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Cisco UCS Servers – From the loading dock to production in no time at all

In my first blog post, I highlighted some of the benefits being seen by customers using Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS®) from Case Studies. In the second post, I discussed reduction in cabling in more detail. Today I will drill down on provisioning.

A reduction in time to provision and deploy servers is the benefit most often cited by customers. This is accomplished with UCS Manager. Cisco UCS Manager integrates the management interfaces for server, network, and storage access into a single unified tool. UCS Manager uses a building block approach combing pools, polices, and templates into Service Profiles. Service Profiles allow you to configure over 120 settings that make up a server’s “personality” enabling one-click deployment.

Here are three customer examples.

Basefarm – The crucial feature of Cisco UCS Manager is its use of service profiles to provision server resources, enabling infrastructure to be provisioned in minutes instead of days. “What Cisco has done with server profiles is brilliant,” says Månsby. “You can’t have a server online without storage and network, so it makes perfect sense to package all three administrative functions into a single interface. It’s all about resource efficiency: if server, storage, and network are three different phases, then you spend three times as long on a deployment or change as you would using Cisco UCS. And time is money.” Stefan Månsby, Chief Business Development Officer

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With Cisco UCS Servers, less is more – the art of cable reduction

In my previous blog post, I highlighted some of the benefits being seen by customers using the Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS®) from Case Studies. Today I will drill down on cable reduction.

Why are customers seeing an 80% reduction in cabling and 75% in associated costs? Using a 10 Gigabit Ethernet unified network fabric – Cisco’s unified fabric technology reduces cost by consolidating Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and management.  This “unification” eliminates the need for multiple separate sets of adapters, cables, and switches for LANs, SANs, and high performance computing networks. Cisco’s Unified Fabric uses a low-latency, lossless 10-Gbps Ethernet/FCoE foundation that enables a “wire-once” deployment model in which changing I/O configurations no longer means installing adapters and re-cabling racks and switches.  With Cisco UCS you just add cables.

Here are three customer examples.

Hay Group – “With the Cisco UCS, we consolidated from 540 to 12 cables, a 44-to-1 ratio,” says Butler. [Robert Butler, Global CIO Hay Group]

Galliker Transport AG – “Where we previously needed 80 cables, we now only need eight: a reduction by the factor of ten. This not only cuts down the investment required, it also simplifies scalability. Installation and maintenance work are also substantially reduced.”

NetApp – In addition, using the converged network adapter on the Cisco UCS instead of separate Ethernet and Fibre Channel adapters enabled the company to decrease the cable count by 78 percent, from 1440 to 250.

 

For more information on how Cisco UCS is delivering on Cisco’s Unified Computing Vision, see the At-A-Glance.

Would you like to learn more about how Cisco UCS can help you? There are more than 250 published datacenter case studies on Cisco.com. Additionally, there is a TCO/ROI tool that will allow you to compare your existing environment to a new UCS Solution. For a more in-depth TCO/ROI analysis, contact your Cisco partner.

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Yes, Cisco UCS servers are that good.

Cisco publishes a large number of customer references in the forms of Case Studies, Solution Briefs, etc. It can be a very time consuming task to read through all of them to find out just how much Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS®) is helping our current customers, and how it might also help you. I decided to take on the task of trying to quantify the savings our customers told us they achieved with UCS versus their old legacy environment. The list below summarizes the average of these tangible results.  These results are limited to where the customers specifically stated a savings or where the savings is easily derived from the numbers stated.

When Cisco announced its new data center architecture in 2009, among the stated goals were: reducing the total cost of ownership, improving business agility and energy efficiency, and less cabling. Now on our third generation of servers, it is clear Cisco exceeded its own expectations.

Would you like to learn more about how Cisco UCS can help you? There are more than 250 published data center case studies on Cisco.com. Additionally, there is a TCO/ROI tool that will allow you to compare your existing environment to a new UCS Solution. For a more in-depth TCO/ROI analysis, contact your Cisco partner.

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Video: Helping Government Agencies Ensure Safer Communities and More Efficient Services for Citizens

Global government agencies are benefiting from video technologies to help ensure safer communities, reduce costs, and deliver more efficient services for citizens.

National security, public safety and emergency response organizations face challenges and increasing demands to help ensure safety and security.  In a crisis situation, every second counts. Potentially life-threatening situations change in a heartbeat, and decisions must be made in seconds.  Video surveillance technologies enhance situational awareness and act as a force multiplier to scale critical resources.

Video technologies are also helping government organizations scale and increase efficiency and to better serve citizens.

Video can help protect people and communities, it can also help improve the delivery of citizen services and streamline traffic flows on congested highways.   Linking the intelligent network of real-time video sensors helps government agencies capture intelligence and deliver services for citizens.

A great example is in Dallas, Texas.  See how the Dallas County Tax Office:

  • Ensures security for citizens and staff
  • Increases tax revenue collection for the county
  • Adjusts citizen services and staffing support with real-time adjustments
  • Prevents fraud
  • Provides for remote viewing from multiple locations to study effectiveness of policies and procedures

This week at ASIS 2012,  Cisco introduced Cisco Video Surveillance Manager 7.0 that delivers hyperscalable, flexible, and comprehensive physical security solutions.  The Cisco Video Surveillance Manager 7.0 is certified for Cisco virtualized Unified Computing System (UCS) environments .  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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