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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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Setting the Record Straight on our UCS Demo Loan Program

A couple of recent media stories suggested that Cisco is “giving away” Unified Computing System trial units in order to accelerate our growth in the data center market.

We wanted to take a moment to let you know these allegations are completely incorrect.

Of the almost 4,000 customers that Cisco has amassed in just eighteen months since we started shipping UCS, every single one is a paying customer.

It is true that many companies have taken advantage of Cisco’s demo loan program, which allows customers to trial UCS for free, but all loaned evaluation units must be returned or bought.

We have never given away UCS equipment– it is loaned, and then must be returned. Also, no loaned units are counted in Cisco’s revenue reporting, only units that have been purchased.

While we’re focused on the facts, I would like to confirm that sales of Cisco’s UCS (introduced just 18 months ago) were up 700 percent last quarter (Q2 FY11) and are on pace to hit $650 million this year!

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Surviving 800,000 E-Mails an Hour Without Breaking a Sweat

March 8, 2011 at 12:05 am PST

I have to admit, I have always been fascinated by e-mail systems. Some of this is rooted in the fact that one of my first jobs was as an All-in-1 administrator—think Office365 running on a DEC VAX. Beyond that, e-mail typifies many of the challenges of the data center: supporting increasing scale, maintaining a consistent user experience, handling ever increasing storage requirements, supporting mobile users and delivering bulletproof availability.

Curious as to what we do at Cisco, I had a chat the other day with Ken Pauley from Cisco IT. Ken has been with Cisco for a little over 4 years, running the Design & Engineering Team for Messaging & Calendaring. He has a 25+ year IT career that has been primarily focused around Messaging & Calendaring technologies for medium to large scale enterprises so he has some useful perspective on things.

By way of background about our Microsoft Exchange environment--last quarter we collectively sent about 900 M messages and received about 870 M messages. Our current environment is deployed in six different locations. From a storage perspective we have 123TB of storage in Richardson, 123TB in two SJ locations, 82TB in Amsterdam, 82TB in Hong Kong and 41TB in Bangalore. Richardson and San Jose both have 3 PODS of servers each, Amsterdam has 2 PODs, the rest have 1 POD each. A POD contains between eight and 20 servers and supports up to 11,200 users. We have about 130 servers supporting e-mail across Cisco.

Omar Sultan: What is the most challenging thing about Cisco’s e-mail environment?

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Optimize the Data Center

March 3, 2011 at 11:30 am PST

CiscoLive London was an incredible trip and gosh it was only 30 days ago – our first little project out of that voyage is TechWiseTV85 our latest episode on Data Center technologies.  Data Center Optimization: The Next Stage is now available for your viewing pleasure in our ‘still has that new website smell’ environment we affectionately call the CVC (Cisco Virtual Connection).

This show was another exercise in self-restraint as the DC team had brought out an amazing selection – if we were hoping that a global show would mean a smaller show…we were out of luck.

So how to narrow it down?

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Cloud Services are a Bright Option for the Enterprise

The Cloud Opportunity
With Cisco Partner Summit happening in New Orleans this week there has been a lot of important news with the announcement of the Cloud Partner Program that enables and encourages Cisco Partners to develop and deliver cloud services being at the top of the list. You can follow the action on the Cisco Channels Facebook page. This announcement might have you wondering what the size of the market for cloud services is and what Enterprise organizations are thinking as they consider the move to services from the cloud.

At Cisco we had these same questions as we were making investment decisions in the systems and solutions that enable organizations to build a cloud service delivery architecture. As a result the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) conducted research that included interviews with enterprise IT decisions makers and key subject matter experts. The study showed that enterprises across many sectors are seriously considering cloud computing. Based on direct feedback from enterprise decision makers, Cisco IBSG estimates that close to 12 percent of enterprise workloads will run in the cloud by the end of 2013 and that this will yield a market for public-cloud services of approximately US$43 billion. Organizations have a few things to consider as they make this migration to the cloud.

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