“The innovation pipeline is very strong, and you can expect to see announcements in the fall that will continue to accelerate our momentum with UCS and add to our competitive advantage.”
Those are comments from Cisco’s earnings call last week, and on September 4th I hope you will join us for the unveiling of the next wave of Unified Computing that John Chambers was speaking of.
We don’t invoke the term innovation lightly at Cisco. As Frank Palumbo recently talked about, change is the only constant, and our data center customers need to stay in front of that change. What we’re hearing from them often centers on three critical concepts:
1. We need a common operating environment that spans from the data center to the very edge. “Edge” in this sense is used to describe the many worlds that exist beyond the walls of the data center, where the demand for computing power is inexorably growing. For service providers that can mean IT infrastructure located at the Customer Premise. For large enterprise and public sector IT teams the Edge is found in the branch offices, retail locations and remote sites where innovation is exploding with dynamic customer experiences and new ways of doing business. It’s at the wind farm and the end of the drill bit miles below the oil rig. It’s in the “fog” of connected sensors and smart objects in connected cities. And it is the handheld devices that billions of people are using today to consume and generate unprecedented volumes of data and insight, and the 50 billion people and things that Cisco estimates will be connected by 2020.
2. We need a stronger engine to accelerate core applications and power data-intensive analytics. (AKA, “you’re going to need a bigger boat”) The imperative for faster and better decisions has never been greater and the tools to extract the signal from the noise in the data deluge require big horsepower. Recommendation engines, real-time price optimization, personalized location-based offers, improved fraud detection… the list goes on in terms of opportunity created by Big Data and the IoE. All while IT continues to deliver the core applications – that keep business running – uninterrupted and faster than before.
3. We need a common operating environment that spans traditional and emerging applications. Complexity is the bane of innovation and the bane of IT. In addition to the familiar workloads, which are well understood in terms of bare metal scalability and virtual encapsulation, there is growing use of applications architected for massive horizontal scale. In-memory, scale up analytics are being utilized right alongside cloud-scale technologies like MapReduce to tackle different elements of business problems in different ways. Very different architectures, with very different demands on computing infrastructure. The conditions for complexity loom. Will a hero emerge?
When UCS was born it shook up many of the fundamental assumptions of what data center infrastructure should be expected to do and what IT could do to accelerate business. With this launch, history repeats itself, as we work to help customers future proof the data center for change tomorrow and transformation today. Our development team has taken the next stride in the journey of re-inventing computing at the most fundamental levels, to power applications at every scale.
I hope you will join us for the event on 9/4 to see how we’re taking our strategy forward in the data center. We have a bit of a baseball theme in the launch since we’re delighted to be joined by Major League Baseball’s Joe Inzerillo at our event in New York. So follow the conversation at it unfolds over coming weeks with #UCSGrandSlam and #CiscoUCS. The bases are loaded.