fun illustration of what this scale of data would look like on paper (just the ~10GB of text, not the images.)  Now remember, we’re not talking about fitting all that data on the local disks of the server – we’re talking about fitting it in main memory.   This is becoming crucially important in the field of data analytics, where “in-memory” is the key to speed and competitiveness.  Applications like SAP HANA are at the forefront of this trend. Today, at Intel’s launch event in San Francisco, Dan Morales (Vice President of Enabling Functions at eBay) joined us to talk about how they’re betting on this type of analytic technology to help them make the eBay Marketplace work better for buyers and sellers (and eBay shareholders.)   I’ll post a video clip of that soon; his description of the challenges and opportunities, at eBay scale, is worth a watch.

We’ve talked about memory scaling, and Bruno Messina has a nice post that talks more about the scalability on these systems and UCS at large.   But dominating performance is the name of the game: behemoth processing performance is what we look for at this end of the server spectrum and Intel has not disappointed on this round of new technology.   The next generation of the Intel Xeon E7 family packs up to 15 cores per processor and delivers an average 2x performance increase compared to previous generation products.   Performance will be even higher on specific workloads, for example up to 3X on database and even higher for virtualization.   Cisco’s implementation of this technology has once again set the standard for system performance.   In today’s launch, Intel cited Cisco with 6 industry-leading results on key workloads.  As of this posting, the closest to come to that achievement that was Dell with 4.  HP ProLiant posted 1.  So hats off, once again, to the engineering team in Cisco’s Computing Systems Product Group.  Girish Kulkarni has a great summary of the performance news here.


New UCS Mission Critical Servers from Cisco Data Center


Our collaboration with Intel is one of the best technology combinations in the industry today.  Consider what we both bring to the party.  Intel: innovation in processor technology that drives Moore’s Law.  Cisco: innovation in connecting things across the data center and around the world.  UCS is an outcome of two blue-chip tech powerhouses investing in real innovation and the results have changed the industry.

In 1991, Stewart Alsop famously wrote:  “I predict that the last mainframe will be unplugged on 15 March 1996.”  He just as famously had to eat his words.  He munched on those twelve years ago, and while mainframes and RISC-based systems remain, there is an inexorable trend as the heaviest analytic workloads continue to shift to the type of scale-up x86-based systems we’re talking about today.   It only makes sense.  So while this will garner me plenty of comments from the architectural purists out there, I say “go ahead and plug a mainframe back in.”  It will fit right in your UCS B-Series blade chassis…


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Cisco has entered the mission-critical application business

As you have probably noticed,  the Cisco and SAP partnership keeps growing – Here is some of the recent news

[]  Unisys, RealTech and others install SAP HANA on Cisco UCS

” Manufacturers are struggling with the provisioning of applications into the infrastructure” In this video, Joachim Weide, Director Transformation Services, Unisys talks about SAP HANA on Cisco UCS and explains how the unique capability of UCS helps to run complex SAP landscapes in a virtualized environment .

[] Cisco SAP Competency Center Expansion 

Competency-Center-300x541Recently Cisco expanded its SAP Competency Center in Walldorf Germany to an entire floor in the SAP Partner Port. As part of that expansion, Cisco invited customers and partners to that expansion and offered a customer led workshop while there. Over 200 customers and partners attended this coming out party for Cisco in Walldorf.

This opening also provided an opportunity to gain some valuable insight from these customers and partners, including SAP, about their decision to install SAP HANA on Cisco UCS.

In this video , SAP VP Kevin Chew shares with Jim Mc Hugh, Cisco VP UCS Marketing  the importance of the partnership with Cisco for SAP customers

[] SAP HANA on Cisco UCS

During the opening , Jim McHugh had also a conversation with the head of the Cisco SAP Competency Center Dr Michael Missbach, about the services that Cisco can offer to customers

In this video Dr Missbach talked about the “secured shared network implementation ” of HANA , a new and unique feature provided by the Cisco UCS environment , which allows customers to run several solutions on one UCS platform .

[] Cisco Executive Vice President Sales and Development Rob Lloyd and SAP 

Rob LlyodIn the recent SAP Field Kick-Off Meetings in Singapore, Barcelona, and Las Vegas, SAP had three main focus areas: SAP HANA, Cloud, and Simplicity. Cisco’s  Rob Lloyd was featured in that keynote citing Cisco’s #1 position as a cloud company and their #2 position worldwide for blade servers.

Watch Rob Llyod here 

Cisco continues to advance their position as a mission-critical server platform and is quickly becoming the preferred server platform for SAP

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Cisco expands the SAP Competency Center in Walldorf in a big way

The Cisco SAP Competency Center expanded its presence at the SAP Partner Port in Walldorf  Germany on November 11, 2013.


