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Cisco UCS Serial # 0001: Saving $80,000/month in Operating Costs and with Improved Software Licensing Compliance

June 11, 2012 at 10:50 am PST

You meet the most interesting people at trade shows! This morning at Microsoft’s Tech Ed event here in Orlando the Cisco booth was humming with activity as the exhibit hall opened for the attendees. One early visitor to our booth turned out to have a very interesting – and quite fun – Cisco UCS story. 

 Jeff Stahl of Kindred Healthcare was the early visitor with the unique story. I started off my conversation with Jeff commenting on the complementary “Got Servers?” Cisco t-shirt he had just picked up. Jeff quickly mentioned he was a Cisco UCS customer and in fact was ‘our first’ customer as he has UCS serial # …0001 in his datacenter. What followed over the next few minutes was a fun conversation with Jeff and a few Cisco Engineers hearing about Kindred Healthcare’s UCS experience.

 The Kindred Healthcare case study is available online here – and the benefits they accrued in moving to Cisco’s UCS server platform make a great read:

 For instance, their comments on UCS and management are timely as our UCS Manager solution is up for a “Best of Show” award here at Tech Ed 2012 – “In addition to these savings, the Kindred team was also impressed by the centralized management that UCS offered, including service profiles that ensure consistent configurations. “We evaluated a number of different server solutions, but Cisco UCS really came out on top,” says King. “We didn’t consider the decision a mere hardware upgrade. Rather, UCS presented us the opportunity to truly transform the way we deliver services.”

 Also great to hear and read up on was the savings in overall operating costs and improved licensing compliance for their Microsoft solutions such as SQL Server and SharePoint – “The elastic characteristics of the UCS-based infrastructure have allowed Kindred to temporarily extend its virtualization services … As a result, the company reduced its operational costs by more than $80,000 a month. Kindred also saw Microsoft licensing savings. “We are now able to leverage our existing investment in Microsoft infrastructure service licenses by landing their services on our shared infrastructure, giving us immediate concurrency and the ability to upgrade as desired.”

 To learn more on Cisco’s UCS and Nexus capabilities for Microsoft software, please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

 

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Life in the Fast Lane: A SQL Server Sunday in Orlando and More

June 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm PST

Today as a world-wide launch sponsor Cisco participated in Microsoft’s SQL Server 2012 U.S. Symposium Event “The New World of Data” here in Orlando. The event, held before the start of the big Tech Ed North America show focused, on the new SQL Server 2012 release and its capabilities for supporting data management and business intelligence scenarios.

Cisco has invested with our storage partners EMC and NetApp in key SQL Server solutions offered through our Cisco Validated Design (CVD) program. Based on Cisco UCS for the compute platform and Nexus for the network platform, the CVDs support various SQL Server scenarios such as OLTP, Data Warehouse, and SQL Server consolidations (this is provided through assessment programs available through the Cisco Field).

For those of you attending Tech Ed this week in Orlando, please feel free to drop our Cisco booth, #1613. We’ll have technology demonstrations on: Cisco UCS, UCS Manager, VDI, and Nexus 1000V. Also, register for a chance to win one of our daily prizes -- a trip to live life in the fast lane…so to speak… at the Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World!

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Delivering More from Microsoft’s SQL Server 2008 with Cisco’s UCS Server Family

Guest Post by Raghunath Nambiar (UCS Performance Architect) and Frank Cicalese (UCS Systems Engineer)

Data’s at the heart of all business applications -- whether it be a real-time transaction processing or an enterprise decision support system – we know that data is driving the show.

Microsoft’s SQL Server is the database platform that many enterprises have adopted as it provides a scalable architecture, attractive price points, and supports a multitude of use cases such as OLTP and Data Warehouse configurations as well as providing attractive extensions for Business Intelligence modules.

Over the past several months we’ve seen the Cisco UCS server family support a range of SQL Server use cases resulting in improved performance and cost savings for our customers.  The UCS architecture provides key features that can help improve the quality of the SQL Server services you deliver:  Our extended memory feature and virtualization capabilities are two areas that help improve database performance and raise your SQL Server consolidation ratios.

We have couple of upcoming webinar on Cisco UCS and Microsoft SQL Server that you should attend.  We’ll cover the topics mentioned here and more such as OLTP and Data Warehouse. It’s happening on Tuesday, June 28th @ 7:00am PDT and 10:00am PDT. Registration is at http://www.cisco.com/go/semreg/urls/44768/1

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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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Fearlessly Consume Tier-1 Enterprise Applications in “Clouds without Boundaries”

With an ever growing mobile and distributed workforce, application developers are being tasked to develop applications that can also be remotely accessed by this global workforce. Application developers, with a very basic understanding of networking, assume the network has no boundaries and applications perform optimally regardless of the mode of access. At the same time, cloud computing is enabling applications to be consolidated into centralized and virtualized data centers, further increasing the distance from where the applications are being accessed. Network architects are also being challenged with current network designs for this application deployment and delivery model. The available bandwidth is being taxed as the ever growing applications portfolio competes for network resources to provide a satisfying user experience across the network without boundaries. This application delivery model also demands capabilities for better visibility and control, WAN optimization, and agility of the network to rapidly deploy and manage enterprise applications.

The Cisco Application Velocity solution addresses all the challenges associated with the delivery and consumption of enterprise applications over the network without boundaries. It is one of the five services in Cisco’s Borderless Network Architecture and is composed of innovative Cisco technologies that help IT professionals meet or exceed business SLAs, maximize user experience, optimize resource utilization, and increase reliability and user expectations.

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