The nature of technology is innovation. Innovation challenges the norm, creating new ways to do things; and disrupting and displacing established ways with better methods and even whole paradigm shifts that completely change how the world operates. It is not that unusual for a new company to create a new market with an innovative idea, product or service and transform itself from a small startup into a multi-billion-dollar company. Recent examples include: Facebook, Netflix, etc.

It is rare to find instances where a large enterprise enters an established market and disrupts it with an innovative product. A recent example is Apple’s iPhone disrupting the mobile phone market. Another such example is Cisco UCS disrupting the server market, growing from zero to 60,000 customers and #1 market share in the x86 blade server market in just a few years. Cisco UCS disrupted the market by changing the way enterprises think about how to deploy and manage infrastructure across their environment by creating a fully programable infrastructure that encompasses compute, storage and network.

Since the early days of Cisco UCS, rather than build individual components, we focused on creating a ‘system’ providing a single management entity freeing enterprises to focus on business needs rather than infrastructure management. Along the way, we built partnerships with major ISVs, such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP. Several notable achievements: ranked #1 in converged systems server revenue in 2016; ranked #1 platform of choice for SAP HANA; plus several Number 1 performance and price-performance records. Another notable achievement is the growth of our analytics business – fifteen times growth in the last four years. Our analytics portfolio includes Apache Hadoop, ITOA and Internet of Things analytics. According to IDC Cisco customers reported substantial value through Big Data operations with the Cisco UCS solutions – on an average 366% ROI in three-year return on investment. We’ve been successful in the analytics space because our strategy has been 100% aligned with industry trends. Stay tuned for solutions for machine learning and deep learning.

In my earlier blogs, I’ve talked about the pillars of digital transformation: the power derived from connecting people, processes and things, and the creation of value through data analytics. Cisco is uniquely positioned to deliver intelligent infrastructure allowing enterprises to turn data into insight either through real-time stream processing or historical analysis.

Today, I’m excited to announce our 5th Generation of Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Analytics. It builds on the architectural superiority of the previous generation, which has been widely adopted across major industry verticals including: agriculture, education, entertainment, finance, healthcare, industrial, insurance, manufacturing, public-sector and utilities.

Our fifth generation offering continues to build upon our proven track record of performance leadership and features complete solutions with industry-leading partnerships, incorporating: new Cisco UCS M5 servers powered by Intel Skylake family of processors; broad support for hard disk drives, SSDs and NVMe; and 40-Gbps connectivity delivering significant performance and efficiency gains.Our reference architectures are carefully designed, optimized and tested with the leading big data and analytics software to achieve a balance of performance and capacity to address specific application requirements. These reference architectures, offered as solutions, are supported with leading software partners including Cloudera, Couchbase, DataStax, Elastic, Hortonworks, IBM, MapR, MemSQL, Pivotal, SAP, SAS and Splunk.

You can deploy these configurations as is or use them as templates for building custom configurations. You can scale your solution as your workloads demand, including expansion to thousands of servers through the use of Cisco Nexus® 9000 Series Switches.  The configurations vary in disk capacity, bandwidth, price, and performance characteristics. Base configurations for each solution are listed in Table 1.


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Raghunath Nambiar

No Longer with Cisco