Watch the video of Padmasree Warrior, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Cisco and Vishal Sikka, CTO and Executive Board Member for SAP as they welcome those that attended the opening of the Competency Center and talk about the Cisco/SAP relationship as is matures and about the exciting solutions we have already established together and about the upcoming solutions that we are engineering.


Competency CenterThe expanded Competency Center will house Cisco pre-sales, benchmark and performance testing and certification engineers. The performance and certification tests are all running on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) server platform using the Intel x86 Xeon chip set. These tests are integrated with the latest storage solution vendors such as EMC and NetApp.

Cisco specialists in the Center are connected with their SAP counterparts to provide the optimal service, support, and solutions to joint customers. In addition this Competency Center is equipped with hardware and software so that customers may bring their data into the Cisco Competency Center and test their data in a Proof of Concept setting.

Our Competency Center covers a very wide list of solutions including SAP HANA, HANA Enterprise Cloud, Suite on HANA, SAP on Vblock, SAP on FlexPod, Precision Marketing, and Sybase ASE.

The Cisco SAP Competency Center will also be used for specific customer briefings as required.

Cisco continues to find additional way to service SAP customers whether on premise or cloud. The expansion of this Competency Center is another way to show customers that Cisco is investing in providing quality solutions to those customers who have made the decision to select the Cisco UCS platform for SAP.

For more information on the Cisco SAP partnership and solutions visit our website

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Building a Trusted SAP HANA Data Center

SAP®HANATM is a next-generation database platform for real-time analytics and applications. Although the in-memory, columnar relational database debuted only recently (in June 2011), it has quickly become the fastest growing product in the history of
SAP AG. Already proven enormously successful for analytics, SAP HANA now supports SAP Business Suite, SAP’s flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. It has also been identified as the focus for innovation for SAP. To prepare for
this eventuality, enterprises are considering ways to make SAP HANA “data center-ready.”

Since SAP HANA is the fastest growing product in SAP history, the data center needs to be trusted as well. Here is a chart on the requirements of SAP as it relates to SAP HANA

The Five Essential Characteristics of a SAP HANA Hardware Platform


Find the full story about how SAP HANA users are choosing the Unified Computing System server platform to build their trusted data center in this comprehensive white paper.

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Announcing Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture v2 (CPA v2) for Big Data

Also launches,

Industry’s first reference architecture for Hadoop with advanced access control and encryption with IDH, first flash-enhanced reference architecture for Hadoop demonstrated using YCSB with MapR, industry’s first validated and certified solution for real-time Big Data analytics with SAP HANA, and Unleashing IT big data special edition

Built up on our vision of shared infrastructure and unified management for enterprise applications, the Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture (CPA) for Big Data has become a popular choice for enterprise Big Data deployments. It has been widely adopted in finance, healthcare, service provider, entertainment, insurance, and public sectors. The new Cisco UCS CPA V2 improves both performance and capacity featuring Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 family of processors, industry leading storage density, and industry’s first transparent cache acceleration for Big Data.

The Cisco UCS CPA v2 offers a choice of infrastructure options, including “Performance Optimized”, “Balanced”, “Capacity Optimized”, and “Capacity Optimized with Flash” to support a range of workload needs.

cpa v2

Up to 160 servers (3200 cores, 7.6PB storage) are supported in single switching/UCS domain. Scaling beyond 160 servers can be implemented by interconnecting multiple UCS domains using Nexus 6000/7000 Series switches, scalable to thousands of servers and to hundreds of petabytes storage, and managed from a single pane using UCS Central in a data center or distributed globally.

The Cisco UCS CPA v2 solutions are available through Cisco UCS Solution Accelerator Paks program designed for rapid deployments, tested and validated for performance, and optimized for cost of ownership: Performance Optimized half-rack (UCS-SL-CPA2-P) ideal for MPP databases and scale-out data analytics, Performance and Capacity Balanced rack (UCS-SL-CPA2-PC) ideal for high performance Hadooop and NoSQL deployments, Capacity Optimized rack (UCS-SL-CPA2-C)  when capacity matters, and Capacity Optimized with Flash rack (UCS-SL-CPA2-CF)  offers industry’s first transparent caching option for Hadoop and NoSQL. Start with any configuration and scale as your workload demands.

Cisco supports leading Hadoop and NoSQL distributions, including Cloudera, HortonWorks, Intel, MapR, Oracle, Pivotal and others. For more information visit Cisco Big Data Portal, and Big Data Design Zone that offers Cisco Validated Designs (CVD)  – pretested and validated architectures that accelerate the time to value for customers while reducing risks and deployment challenges.

Additional Information

Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture Version 2 for Big Data
Cisco Launches the First Flash-Enhanced Solution for Hadoop
Simplifying the Deployment of Real-time Big Data Analytics — UCS + SAP HANA

Also see Maximizing Big Data Benefits with MapR and Informatica on Cisco UCS

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