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Curse You, UCS

June 1, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

I’m shaking my fist at the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).  It’s making me let go of a Data Center solution that worked well in the past.

I worked for years on Cisco’s team that designed and managed our Data Centers.  In the early 2000s, hardware compaction strongly influenced our physical design.  Every few weeks it seemed a different manufacturer debuted a new server smaller and more powerful than its predecessor.  We could fit more gear into our cabinets and so found we had a lot more cabling to manage.  This was especially challenging in legacy Data Centers with cables routed below the under-floor plenum.  More cabling meant less airflow.  

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News@Cisco Week in Review and Look Ahead: May 23-27

Happy Friday Everyone! With the United States Memorial Day approaching this weekend, the Cisco Veteran’s Employee Resource Group (VETS ERG) is preparing care packages to send to deployed military service members. As part of that drive, Cisco assembled a video of Cisco employees saying “Thank you!” to all of our deployed troops. Happy Memorial Day!

It was another busy week! Check out our top news stories.

1.) Cisco UCS Changes Landscape

In just two years, sales of Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) are outpacing market growth for x86 blades and Cisco has become the #3 player worldwide in x86 blade server factory revenue. Check out this infographic to learn more about the progress of UCS.

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Cisco UCS: Beating the Odds

May 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm PST

When the odds are against you, there are two roads you can take:
1. Buy into the negativity and become a self-fulfilling prophecy or
2. Persevere to rise above the adversity and exceed everyone’s expectations.

When Cisco joined the server party several years ago and set out to design a new system that addressed our customer’s power, management, and server administration costs challenges, the cynics said, “It couldn’t be done.”

Then, when Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS), a new system that blended compute, network, storage access and virtualization into a single unit, was announced two years ago, skeptics predicted that it would never succeed.

Now, less than two years after UCS first shipped in July 2009, Cisco holds the third position in global market share in x86 blade server factory revenue as of Q1 CY11, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, May 2011. Furthermore, businesses worldwide shifted over 10% of the x86 blade market to UCS, and in the U.S. nearly 20%, as mentioned in Cisco’s Vice President of Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit Soni Jiandani’s blog post.

This information comes on the heels of last week’s exciting announcement, Cisco UCS B250 M2 Blade Server won the “Best of Show” award in the Hardware and Storage category at Microsoft TechEd 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.

I’ll let you guess which road Cisco took to beat the odds.

We couldn’t have done it…without our partners! Read More »

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Cisco Unified Computing System Achieves a Major Milestone

Infographic: Cisco UCS Market ShareIt’s been an exciting two years since we introduced the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) solution to the world. UCS provides virtualized compute and networking with simple management. I want to congratulate our service provider customers on their successes in delivering differentiated services, with UCS as the foundation, in their markets. I would also like to extend our thanks to our business partners, both channel partners and those with complementary product offerings, for their expertise and ability to help accelerate this truly innovative idea across the data center and cloud industry.

In two short years, Cisco has risen to the #3 player in the fastest growing segment of the x86 server market.

Released yesterday, the IDC press release on Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker Q1 2011 highlights the UCS uptake by our customers and partners and shows a great start to our vision for UCS in every SP, enterprise, and public sector organization looking for a world-class scalable, flexible, and powerful converged server platform. The rapid growth from launch to #3 in the industry for x86 blade servers in such a short time indicates two points:  First, that the data center industry was crying out for real technology innovation and, second, that innovative customers are willing to embrace a new paradigm when the business benefits delivered are compelling.

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Cisco servers? They said UCS would never succeed…

Two years ago, we started something that many in the industry said was crazy.  We delivered a new system that united compute, network, storage access and virtualization into one cohesive system.  There was rampant speculation that Cisco had taken a crazy path to doom and destruction.

Yet, today I’m proud to share that in just two years, sales of the Unified Computing System are outpacing market growth for x86 blades, and Cisco has become the #3 player worldwide in x86 blade server factory revenue. *

Blades are forecast to be the fastest growing segment of the x86 server market** and market data illustrates the impact of UCS innovation:   businesses worldwide shifted over 10% of the x86 blade market to UCS, and in the U.S. nearly 20%.  Cisco’s rapid growth underscores our leadership in the industry transition to fabric computing and converged infrastructure.  On our most recent earnings call, Cisco reported 5,400 UCS customers and an annualized order run rate of $900M for UCS product orders.

As we began our design efforts, we knew we couldn’t set out to design simply another server.  We heard from our customers that power, management, and server administration costs were sapping their budgets, leaving few resources for innovation.  So we included customers in R&D sessions to help us design from the ground up an evolutionary new system that integrated networking and management:  flexible and scalable enough to handle any workload.  We aimed to create the ideal, programmable, platform for virtualized and cloud environments, and to help solve many of the very real challenges they faced.

Today’s market share news demonstrates our approach is taking hold.  But this is just the beginning:  we are committed to evolving UCS and delivering continued technology innovation.  Thanks for joining us on this journey – we have leagues more innovation ahead of us. ***

* IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, May 2011

** IDC Q4 CY10 Server Forecaster

*** If you’d like to learn more, below you’ll find additional information on UCS milestones, product awards and customer comments

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