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Wristwatches, Bicycle Helmets, and VDI…

A long time ago, it used to be comforting, to hear the words “One Size Fits All”.  As though our interests were surely represented within that catch-all, assuring us that we weren’t going to get left out in the rain.  You could safely make that impulse-driven purchase, bring it home (or have it delivered), and know with certainty, that you wouldn’t be disappointed.  It’s almost laughable to think that we subscribed to this way of thinking for about 50 years.  But thankfully, we live, work and play in a world where it’s not about one-size-fits-all, and the only things we’ll accept as such, are wristwatches, and bicycle helmets! (unless you have a gargantuan sized cranium)

And so it is with your IT environment – “One-Size-Fits-All” feels too much like hand-cuffs (which coincidentally are also one-size-fits-all).  We’ve done away with the notion that a solution that’s optimized for a Fortune 500, is going to be at all suitable for a medium-sized business with almost 1,000 employees.  While both organizations might have a strategic imperative around workspace mobility, and have set out to virtualize the desktops of say, 5% of their workforce, they’ll approach this problem in two completely different ways.

  • One of these organizations will have an extensive , multi-tiered networking and security infrastructure, optimized for virtual machine traffic, the other may not.
  • One of these organizations will have a mature SAN infrastructure in place, with embedded resources and expertise, and lots of existing mission-critical data already housed there.  The other may not.
  • One of these organizations will have a high percentage of virtualized workloads and a highly automated/orchestrated environment for rapidly spinning up new infrastructure.  The other may not.

Carchpicertainly these two environments are not going to take the same solution approach to deploying virtual desktops?  They will however, share many of the same key objectives/demands: future proof scalability, resiliency, streamlined provisioning and operations, consistent user experience for the 1st user as well as the 1000th.  And they’ll want all of this with the lowest possible TCO.

 

Last month, Cisco introduced our expanwebcastded suite of solution architectures for desktop virtualization.  This portfolio was struck with the objective of ensuring our customers would never have to settle for a One-Size-Fits-All approach to deploying VDI, recognizing that they’re deploying this solution from a multitude of possible starting points in their IT maturity.  With four new solution architectures, each built on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), and each backed by design guides and reference configurations co-developed with industry-leading partners in storage and storage-optimization technologies, we’ve taken the risk and guesswork out of choosing the deployment methodology that’s right-sized for your organization.  Check out my friend Ashok’s more detailed post on the new reference architecture portfolio.

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Cisco Achieves #2 Worldwide in the x86 Blade Server Market

Nobody thought the ‘plumbers’ could succeed in compute …

The numbers are in – across the board Cisco is posting strong results and tracking unprecedented momentum in the server market.  With Cisco’s Q3 financial earnings announcement reporting 77% Y/Y growth in Data Center and now the latest IDC Server Tracker results [view UCS Advantage], Cisco is proving to be a formidable force in the compute space. In less than four years after entering a market with very well-established competitors, Cisco has captured the #2 worldwide share position in x86 blade servers*.

The industry has seen businesses shift over 19% of the global x86 blade market to Cisco UCS, and over 28% in the US.  In the recent earnings announcement, Cisco reported more than 23,000 unique UCS customers worldwide, representing a customer growth number of 89% Y/Y.

This is not luck …

This is about the value that Cisco is providing our customers.  Although we develop products using the same industry standard hardware & software as our competitors, Cisco continues to grow market share.  This is attributed Cisco’s unique & innovative approach to providing an open, standards-based data center network architecture and ecosystem that maintains customer choice. We are increasing business value while substantially decreasing the total cost of ownership (TCO).  With Cisco Unified Computing System, we are truly evolving the way customers approach the data center, focused on consolidating resources, accelerating server deployment, and simplifying management – flexible and scalable for any workload.  It’s that simple.

You hear a lot of buzz words around the industry. But when it comes down to the numbers, Cisco is driving real results for real customers [click to enlarge]:

DrivingResults

Here is just some of what we are hearing from our customers:
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Cisco Innovation Three-peats and Doubles at Microsoft Tech Ed 2013!

