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Is SAP HANA In-Memory Technology Disruptive?

What is “in-memory”?  “In memory” is a technology that takes Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence to a different level.  CIO’s want information at their fingertips.  In order to obtain that information, they engage in data modeling and “what if” scenarios, the answers of which give them a competitive edge in business.  The biggest concern to-date, is that the data modeling and “what if” scenarios usually take days to process.  SAP HANA in-memory technology allows CIO’s to obtain answers to these complex issues in microseconds instead of the typical wait of days.

Who are the only server platform vendors certified to sell SAP HANA?

  • Cisco
  • Dell
  • Fujitsu
  • HP
  • IBM

What are the benefits to users of SAP HANA?

  • Processes all transactions in memory instead of I/O to disk
  • Processes millions of lines of data in microseconds
  • All processing done outside of normal data processing
  • Reduction of hardware and maintenance costs since SAP HANA is self contained in one appliance

So is SAP HANA “in Memory” technology disruptive?  Absolutely.  Watch Rajiv Thomas’s Video Cisco and SAP HANA about HANA

and judge for yourself and visit the Cisco booth number 2106 at SAP Sapphire 2011 to see a demo of HANA in the booth.

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If SAP Applications are installed and run on the Cisco Unified Computing System server platform, but no one knows about it, do they really run?

The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) server platform was introduced 2 years ago.  The first SAP installation on this platform happened shortly after that.  Yet when CIO’s and Application Architects are asked if they plan on running their SAP instances on UCS, many times their initial response is, “huh”.

Companies who run their business on SAP, can take no chances.  If their application shuts down, so does their business, costing them, depending upon the size of the business, millions of dollars a day and in some cases millions of dollars an hour.  So why should they take a chance on running their application on a two year old Cisco server platform?

The reasons actually are very compelling:

  1. Cisco is a top tier server hardware partner with SAP
  2. Cisco is already a SAP hardware partner selected and certified for HANA
  3. Cisco is a SAP hardware partner selected and certified for Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA)
  4. The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Server Platform was designed from the ground up, for virtualization
  5. The unique design of the UCS motherboard allows for up to four times the memory slots per blade chassis; no expansion chassis required.  You can either increase the memory on your blade using 16GB DIMMS to satisfy software requirements or use more of the smaller 8GB DIMMS, utilizing the additional memory slots, satisfying your memory requirements and spending less.
  6. UCS blades are stateless and use software-based Service Profiles to manage the server.  This means that you set up a profile once and are able to attach or reassign that profile to any blade added or already in use.  In some cases this saves 2 to 3 days of configuration time and allows the blade to become active in as little as 30 minutes.
  7. Virtual Interface Cards are used in the Unified Computing System.  You can assign 128 VM’s to a VIC.  2 cards are allocated per server.  Instead of having 256 cables behind your server you now have 2.

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“FlexPod for VMware” Partner Success Stories, new CVDs and more…

There has been huge customer and partner interest in FlexPod for VMware since its launch in November 2010. The key FlexPod values that are resonating well with the customers are:

  • Flexible ITaaS platform built from simple, unified compute, fabric, and storage infrastructure
  • Simplified purchase and flexible scale out model accelerates journey to private and hybrid cloud
  • Cisco CVD based architectures and channel partner enabled deployment services for both the base FlexPod infrastructure and layered Tier-1 enterprise applications (Microsoft, SAP, VDI, etc.).
  • Centralized management enabling streamlined operations
  • Open management framework allowing simplified integration with 3rd party orchestration tools
  • Streamlined response to identify and quickly solve potential issues, enabled by cooperative 24/7 support model

I want to highlight that the CVD Program has been around for over a decade and has proved its worth time and again to help design and deploy next generation network architectures across the globe.

What do Channel Partners have to say about FlexPod for VMware?

Here is a short video by Paul Sorgiovanni, Data Management Practice Manager at Empired (one of the leading FlexPod global partner based in Australia). In this video, Paul explains how FlexPod for VMware has been extremely helpful in making their customers successful, and helped Empired evolve as a trusted advisor for their fast growing customer base.

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Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for Datacenter, Virtualization, and Cloud

As you plan to deploy mission critical business applications in cloud, the first thing that comes to mind is how can all the pieces of the puzzle (infrastructure, business apps, supporting tools etc.) be put together to get all the expected benefits and efficiencies, without introducing any negative tradeoffs. This requires that all the key differentiating technologies campaigned by the vendors to win your business should collectively work as a single solution, be scalable, easy to operate, and not introduce new complexities in your environment.

While individual technology focused documentation and scalability guidelines from vendors are great resource for getting in depth information about any particular technology, a lot of times they fall short of providing you the end to end solutions focused big picture. The most popular question I hear from customers is… “How would the Cisco Datacenter Business Advantage and our open ecosystem partner technologies work together as an end to end solution that provides value to more efficiently achieve the business objectives”? Few days back, I discussed the relevance of Cisco Datacenter Business Advantage technologies to your mission critical business applications.

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Cisco Validated Designs (CVD) for the Data Center – Your Feedback?

This past week, Thomas Scheibe (Director, Data Center Architecture) had the opportunity to co-present with VMware and NetApp at TechFieldDay on a broad range of Data Center topics.

Thomas is one of the leaders in our Solutions and Strategy Unit (SASU) that is responsible for creating Cisco Validated Designs (CVD).  One of the topics discussed was the recent CVD on Enhanced Secure Multi-Tenancy and Thomas asked, “How many of you are familiar with the depth of technical content in a CVD?

I’m somewhat disappointed to say that the show of hands was less than unanimous. Now this shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise to us, because in the past CVDs were primarily targeted at Network Administrators and the TechFieldDay audience is traditionally more focused on Servers, Storage and Applications. But considering that many of our Data Center solutions are no longer just focused on networking elements, we look at this as an opportunity to create awareness for the Architect and Administrator communities. We also look at it as an opportunity to solicit your input and feedback on how we can better deliver content that will help you design and deploy Data Center solutions that are becoming more complicated as convergence, virtualization, and automation blur the lines between IT organizations. Read More »

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