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Greetings from Planet Earth: Update on Cisco Unified Computing System

Sometimes, progress necessitates that we look at things in an entirely new light.  To paraphrase Star Trek—if you want to do something groundbreaking, sometimes you have to go boldly where no one has gone before.

Against that backdrop, I wanted to dispel a recent rumor in the marketplace that Cisco has gone (warp drives engaged, presumably) to a place called “Planet Zircon” to sell its industry-first and industry-leading Unified Computing System (UCS).

Leaving aside for a moment that some of our competitors seem to be living in an alternate universe, UCS is actually selling quite well right here on planet Earth.  Our architecture for the virtualized data center, whereby via UCS we unify servers, storage access, networks, and virtualization technologies to drive the value of data center infrastructure to an entirely new level, has gained acceptance from a great number of earthly companies.

But since we’re having fun with science fiction metaphors, let’s suppose you were a time traveler who went back to sneak a peek as Cisco first began developing UCS. You might be forgiven for thinking that Cisco had taken leave of its senses.  But leaving planet Earth? No, our feet were firmly planted here.

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Seeing Is Believing! UCS Advantages Made Visual

Our Technical Marketing Engineers (TMEs) have delivered a library of technical videos, accompanied with voiceover explanations in clear, simple English, to show you how the Unified Computing System really works.  Taken as a whole, this library provides a great functional tour of UCS, but it’s broken down into very digestible, well-defined topics so that you can zero in on topics and features of particular interest.

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Extend flexibility in Your Data Center Architecture with the Data Center Fabric.

March 22, 2011 at 3:00 am PST

“Fabric computing is a fixture on the radar screen of many IT groups, driven by the increased penetration of virtualization and prospects for cloud computing.As virtualization penetration increases, IT organizations will deploy virtual machine (VM) mobility, which will demand more attention to a fabric-based infrastructure that better integrates server, storage and networking for greater agility and faster time to deploy.”  Based on this observation, Gartner George J Reiss and Andrew Butler organized recently a survey to evaluate which vendors are the most credible and ready to address the challenges of virtualization and cloud computing.

Cisco pioneered the vision of Ethernet-based “Unified Fabric” for the data center and has been shipping products to support that vision for over three years. Subsequently it introduced Unified Computing and Unified Network Services, all of which have formed the building blocks for Cisco’s Data Center Fabric.  Competitors have validated Cisco’s vision by scrambling to deliver their own versions of the Fabric.

On March 30th starting at 9:00 am PST, Cisco executives and experts , partners and customers  will supplement this Fabric vision and showcase its evolution, while bringing multiple proof points to bear. And in a pure Cisco spirit, to enrich a very open conversation, we invited the Senior Analyst Andre Kindnesss from Forrester Research who wrote recently about “The Dark Horse In The Datacenter Fabric Race?” and the Program VP Data Center Network Services Cindy Borovick from IDC to share their vision.

If you want to be among (or amongst) the first to know what’s cooking at Cisco, this is your chance ! This event will be live and we hope to hear from you.

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Cloud Computing Brings Sunny Skies for Qwest and Cisco

It has been a long winter for many of us. Nevertheless, the snow is finally melting and it’s an entirely new season for Qwest and Cisco.

Qwest has implemented the Cisco Unified Service Delivery (USD) solution across its CyberCenters. Qwest CyberCentersSM provide a highly-secure, reliable, scalable foundation for the delivery of state-of-the-art hosting for mission-critical enterprise application services.


Qwest VP of Product Management and National Network Services, Eric Bozich, talks about how
Cisco Unified Service Delivery brings new flexibility to cloud service delivery.

The Cisco USD solution helps Qwest optimize its CyberCenter network, application, compute and storage resources, while reducing capital, operating, real estate and energy costs. This creates new economies of scale for Qwest and attractive pay-per-use business models for their enterprise customers. The Cisco Unified Service Delivery is helping Qwest to change the game by bringing new levels of service agility to the cloud.

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How To Turn Up A UCS Over Your Lunch Break…and Still Have Time For Lunch

March 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm PST

Their Version of "Integrated"

So, innovation comes in many forms. You hear me use this space to talk about all sorts of cool new products and technologies, but, sometimes, innovation manifests itself in other ways. One of the points we have always maintained about the Cisco UCS is that it was a clean-sheet design, driven by fresh thinking on what the convergence of network and compute infrastructure should look like. One result of this is that, with UCS, we have a completely new approach to management and operations--almost shocking in its simplicity. While I could wax rhapsodic about this for the next few hundred words, I thought its a story better told by others.

The first story came to me via Michael Heil, aka HeathITGuy. Michael has written numerous times about his positive experiences with the Cisco UCS. Recently, he related the story of adding a chassis to his existing system. Now, bear in mind, I had heard stories that doing this with some of the other “integrated systems” out there actually involves a professional services engagement. In Michael’s case, he gave the job to Jason, someone who joined his team all of a month ago. Michael helped Jason rack the new chassis, but beyond that, Jason was able to do the rest of the turn-up by himself--took all of 27 minutes.

Lest you think that’s a fluke, check out this video by Tjerk Bijlsma and his buddies in Amsterdam:
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