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Partners Win Big with Cisco UCS Grand Slam

Cisco has done it again – with the latest Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) launch, Cisco continues to build upon a successful platform while opening new market and business growth opportunities for our partners, and providing a means to address a larger portion of customers’ computing needs. Today, Cisco announced the largest portfolio expansion for Cisco UCS since the launch of the product five years ago. The new platforms will propel partners to a new level in driving customers’ business outcomes.

This is not just another product launch though. The new lineup allows our partners to provide technology solutions that transform how customers deliver IT – across all market segments and with positive and sustained impact to their business.  Here’s what’s new on the product side:

  • UCS Mini provides the full power of Cisco Unified Computing in a smaller, all-in-one solution that is simple, easy to manage, yet expandable.
  • UCS M-Series Modular Servers for Online Content Providers and Cloud Service Providers and for distributed applications in Industrial High Performance Computing (HPC) and Enterprise Grid.
  • Cisco UCS C3160 Rack Server is a modular, capacity-optimized solution ideal for distributed data analytics, unstructured data repositories and media streaming and transcoding.
  • Cisco M4 Generation UCS Rack and Blade Servers are armed with the latest processing power providing increased performance, efficiency and computing density.

With these introductions, Cisco continues to lead the industry with a unified, application-centric approach to computing, but you’re probably already asking, “What does that mean for me?” Well, we are always looking to expand the market for our partners and these additions to the UCS portfolio provide some pretty nice angles to you when you step into the room with customers. Read More »

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Cisco has entered the mission-critical application business

As you have probably noticed,  the Cisco and SAP partnership keeps growing -- Here is some of the recent news

[]  Unisys, RealTech and others install SAP HANA on Cisco UCS

” Manufacturers are struggling with the provisioning of applications into the infrastructure” In this video, Joachim Weide, Director Transformation Services, Unisys talks about SAP HANA on Cisco UCS and explains how the unique capability of UCS helps to run complex SAP landscapes in a virtualized environment .

[] Cisco SAP Competency Center Expansion 

Competency-Center-300x541Recently Cisco expanded its SAP Competency Center in Walldorf Germany to an entire floor in the SAP Partner Port. As part of that expansion, Cisco invited customers and partners to that expansion and offered a customer led workshop while there. Over 200 customers and partners attended this coming out party for Cisco in Walldorf.

This opening also provided an opportunity to gain some valuable insight from these customers and partners, including SAP, about their decision to install SAP HANA on Cisco UCS.

In this video , SAP VP Kevin Chew shares with Jim Mc Hugh, Cisco VP UCS Marketing  the importance of the partnership with Cisco for SAP customers

[] SAP HANA on Cisco UCS

During the opening , Jim McHugh had also a conversation with the head of the Cisco SAP Competency Center Dr Michael Missbach, about the services that Cisco can offer to customers

In this video Dr Missbach talked about the “secured shared network implementation ” of HANA , a new and unique feature provided by the Cisco UCS environment , which allows customers to run several solutions on one UCS platform .

[] Cisco Executive Vice President Sales and Development Rob Lloyd and SAP 

Rob LlyodIn the recent SAP Field Kick-Off Meetings in Singapore, Barcelona, and Las Vegas, SAP had three main focus areas: SAP HANA, Cloud, and Simplicity. Cisco’s  Rob Lloyd was featured in that keynote citing Cisco’s #1 position as a cloud company and their #2 position worldwide for blade servers.

Watch Rob Llyod here 

Cisco continues to advance their position as a mission-critical server platform and is quickly becoming the preferred server platform for SAP

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Building a Trusted SAP HANA Data Center

SAP®HANATM is a next-generation database platform for real-time analytics and applications. Although the in-memory, columnar relational database debuted only recently (in June 2011), it has quickly become the fastest growing product in the history of
SAP AG. Already proven enormously successful for analytics, SAP HANA now supports SAP Business Suite, SAP’s flagship enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. It has also been identified as the focus for innovation for SAP. To prepare for
this eventuality, enterprises are considering ways to make SAP HANA “data center-ready.”

Since SAP HANA is the fastest growing product in SAP history, the data center needs to be trusted as well. Here is a chart on the requirements of SAP as it relates to SAP HANA

The Five Essential Characteristics of a SAP HANA Hardware Platform

SAP_HANA_whitepaper_22Oct2013_Figure1

Find the full story about how SAP HANA users are choosing the Unified Computing System server platform to build their trusted data center in this comprehensive white paper.

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The Sidelines That Had a Big Win

As the Internet of Everything continues to progress and more people, process, data and things begin to connect to each other, it’s getting easier to see how the future will fit together. The pieces of the IoE puzzle will no longer be disparate things, but a single, connected unit with technology at the core.

A great way to demonstrate this connection is to think of everyday situations. A child’s big game is important to any parent, and the CFO of a Fortune 500 company is no exception. But when the CFO is double booked with a meeting and his son’s big soccer game, he might worry how to balance his life at home with his life at work. Thanks to IoE, he doesn’t have to choose.

The Internet of Everything connects the CFO’s phone and car, which communicate to keep him on a conference call with his sales team while he travels to the field. He knows that when home phones become work phones – thanks in part to technology like Cisco Connected Mobile Experience – work can fit in anywhere. At the field, his connected tablet provides updates on the real-time sales data of products sold nationwide. Instead of having to step aside from the game to check in with the office, the CFO can watch his company break the all-time sales record as it happens, virtually with his sales team via Cisco WebEx, while celebrating his son’s win, in person on the sidelines.

