Cisco Blogs

Greetings from Planet Earth: Update on Cisco Unified Computing System

March 23, 2011 - 1 Comment

Sometimes, progress necessitates that we look at things in an entirely new light.  To paraphrase Star Trek—if you want to do something groundbreaking, sometimes you have to go boldly where no one has gone before.

Against that backdrop, I wanted to dispel a recent rumor in the marketplace that Cisco has gone (warp drives engaged, presumably) to a place called “Planet Zircon” to sell its industry-first and industry-leading Unified Computing System (UCS).

Leaving aside for a moment that some of our competitors seem to be living in an alternate universe, UCS is actually selling quite well right here on planet Earth.  Our architecture for the virtualized data center, whereby via UCS we unify servers, storage access, networks, and virtualization technologies to drive the value of data center infrastructure to an entirely new level, has gained acceptance from a great number of earthly companies.

But since we’re having fun with science fiction metaphors, let’s suppose you were a time traveler who went back to sneak a peek as Cisco first began developing UCS. You might be forgiven for thinking that Cisco had taken leave of its senses.  But leaving planet Earth? No, our feet were firmly planted here.

We were talking to customers – scores of them. And we were talking to them in a way that wasn’t necessarily typical. We talked about the need for radical innovation to address the issues and opportunities they were seeing in their businesses.

They told us things needed to change. That server administration costs were spiraling out of control, and that they were hitting a wall on virtualization. That power and management and administration costs were sapping budgets and leaving nothing but a pittance for innovation.

They needed bold thinking.

That’s how it all started, right here on the home planet. And that’s why, travelling back to the present, Cisco is seeing 700% Y/Y revenue growth and an annualized run rate of $650M for UCS. That’s why we now have more than 4,000 customers that have installed thousands of Unified Computing Systems—many in multiple deployments—to take advantage of compute, networking, storage access and virtualization optimized as a cohesive solution, with integrated management.

So, despite what you may be hearing out there, Planet Zircon is still the stuff of science fiction. The only thing that’s zoomed up into the stratosphere is, well, adoption. Of UCS, and Cisco’s other leading data center solutions.

So thank you, customers, for going forth boldly, together. The journey has just begun.

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. Let it be known that on Planet Zircon the waste management company is called NonStop ProLiant Integrity.