The first time I saw you I said, "There's no excuse for rebellion," and you said, "There's one - if you win!"
Lord Yoshi Toronaga. Shogun by James Clavell
Traditional data centers tend to be segregated into feudal-like server, network and storage fiefdoms operating in silos with little collaboration among them. This stovepipe model of IT has long been supported by manufacturers operating comfortably within a demarcated territory – at least until two years ago when Cisco upset the established order. The Cisco UCS unified compute, networking, storage access and virtualization into the only platform designed for optimized hosting of virtual infrastructure. While some industry analysts and competitors predicted disaster, Cisco and its partners specializing in virtualization had no doubt that UCS was going to revolutionize the data center.
This week's IDC figures have vindicated both Cisco and the concept of pervasive virtualization in general. Cisco now holds the number three spot in worldwide x86 blade server sales with a 10.5% market share. But this market share figure is misleading because UCS is pitted against all server sales. If compared strictly against servers utilized for hosting virtual infrastructure, UCS would show even greater gains.
Cisco initially approached both HP and IBM around six years ago about jointly building a compute platform that would address the performance, management and resourcing issues that were bound to arise once virtualization progressed from a point solution to become the data center standard. After being turned down by both organizations, Cisco instead embarked upon the largest development initiative in the history of the company. It funded Nuova and a team of engineers which, led by VMware co-founder and former CTO, Ed Bugnion, spent 3 years developing the UCS.
I’ve seen situations again and again where organizations deploying UCS virtualize not only their entire data centers, but increasingly their desktops and unified communications environments as well. UCS, with its myriad innovations, instills the confidence required to commit to an enterprise virtualization/IT-as-a-Service strategy. Anything other than UCS is simply a server designed for the physical world.
- Cisco Makes Gains in x86 Blade Server Space, IDC Says 05/25/2011. Jeffrey Burt. eWeek
- Cisco UCS Market Share - Q1 2011 05/25/2011. Jeff Allen. Jeff Said So.
- Cisco UCS: Beating the Odds 05/24/2011. Anna Sui. Cisco Web Site
- Cisco Servers? They said UCS would never succeed… 05/24/2011. Soni Jiandani. Cisco Web Site
- Cisco Finally Releases UCS Market Share Numbers 05/24/2011. Kevin Houston. Blades Made Simple™
- They Were Wrong About UCS…What Else Are They Wrong About? 05/24/2011. Omar Sultan. Cisco Web Site
- Cisco UCS: There is a Movement 05/24/2011. Didier Rombaut. Cisco Web Site
- Is the success of Cisco UCS real? 06/06/2010. Steve Kaplan. By The Bell
- Cisco UCS – a Disruptive Platform 05/05/2009. Steve Kaplan. DABCC
Author Disclosure: I work for a professional services company which is also a leading Cisco partner