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Unified Fabric for a Backup Server

Outside of that large, black, monolithic machine in the middle of the datacenter referred to as the mainframe, there aren’t that many servers that require as many network and storage connections as the backup server.  It’s not really sexy, it’s not computing Pi, generally doesn’t run a hypervisor and is bought with one goal in mind, move data. Not just some data, but a lot.  These machines often move all of the data in your datacenter off of disk and onto tape, either real or virtual.  In many datacenters, these backup servers are sometimes the only non-x86 platforms left due to their ability to contain high numbers of HBAs for SAN connectivity and NICs for network connectivity.   They’re like the tractors of the datacenter. Read More »

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Cisco Build and Price Gives Customers Access to Blade Server and Rack Server Prices

It’s no secret that Cisco Unified Computing Sytem (UCS) has had some tremendous success in terms of customer adoption.  In just three short years, UCS is nipping at the heals of IBM for the #2 spot for Worldwide x86 blade server revenue with 15.2% market share, compared to IBM’s 15.4%.  In fact, Cisco now has over 15,000 customers that have moved from legacy architectures to a more “Unified” approach, combining compute, network and storage access into a single, easy to manage solution. 

 So what’s missing? 

Well, believe it or not, until now it was relatively hard to do business with Cisco.  Quoting and ordering took days instead of minutes.  Well Cisco is changing that with the release of its new online presence called “Cisco Build and Price“, offering direct access to blade server pricing and rack server pricing.

A Simple Approach to Building and Pricing Cisco UCS Servers

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Cisco UCS Technology Innovation Drive OpEx and CapEx Savings for Microsoft Environments

It’s been a busy week as Cisco has been active with Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 launch activities around the world. We’ve spoken with customers at events in Toronto and New York City with many more in person and digital events to go…

While the week’s focus was on Windows Server 2012 and the datacenter, I thought I would orient this post on how our UCS server family architecture is already benefitting customers in their own Microsoft focused environments. Below is a snippet of metrics, all from publicly available Cisco case studies, and they each demonstrate how Cisco UCS not only advances your data center forward technically but also drives efficiencies in OpEx and CapEx budget spend:

  • 97%Young America. Increased their server virtualization rate from 20% to 97%.
  • 80%National FFA – This nation-wide organization significantly per server reduced management time.
  • 70%Secure 24 – U.S. based service provider saw a tremendous reduction in datacenter cabling.  
  • 66%Microsoft – One of Microsoft’s Redmond, WA based datacenter achieved double digit power savings.
  • 40%Human Kinetics – Illinois based health and lifestyle firm recognized a large reduction in server acquisition costs.
  • 12 weeks to 10 minutesING Direct (Australia) – Large financial firm experienced a drop in the time needed to provision a new banking environment.
  • 2 Days to 2 hoursVolunteer State Community College – Tennessee based college improved the time required to deploy a desktop for students.
  • $1,575 to $80Slumberland – Mattress retail firm in the U.S. achieved a reduction in per server management cost.

Cisco’s UCS server family, as well as our other datacenter assets such as our Nexus switch family and Cisco Advanced Services, support the full range of Microsoft environments – Windows Server, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, and VDI. For virtualization, we’re hypervisor agnostic, too so Hyper-V, VMware, etc. are equally supported.  Bottom line is  Cisco technology will help create a better datacenter for you while also being friendly to your OpEx and CapEx budget spend.

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Nexus 1000V Provides Cloud Switching to New Windows Server 2012 Platform

Windows Server 2012 logoToday marks the general availability of the eagerly-awaited Microsoft Windows Server 2012 platform.  According to Microsoft, “Windows Server 2012 redefines the server category, delivering hundreds of new features and enhancements spanning virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation, and more.”  Earlier Cisco blog posts discussed how Cisco has collaborated with Microsoft to achieve Windows 2012 certification for our UCS servers, as well as integrating our management tools into Microsoft System Center and PowerShell.

Microsoft Build Conference 2011 - Demo of Nexus 1000V virtual switchIn this post, I’d like to highlight the integration of the Nexus 1000V virtual switch into the Windows Server 2012 platform, and particularly the Hyper-V hypervisor. We have been working closely with the Windows Server 2012 team for the past few years towards this goal, and announced Nexus 1000V and VM-FEX support for it at the Microsoft BUILD conference last year.  Read More »

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Day One: Cisco and Microsoft Windows Server 2012




Today Microsoft launches Windows Server 2012 with various digital and in person activities occurring  around the world showcasing their new operating system and cloud platform.  This new release will open up new technical and business scenarios for IT organizations focusing on virtualization and private-cloud initiatives.

Cisco has been actively working with Microsoft at the technical level on Windows Server 2012 integration for some time with our UCS fabric computing, UCS Management, and Nexus networking solutions.

As we have discussed in prior blog postings our UCS Manager offering is tightly integrated with System Center and PowerShell and we will include System Center SP1 support for Windows Server 2012 interoperability. With Hyper-V’s new extensible switch in Windows Server 2012, Cisco’s Nexus 1000V switch family provides new flexible virtual networking capabilities for Network Administrators affording them improved network efficiency and utilization.

Finally, on this ‘Day One’ of Windows Server 2012 we are pleased to announce that our UCS family of Intel-based servers is hardware certified by Microsoft for Windows Server 2012.  This “Certified for Windows Server 2012” logo demonstrates that our UCS server family meets Microsoft’s highest technical bar for Windows fundamentals and platform compatibility – meaning peace of mind for you.

To learn more on Cisco’s growing Microsoft solutions for Windows Server 2012, virtualization, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server please visit

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