Cisco Updates UCS In Ongoing Cloud Strategy Expansion


According to Soni Jiandani, senior vice president of Cisco's SAVTG, the UCS now has about 5,400 customers worldwide, and is adding 1,000 per quarter. She re-iterated recent statistics from researcher IDC showing Cisco as the No. 3. x86 blade market share holder in the world, and the No. 2 blade provider in the U.S., behind Cisco arch-nemesis HP.

Servers, said Cisco, are a billion-dollar business for the networking titan. Among UCS customers, Jiandani said, about 60 to 70 percent are former HP server customers, and about 30 to 40 percent are former IBM or Dell customers.

Among the highlights of the UCS announcement are a number of features designed to optimize UCS deployments and make the UCS more versatile for customers without physical infrastructure upgrades. They include new Fabric Interconnects -- the now 48-port switches that run the UCS Manager software -- a new Virtual Interface Card (VIC), and a new chassis I/O module, all of which work to double bandwidth to the UCS chassis, quadruple bandwidth to the server, and bring down overall latency about 40 percent, not to mention double the switching capacity of Cisco's data center fabric and provide the ability to designate any unified port on the Fabric Interconnects as Ethernet, Fibre Channel or Fibre Channel Over Ethernet.

Cisco made the announcements at Cisco Live in Las Vegas, where executives from CEO John Chambers on down have promised that going forward, Cisco will be simpler and easier to do business with.

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Cisco earlier this week confirmed a refresh of its uber-popular Catalyst 6500 switch line, saying the upgrades would provide investment protection in the Catalyst line for customers even as competitors like HP challenge those claims.

In its cloud-related Wednesday announcements, Cisco also touted updates to its WAAS line of WAN optimization tools, with a WAAS Central Manager that can manage as many as 2,000 WAAS instances from a single interface, and what Cisco is calling the industry's first context-aware data redundancy elimination capability.

There are also enhancements to its e-mail security offering: IronPort Outbreak Filters that uses IronPort and ScanSafe technology to identify messages likely to be targeted for attacks and placing protection on those messages.