The growth of cloud, mobility, and Internet of Things is accelerating change in the data center. The challenge is to have IT infrastructure that can keep pace with this change. IT leaders want infrastructure that is easy to deploy, increases operational efficiency, and offers the versatility to meet the dynamic requirements of the business.

In order to address these challenges, Cisco and IBM are joining forces to introduce the VersaStack solution, a new integrated system that combines the performance and innovation of Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure—which includes the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), ACI-Ready Cisco 9000 Nexus switches, Cisco MDS switches, and Cisco UCS Director—with the versatility and efficiency of the IBM Storwize V7000 storage.


Why now?
It’s actually quite simple: market momentum and customer demand. Cisco is the leader in the integrated systems segment based on the tremendous success of Cisco UCS. Integrated systems help customers accelerate the time it takes to deploy IT infrastructure and integrate new technologies while reducing risk. Our mutual customers and channel partners have been asking for an integrated system that combined Cisco UCS with IBM Storewize.

What is available today?
The first reference architecture (or Cisco Validate Design) is targeted at virtualized infrastructure by combining Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure and IBM Storwize V7000 storage with VMware vSphere hypervisor. The solution connects Cisco UCS and networking in a redundant, high available configuration with IBM Storwize V7000 storage delivering real-time compression and data analytics capabilities that increases storage utilization and performance.

What can we expect in the future?
One of the exciting things about VersaStack is that it provides a foundation for innovation between Cisco and IBM. The VersaStack solution will provide a platform to bring our unique capabilities together. Obviously, Cisco and IBM both bring more to the table than network, compute and storage technologies. For instance, Cisco will provide innovative technologies such as Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Intercloud Fabric (ICF). IBM will contribute software tools for network and information management, big data and analytics, and mobility. Essentially we have the opportunity to innovate together beyond the hardware stack. The goal of the VersaStack solution is to deliver an integrated system that will simplify cloud, big data and mobility deployments.

How can customers get their hands on VersaStack?
The VersaStack solution is a meet-in-the-channel model. There’s significant overlap between Cisco and IBM channel communities and qualified channel partners will be able to sell, deploy and support VersaStack. IBM Global Services will also offer VersaStack to its customers. Additionally, Cisco Capital and IBM Global Financing are providing financing solutions that covers all components of the VersaStack solution. One contract for hardware, software, and services provides customers with a simplified payment structure, accelerated return on investment, and lifecycle management options.

What is the support model for VersaStack?
Support teams from Cisco, IBM and our VersaStack software partners have all implemented support processes to enable speedy resolution of customer VersaStack issues through standard product support processes. For customers who want a more comprehensive support offering Cisco offers Solution Support for Data Center Critical Infrastructure. The Cisco Solution Support offer provides a single 800 number for access to a team of Cisco VersaStack experts, who can either resolve or manage to resolution any issue found within the VersaStack.

What does this mean for the Cisco and IBM relationship?
Cisco and IBM have a history of working together, providing global delivery and support capabilities, and driving emerging technology transitions. We feel the announcement of the VersaStack solution is a new chapter in our relationship and will provide a foundation for accelerating innovation between Cisco and IBM. We are excited to bring this new VersaStack solution to market; to help our customers deliver a competitive advantage; to drive stronger business outcomes within their respective industries.

Visit www.cisco.com/go/versastack to learn how you can leverage the VersaStack advantages in your data center environment today.


Satinder Sethi

No Longer with Cisco