Cisco updates data centre products for cloud efficiency

LAS VEGAS- Cisco Systems, Inc. announced updates to its Unified Computing System (UCS) and Wide Area Application Service (WAAS) at its Cisco Live event on July 13, as part of its strategy to give its data centre customers more scalability and efficiency in the cloud.

“I anticipate that we will be seeing a world of many clouds,” with opportunity for several providers in various verticals, said Lew Tucker, chief technology officer of the company’s cloud business. Cisco’s strategy to deal with this is to improve flexibility and scalability within the data centre and overall user experience, he said.

Now, the company has added new fabric interconnects to its UCS data centre infrastructure, or 48-port switches that run the UCS Manager program, a new chassis I/O module and a new virtual interface card, which will improve the scalability of UCS-based data centre, double the bandwidth to the chassis and quadruple it to the server, according to Soni Jiandani, vice-president of Cisco’s server access and virtualization business unit. “Customers do not have to deal with the complexities of multiple management domains,” with the system, she said.  

“The product has done phenomenally well in the last two years,” she said. UCS currently has more than 5,400 customers worldwide and is adding about 1000 more every quarter and the company currently holds second highest market share for x86 blades, and is third in the world, Jiandani said. Many of its current customers used to use HP servers, she added.

Cisco has also added what it calls the industry’s first context-aware data redundancy elimination (DRE) software to its WAAS WAN optimization product line, which will manage bandwidth more efficiently, the company argues. A WAAS Central Manager, where network administrators can manage up to 2000 WAAS instances from a single interface and the Application Performance Manager allow for better visibility into application performance. The overall goal is to allow for a better user experience with applications like video, a major priority for Cisco.

Among enterprises, attitudes toward the cloud are still varied, as the curve is similar to attitudes toward new consumer technology as well, from early adopters to those who follow the trend later, according to Dave Frampton, vice-president of Cisco’s application delivery business unit. “We interact with customers at all those levels,” he said, but added that the desire for cloud adoption has increased within the last year.

“We’re in a unique position to pull together the assets in the network to solve some compelling business problems that occur when you move to cloud,” Frampton said.

“I see a layer of value being created,” for partners, he said. These new additions to the company’s networking infrastructure provide an opportunity for partners to differentiate, he added. The changes made to the UCS and the cloud direction that Cisco is taking another way that the company is aiming to help its partners become business consultants and not just providers of technology alone, he said.

“I think you’ll find a number of customers building the foundation,” he said. “We’re building the foundation for the migration to cloud.”

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Harmeet Singh
Harmeet Singh
Harmeet reports on channel partner programs, new technologies and products and other issues relevant to Canada's channel community. She also contributes as a video journalist, providing content for the site's original streaming video. Harmeet is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Journalism.

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