Sunday, 22 March 2009

UCS again....

There has been an absolute massive amount of coverage on the new Cisco UCS announcements on Monday this week, with large amounts of speculation such as are they badged or designed by SUN, large amounts of talk within the Storage blogosphere on how being only FCoEs changes the game for connectivity and may shoe horn people into it regardless and many more.

Few thoughts and questions i've thought about when reading about include with my view and answer;

It looks to me like Cisco will just concentrate on the x86 market, does this limit there growth and coverage in enterprise customers?

Most probably they will, they have designed blades from scratch which cater for high dense virtualised Vmware environments, something current vendors are just about achieving with offerings today pre Intel Nehalem. Maybe Cisco are going along with VMware's claims that ESX/Vsphere will be able to run any workload as a valid agreed strategy. Maybe they see larger organisations moving away from non agile big monolithic mainframes that are hosting core applications and onto commoditised distributed grid environment to reduce risk and cost and using platforms like Linux or JEOS.

Will Architects or Designers recommend solutions and roadmaps which include running dual vendor shops with Cisco Blades and any current tech? IBM and HP both manufacture RISC architecture and Itanium Blade offerings respectively which fit in the same Chassis so its a tough one to call and needs benefit to outweigh commercial impact and risk.

Tough one, standardisation reduces operational overhead and associated cost and all vendor value add offerings start to take great affect when using fewer (not one) vendors, yes VMware decouplement reduces issues with the underlying physical services but you still have an ecosystem that exists within the Physical landscape to update and maintain the environment from central operational tools. UCS uses BMC Bladelogic to provision and manage services it appears, will shops want to run this alongside tools such as Altiris and have to go through vigorous training or even recruit again?

Also commercially this could limit your buying power if siloing on Cisco for Blades, you may require rackmount for certain requirements that UCS cannot meet i.e. Dongles or Specialised PCI devices. (BTW HP Do have a PCI Blade IO Module).

Will Cisco have no option if they do not achieve intial sales growth targets and popularity to release MDS/Catalyst modules that are compatible with core networking/san in datacentres today?

Not having true access to any of the technology it seems that Cisco are going to limit themselves if they do not provide connectivity which allows customers to transform across to FCoE, most companies have probably procured kit before any credit crisis in 2007/8 on what maybe a three to four year refresh cycle policy. They make connectivity options for there new competitors so can't be too hard to do this if customer uptake is stumbled due to this.

Or does the I/O have backward compatibility? i.e. can you connect to conventional fibre connection points already, maybe someone can put me straight as I'm speculating on something I've never had the fortune at seeing/playing with yet.

If most of what i say is right, that's a bit effort to dump your HP/IBM blades and all the expensive chassis components you've procured?

A few other quick ones;

Maybe people can pass comment on above or email me, i might be talking utter rubbish (as per usual) but i thought that was what your own blog was for :) Hopefully its raised some valid points or is what others are currently thinking as well.



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