We don’t invoke the term innovation lightly at Cisco. As Frank Palumbo recently talked about, change is the only constant, and our data center customers need to stay in front of that change. What we’re hearing from them often centers on three critical concepts:
1. We need a common operating environment that spans from the data center to the very edge. “Edge” in this sense is used to describe the many worlds that exist beyond the walls of the data center, where the demand for computing power is inexorably growing. For service providers that can mean IT infrastructure located at the Customer Premise. For large enterprise and public sector IT teams the Edge is found in the branch offices, retail locations and remote sites where innovation is exploding with dynamic customer experiences and new ways of doing business. It’s at the wind farm and the end of the drill bit miles below the oil rig. It’s in the “fog” of connected sensors and smart objects in connected cities. And it is the handheld devices that billions of people are using today to consume and generate unprecedented volumes of data and insight, and the 50 billion people and things that Cisco estimates will be connected by 2020.
2. We need a stronger engine to accelerate core applications and power data-intensive analytics. (AKA, “you’re going to need a bigger boat”) The imperative for faster and better decisions has never been greater and the tools to extract the signal from the noise in the data deluge require big horsepower. Recommendation engines, real-time price optimization, personalized location-based offers, improved fraud detection… the list goes on in terms of opportunity created by Big Data and the IoE. All while IT continues to deliver the core applications -- that keep business running – uninterrupted and faster than before.
3. We need a common operating environment that spans traditional and emerging applications. Complexity is the bane of innovation and the bane of IT. In addition to the familiar workloads, which are well understood in terms of bare metal scalability and virtual encapsulation, there is growing use of applications architected for massive horizontal scale. In-memory, scale up analytics are being utilized right alongside cloud-scale technologies like MapReduce to tackle different elements of business problems in different ways. Very different architectures, with very different demands on computing infrastructure. The conditions for complexity loom. Will a hero emerge?
When UCS was born it shook up many of the fundamental assumptions of what data center infrastructure should be expected to do and what IT could do to accelerate business. With this launch, history repeats itself, as we work to help customers future proof the data center for change tomorrow and transformation today. Our development team has taken the next stride in the journey of re-inventing computing at the most fundamental levels, to power applications at every scale.
I hope you will join us for the event on 9/4 to see how we’re taking our strategy forward in the data center. We have a bit of a baseball theme in the launch since we’re delighted to be joined by Major League Baseball’s Joe Inzerillo at our event in New York. So follow the conversation at it unfolds over coming weeks with #UCSGrandSlam and #CiscoUCS. The bases are loaded.
Innovation. Change. Market transitions. This is the natural order when it comes to IT.
Today’s accelerated rate of technological change is disrupting all areas of IT, while at the same time creating new possibilities for our data center customers. As a CIO, you’re tasked with capitalizing on the benefits of new technologies to enhance operations, but with minimal disruption to your business. That’s not easy do to when the world is moving so quickly.
Innovation brings new players to the marketplace, and sometimes compels existing vendors to adjust their strategies. Earlier this year, in a move that will have a significant impact across the IT landscape for technology providers and customers alike, IBM announced an agreement with Lenovo for the acquisition of IBM’s x86 server and associated networking business including Flex System.
Five years ago, Cisco made a strategic move by announcing a data center innovation and putting into motion a market transition. Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) led the converged data center transformation by integrating high-performance networking, compute, and storage into a single, unified platform. Cisco UCS created a new value proposition for the data center in virtualization and cloud computing, achieving measurable cost savings and technology gains.
Now the number two worldwide vendor of blade servers, our vision and ability to execute delivers value that clearly resonates with our customers. Cisco UCS changes the economics of the data center by increasing operational simplicity and improving business agility. This is a great time for you to take a closer look to learn why over 30,000 customers have made the move to Cisco UCS.
As the inevitable change takes place across the IT landscape, Cisco remains committed to the data center. We are also committed to our long-time collaboration with IBM, one of Cisco’s most successful partnering relationships. Our plan is to move forward, build on this relationship and continue to deliver solutions of high value for your data centers across technology, service, and support.
In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, Jamie MacQuarrie (@JMacQuarrie) and Jay Cuthrell (@qthrul) discuss both the history and future of the data center. How have automation and standards changed the operational model for applications? How are roles changing with the changing technology?
For these answers and more, listen in:
A lot of great ideas here--let us know what you think.
**The next shoot is at Varrow Madness, Charlotte, NC, March 20, 2014! Contact me now to become internet famous.**
This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
Cisco is proud to be a Platinum sponsor and exhibitor at PASS Summit this year. If you aren’t familiar with PASS Summit, it “is the world’s largest, most-focused, and most-intensive conference for Microsoft SQL Server and BI professionals.”
Gary Serda has done an excellent job in detailing what the Cisco UCS team will be sharing with attendees in his blog post Guide to Cisco at the PASS Summit, so I wanted to highlight our 3D, interactive vRack of our Unified Computing System which is always a highlight at trade shows and will be on display at PASS Summit.
Cisco and EMC continue to partner closely to speed our customers journey to the cloud via our “three paths to the cloud’ strategy. The strategy enables customers to implement custom-design infrastructures with best-of-breed products, validated reference architectures via Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX, and pre-integrated converged infrastructure from VCE.
In the last year, Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX have generated significant momentum with customers and partners. In this short period of time we have:
Signed up more than 850 channel partners
Nearly 1,000 VSPEX customers around the world
Published 9 CVD’s focused on virtualization and desktop virtualization
60% y/y growth in viewership on our VSPEX CVD pages
Cisco and EMC will continue collaborating on VSPEX to expand the solution portfolio and accelerate growth. As a preview of future VSPEX CVDs, two new solution briefs have just been released. These solution briefs enable customers to choose their desired hypervisor, Microsoft Hyper-V 2012 R2 or VMware VSphere 5.1, and get a validated configuration for up to 1000 virtual machines based upon Cisco UCS servers and networking with next-generation EMC VNX Series storage. The next-generation EMC VNX Series storage will complement VSPEX solutions by enhancing virtual application performance through multicore optimization software taking advantage of the latest multicore CPUs.
Building your own infrastructure solutions can not only take time and resources but also can introduce additional risk and complexity. This is exactly the problem that Cisco solutions for EMC VSPEX solves by offering presized and validated solutions that give customers confidence that they are deploying the right balance of computing, networking, and storage resources.
Congratulations to the Cisco and EMC teams for their momentum with Cisco Solutions for EMC VSPEX and thank you for making it easy for organizations to quickly deploy a powerful, secure virtualized environment without the expense or risk entailed in designing and building a custom solution.