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Cisco UCS Servers – Making Ben Franklin proud

October 25, 2012 at 7:56 am PST

In my first blog post, I highlighted some of the benefits being seen by customers using Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS) from Case Studies. In posts two, three, and four, I discussed reduction in cabling, provisioning times, and power & cooling in more detail. Today’s post will highlight three customers and their reduction in operating costs where, to quote Ben Franklin, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

EDIF Holding SPA– “We have reduced our operating costs by 75 percent while renewing the technology in our IT infrastructure, and we can now offer better continuity of service and a faster response to our customers.” Samuele Cerquetti, CIO

Seven Corners Inc.– “The system paid for itself in less than a year by recouping the more than $1 million the company had been losing annually due to network outages. The company also achieved a $475,000 reduction in operating costs within the first six months of buildout and saved $84,000 instantly by not having to renew software licenses on a number of virtualized servers.”

Avago Technologies – “Ordinarily, expanding from two to three data centers would be expected to increase operational costs by 50 percent. ‘Our operational costs will actually decrease by 40 percent when we expand from two to three data centers.’” Shreyas Shah, Senior Director, Global Information Technology

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Cisco UCS Servers – Watts driving your power and cooling costs?

October 18, 2012 at 10:09 am PST

In my first blog post, I highlighted some of the benefits being seen by customers using Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS) from Case Studies. In posts two and three, I discussed reduction in cabling and provisioning times in more detail. Today I will drill down on power and cooling.

Why are customers seeing a 52% reduction in their power and cooling costs?  Through virtualization, reducing overall server counts, but also through a paradigm shift in what constitutes a server solution with the unification of compute, network, storage access, and management. Cisco’s Unified Fabric condenses up to three parallel networks into one, reducing the number of I/O interfaces, cables, and switch ports.

For blade servers, instead of going with a “mini-rack” chassis architecture, Cisco replaced the intra-chassis switches and management modules with Fabric Extenders (FEX) to transfer the unified fabric from the chassis to the Fabric Interconnects. A FEX is a remote line card and does not act as a switch. Compare this simplicity with a common chassis configuration for a competitor: a pair of Ethernet switches, a pair of Fibre Channel switches, and a pair of chassis management modules.

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

October 11, 2012 at 9:20 am PST

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

October 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm PST

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.

September 27, 2012 at 10:07 am PST

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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