There’s good pain and there’s bad pain. This pain was the muscle ache after a hard game of flag football. We had wasted some energy but were winning. Our customers were our coaches; they were precise about which parts of our game they loved and which parts they didn’t care for. They loved the management policy engine within UCS Manager but *did not* need the levels of redundancy and resilience in the hardware. And they really … really wished that we added some aspects to our game, specifically improvements to power and space efficiencies. Our customers were either trying to eke out more from their existing data centers or trying to reduce their co-location costs.
So our cloud scale customers,
i) loved our management policy engine
ii) didn’t rely on hardware redundancy/resilience
iii) needed better power and space efficiencies
I’ll note here that during this time we gained incredible respect for our cloud scale customers. These customers are either disrupting traditional industries or are innovators who are reinventing themselves to take advantage of the “internet everywhere” age. That’s a tough business, and whoa is competition fierce! ……. being 2nd best on the internet often means you are a distant loser. Read More »
In mid 2012 just as UCS B-series blade servers were taking off in a big way, we noticed a group of our customers using our core technology very differently than customers in our primary market, enterprise IT. In our primary market customers loved UCS’s stateless computing model, virtualization benefits and the converged offerings with our partners EMC and NetApp. In this other category, customers did not consider those same benefits nearly as important. However UCS Manager’s powerful policy engine got them really excited. UCS Manager gave them a programmatic interface to manage thousands of nodes across dozens of sites globally.
Curious, I started to visit some of these customers. During one such visit, I was walking thru the aisles of their data center and I noticed something I had not ever seen at any of our enterprise IT customers data center. This customer had all UCS chassis single homed to a single Fabric Interconnect, I stopped in my tracks -- really? Isn’t that kind of dangerous? What happens if there’s a failure? Or you have to upgrade? The customer explained to me how a combination of their application architecture and their application instance placement strategy made sure that outages at the rack level could be handled without service disruption. Wow! so we had engineered all kinds of resiliency, dual ported adapters, dual IOMs, dual chassis controllers, clustered Fabric Interconnects … lots and lots of hard engineering work to make our product robust and resilient, and this customer had thrown it all away with one toss… that really hurt. Read More »
In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, Cisco’s CTO, Padmasree Warrior (@padmasree) and Satinder Sethi (VP, UCS Product Management and Data Center Solutions) whiteboard the UCS Grand Slam announcement, and what it means for customers and for the modern data center. Don’t miss this one!
It wouldn’t be Engineers Unplugged without a unicorn challenge, and Padma and Satinder delivered!
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)
If you follow the news in the world of data center you probably noticed a small announcement from Cisco last week regarding the UCS portfolio… :)
To net it out in a simple way, I’ve been telling people that the trail of innovation that Cisco has been blazing with UCS just got a lot wider. That’s because this rollout is all about three key vectors that our customers have guided us to expand on:
Edge-Scale computing: taking UCS to the growing sources of computing demand beyond the core data center and to smaller scale IT organizations with UCS Mini
Padma Warrior and Joe Inzerillo discuss how technology is transforming the #MLB fan experience.
We had a stellar lineup at the event in New York. Our CTO, Padma Warrior, headlined and did a fantastic job setting the context for this wave of innovation in the frame of IoE and Fast IT. Paul Perez followed, explaining the sea change occurring in the application landscape and the customer imperatives guiding development of the UCS platform. Finally, Satinder Sethi stepped us through all the new technology we’ve added to the portfolio. Frank Palumbo hosted the event for us in New York, and I think it’s no coincidence he was rewarded later in the day by a thrilling walk-off win by the Yankees. Note that my last link there is to MLB.com, whose CTO, John Inzerillo, joined our event to share all the cool fan experience technology they’re developing.
I’d like to thank our #CiscoChampions for joining us at the event and bringing their unique and (trust me) unfiltered perspective to the news. Another highlight for me was the opportunity to tour the MLB Advanced Media Center with Matt Eastwood of IDC who joined us in New York to moderate a panel on scale-out computing. Matt, so sorry about the results of the Yankees/Red Sox game…it’s tough to overcome Palumbo-level karma. Having several of our customers and partners at the event really rounded it out, making a special day for everyone that joined us in New York and in the streaming sessions.
Jim Leach (L) and Tech Field Day panel of Cisco Champions.
To hit on all the details, the team has taken a divide-and-conquer approach here on the blog as well as youtube and our other social media venues. In addition to the links above, here are some of the pieces you can check out to learn more. Scanning the #USCGrandSlam hashtag on Twitter is another good way to take a look at the news and reactions.
Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:
John Growdon talked about how partners win big with the new technology solutions that transform how customers deliver IT. These solutions also cut across all market segments with positive and sustained impact to customer businesses and they innovate and grow business too. With the commitment of our partners, Cisco has grown to #1 in the US and #2 worldwide in x86 blade server market. Our hats are off to you!
Additionally, Cisco and Red Hat announced a significant expansion to its partnership, bringing our cloud and integrated infrastructures together with Red Hat’s market leadership and domain expertise of open source and OpenStack – essentially building on-ramps to the Intercloud. This blog from Denny Trevett (@dtrevett) details how Cisco Channel Partners will benefit with opportunities to grow their data center practices. Integrated solutions from Cisco and Red Hat enable partners to drive profitable growth and increase customer value with solutions that drive business outcomes. Cisco and Red Hat will offer enterprise and solution provider customers the most robust and open portfolio of integrated solutions for data center modernization, open hybrid cloud and big data. Read More »