And that is just the beginning. Imagine that the soccer ball is instrumented to provide feedback to individual children, helping them to improve their game, while at the same time providing the coach with play-by-play replays on his tablet. Video feeds of the game can be sent to grandmothers in other states so they can watch their grandchildren play. And as the play clock ticks down, uniforms monitor the kids’ vitals to ensure no one gets dehydrated, sending alerts to the parent volunteers when a child needs an extra water break.

This is the kind of experience the Internet of Everything is making possible. Explore the interactive image above to learn more. No longer must people choose between things such as work and play. IoE is integrating the two, creating opportunities for flexibility, security and real-time success.

Tell me, how can you see IoE making a difference in your world? Leave a comment here or join the conversation on Twitter to add your thoughts.

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Evolving Cisco’s Unified Computing System for Big Data and the Internet of Everything

Evolving Cisco UCS for Big Data and the Internet of Everything

Image credit: imediaconnection.com

In an earlier blog, I discussed the incredible success behind the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) in Darwinian evolutionary terms.  Since I wrote that blog three months ago, we’ve continued to grow rapidly and have strengthened our position as the #2 blade server player worldwide from 19.3% to 21.5% revenue share (per IDC 2CQ2013 server market tracker, September 2013), with 33.9% revenue share in the US.

Prediction – The #1 spot is well within our reach sooner than you may think.

As we grow our installed base with roughly 1,000 new customers every month, our conversations about the future of UCS have taken an interesting turn. Until now in what I’ll call the “UCS 1.0” phase, Cisco focused on virtualization and private cloud as the dominant use cases that were top-of-mind for industry CIOs and we struck a resonant chord based on our growth – just look at our numbers.

We were market makers with expanded-memory 2-socket Intel EX blades (remember the B230’s?), which were gobbled up like candy into large-scale VDI deployments much to the surprise of the industry. We also jump-started a very attractive RISC-to-x86 migration practice, including Cisco IT’s own production environment: a 40TB mission-critical database that ran on HP Superdomes – a “circle of life” moment for me since Superdome was my program from 1999-2003.

We’ll continue leading in customer value for our original design centers, but we are now focusing on market expansion with what we call “UCS 2.0”, expanding into data-intensive, mission critical, analytics and service provider cloud environments with an increased level of R&D funding and strong corporate support from our top executives.

Prediction – You’ll see us more focused on architectural solutions for key industry vertical markets with tuned solution environments that leverage Cisco’s wide portfolio and that of our partners.

One such act of support is the announcement today of our intent to acquire WHIPTAIL, a leading solid-state systems company that boasts the highest scalability in performance and capacity of any scale-out flash vendor on the market today.  WHIPTAIL systems span from single-node entry products to 30-node behemoths that drive almost 400TB’s of flash, 40GB/sec of bandwidth and 4 million random R/W IOPS – for starters.

Prediction: Cisco will unseat Infiniband with low-latency Ethernet fabrics. Check out our USNIC technology for starters…

In our customer interactions it became very clear they view application acceleration using persistent solid-state memory as a use case that belongs in the server tier, not the storage tier.

In an application-centric world, we started thinking not about server vs. storage infrastructure, but how applications viewed data – hot “important right now” data, warm “may be of interest data” and cold “let’s keep it around for background mining or compliance” data.

We arrived at the conclusion that UCS needed to be best-in-class at accelerating hot data layers. Hot data is closest to applications and therefore has high affinity for the server tier.  Hence WHIPTAIL.

Assertion: Flash is a “boundary technology” that can be viewed as part of the memory or storage hierarchy. With respect to storage it’s faster and more expensive per GB. With respect to DRAM memory it’s slower but cheaper per GB. It therefore allows cost/performance arbitrage for applications by applying an accelerated persistent data model that can save on DRAM and de-complicate underlying permanent backing stores.

WHIPTAIL is a great fit with the fabric computing UCS architecture and also complementary to our C-Series rack mount servers and our SingleConnect capability in our UCS Manager that allows mixed-density blade/rack deployments to be managed from a common pane of glass.

Our intent is to fully integrate UCS computing and WHIPTAIL solid-state technologies over a Nexus fabric to create scalable persistent memory systems. That’s our vision.

Why? Because customers will be able to do things they could not before. Such as loading vast amounts of data in seconds and minutes, not hours or days – or -- shrinking their performance footprint to a rack vs. 30 racks – or -- accelerating Hadoop on all solid-state infrastructure – or -- extending in-memory analytics to a scale previously not thought possible. That’s why.

As converged infrastructure advances as an ensemble computing architecture, boundary technologies like solid-state memory can be viewed as part of the memory or the storage hierarchy. Cisco’s point of view is to make it part of the memory hierarchy in the compute tier. That allows customers the best of both worlds – performance acceleration for applications while retaining their investment in permanent backing stores and simplifying their overall data center total cost of ownership (TCO).

To close on a Darwinian note, if UCS existed in the Cretaceous Period it would have been a Velociraptor  (meaning ‘swift seizer’)– sleek, fast and ferocious – eating everything in its path.  Velociraptors are believed to have hunted in packs, which is great considering the strong partner ecosystem that Cisco and UCS have built with industry leaders like EMC, NetApp and VCE as shining examples. We are committed to maintaining and expanding our hunting pack – more on that later!

if Cisco UCS existed in the Cretaceous Period it would have been a Velociraptor

if Cisco UCS existed in the Cretaceous Period it would have been a Velociraptor. Image credit: dark.pozadia.org

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