“It’s the end of the server as we know it”. That’s the title of an article published today in Forbes describing the attributes of a new category of systems that Cisco introduced last year called composable infrastructure. In the article Gina Longoria, a senior analyst with of Moor Insights & Strategy, explains the attributes of composable infrastructure. This is a new, disruptive technology that is reshaping the server landscape. Gina provides further details in a report she recently published, “The Journey to Composable Infrastructure”. The report also includes analysis of Cisco’s composable infrastructure strategy and the first two composable products available – the UCS M-Series and C3260.
Disrupt or Be Disrupted
John Chambers, the chairman of Cisco Systems, has been proclaiming to the business world that you must “Disrupt yourself or risk being disrupted by the competition.” The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) development team followed John’s lead last year, when they introduced the first composable infrastructure product in the market, the UCS M-Series. Composable infrastructure is a truly a disruptive technology. It is the beginning of the end of traditional servers as we know them. These systems deliver a new level of software defined infrastructure. Cisco has recently introduced it’s second composable product, the UCS C3260. Both products are supported by the same UCS management software* that is currently used by more than 50,000 customers worldwide. Now other vendors, such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Intel, are introducing composable infrastructure products and joining Cisco in this emerging market.
Attributes of Composable Infrastructure
In the Forbes article, Gina Longoria of Moor Insights, explains, “The servers of yesteryear are no longer able to keep pace with the demands of this new generation of workloads where IT is now a focal point for competitive differentiation.” Gina describes four attributes of composable infrastructure that are detailed in a report she published, “The Journey to Composable Infrastructure”
- Disaggregated programmable infrastructure resources
- Composition and orchestration capabilities
- Robust management and automation framework
- An application-centric solution approach
Gina recently spoke with Todd Brannon, the Director of UCS Marketing, and she elaborated on the points that she made in the Forbes article and her paper. She discusses each of the attributes of composable infrastructure in this video:
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Cisco continues to respond to changing customer requirements. We now offer two composable products, the UCS M-Series modular servers and the UCS C3260 rack server, to address the demands of different applications and workloads. The independent report from Moor Insights evaluates both products. It also assesses Cisco’s strategy and how these products align with the four attributes of composable infrastructure. You can download the free report to learn more about this topic.
Composable infrastructure is the next advance in software defined infrastructure. As Jim Leach, the UCS Director of Platform Strategy and one of the key architects of Cisco’s composable infrastructure products, likes to say, “our customers need us to wrap code around the server, not sheet metal.” By managing the infrastructure as code, you make the infrastructure “application centric”. This is fundamental to Cisco’s broader strategy. It allows you to deploy applications faster by rapidly composing the infrastructure you need in a consistent and predictable way. This results in lower operational costs and greater business agility.
For additional information:
Download the paper, “The Journey to Composable Infrastructure”
Go to www.cisco.com/go/composable
* Cisco UCS C3260 will be supported by a future release of UCS Manager in 2016.
Congrats, great article Ken.
Thanks Ken, very informative!
ucs is the best product out of cisco in the last decade
What is the difference between composable infrastructure and cloud
Thanks for your question. When you ask how composable infrastructure compares to cloud, I am assuming you mean Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS). Gartner defines IaaS as: “…a standardized, highly automated offering, where compute resources, complemented by storage and networking capabilities are owned and hosted by a service provider and offered to customers on-demand. Customers are able to self-provision this infrastructure, using a Web-based graphical user interface that serves as an IT operations management console for the overall environment.” (Gartner’s IT Glossary)
Using this definition, a fundamental difference between composable infrastructure and IaaS is the ability for the customer/end user to provision the infrastructure, typically through a self-service portal. As the Forbes article explains, composable infrastructure is application-centric. The application composes the infrastructure it requires on demand without the need for an administrator or end-user to allocate and provision the resources. This is done through the API and UCS management software in Cisco Composable Infrastructure.
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