BOTE2013_Winner_ProdAwardsThis afternoon here in New Orleans at Microsoft’s Tech Ed 2013 North America event Cisco was honored with two Best of Tech Ed (BoTE) awards for our innovation and technology.

Our Nexus 1000V switch for Microsoft Hyper-V was awarded with a Best of Tech Ed award in the ‘Virtualization’ category. Our FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud reference architecture, developed jointly with our strategic partner NetApp, was recognized with the Best of Tech Ed award in the “Systems Management” category.

This is the third year in a row that Cisco innovation has been recognized by the Tech Ed judges and attendees – a rare three-peat! In 2011 our UCS B250 solution was recognized with a BOTE award in the hardware category. In 2012 our UCS Manager platform was recognized with the BOTE Breakthrough Technology award.

Nexus 1000V extends Cisco’s networking benefits to your Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V deployments. It offers a consistent operational model across your physical and virtual environments. As a distributed virtual switching platform, it provides advanced features and is tightly integrated with the Hyper-V Extensible Switch. Here’s some very good blog post links from Cisco Product Manager Gary Kinghorn to help you learn more on our Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V Switch – Blog 1, Blog 2.

FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud is a Microsoft validated Fast Track 3.0 reference architecture for Microsoft private clouds based on Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012. Developed and marketed with our strategic storage partner NetApp, FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud can help to jumpstart your IT. infrastructure projects for Windows Server 2012 with confidence and support. Here’s a Cisco Data Center guest blog on FlexPod from NetApp Product Manager Calvin Neih.

To learn more about Cisco’s award-winning Microsoft solutions and technologies please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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Why I love working trade shows like Microsoft TechEd for Cisco

I have lost count of the number of trade shows I’ve worked over my career. But working trade shows for Cisco over the past 14 months has been a uniquely positive experience. Microsoft TechEd North America 2013 makes my 5th show evangelizing Cisco UCS and our solutions.

I have been able to have long (sometimes up to 45 minutes) conversations with potential customers who have heard about UCS and want to learn more. Their reactions on how Cisco does it differently from others in the industry is an eye-opener for them – whether it the technology or the economics of the solution. They all walk away saying they are going to have to dig deeper into our solutions and contact their account team / partner.

It has become almost embarrassing the amount of praise our current customers heap on us when they come by the booth. Embarrassing because I’m just a very small part of what makes UCS successful; Cisco has a very strong team behind UCS and I wish they all could hear the great things the customers are saying about their experiences.

There are still two days left to stop by the Cisco booth and learn about:

  • UCS
  • UCS Solutions FlexPod, VSPEX, Exchange, SQL Server
  • UCS Manager
  • Nexus 1000V
  • VM FEX
  • Cisco Email Security

CiscoUCS_MSTechEd_Small

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EMC and Cisco……a Powerful Partnership for Microsoft Private Cloud

adrian_simays_emcGuest post by Adrian Simays, Director of Technical Enablement for Microsoft at EMC Corporation.

It’s a great week in New Orleans….great food, awesome Jazz, funky hats…and a powerful partnership with Cisco.  And the week is getting even better.…at Microsoft TechEd, EMC announced the latest VSPEX solutions for Microsoft.

So what is the big news?  We announced the expansion of the VSPEX portfolio to include support for Exchange 2013 and SharePoint 2013.  This announcement extends the VSPEX support for SQL Server we announced at Microsoft Management Summit in April.  VSPEX provides infrastructure for customers looking to gain the benefits of converged infrastructures, leveraging EMC storage systems and next-generation backup products, while at the same time gaining more choice in individual stack components, including virtualization, server, and network technologies.  These VSPEX configurations enable customers to leverage the power of EMC with Cisco’s UCS servers and industry leading networking to radically simplify private cloud deployments. Cisco UCS combines high-performance computing, networking, virtualization, and storage-access resources into a single unified system. This solution helps organizations quickly move toward a more cost-effective private cloud environment.

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