Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Why there’s nothing better than the real thing

September 13, 2016

The average consumer sees about 360 ads each day across all forms of media. If you happen to be in IT and you’re not using ad blockers, then chances are you see even more. They may even seem to be stalking you if you’ve looked at hyperconverged infrastructure recently.

Billed as a market set to be worth almost $14 billion by 2024, hyperconverged has been fast out of the blocks thanks to the simplicity and speed it delivers out of the box. But it comes in many flavours. Although all systems have the ability to provide compute and storage functions through the same server-based resources, not all integrate fully with existing infrastructure creating new silos within the data centre.

Moreover, none of the first gen systems include network natively within the hyperconverged stack. This leads to hidden costs and scaling issues later on.

When engaging with vendors, it’s not so easy to tell the difference between the flavours of hyperconverged. Indeed, it’s a bit like taking the Pepsi Challenge. This iconic ad of the ‘70s saw ‘regular people’ blind taste test one cup filled with Pepsi and another filled with Coke. They then had to choose the one they preferred. Unsurprisingly, the Challenge would conclude that more than half of participants preferred Pepsi.

More recently, the Challenge was reprised by Business Insider with very different results. While all of the participants were confident they could tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke in a blind taste test, less than half actually could. More importantly, it turned out that more than 60 per cent preferred Coke.

So to also reprise the latter’s famous slogan, you can’t beat the real thing.

A hand in history

‘It’s the real thing’ is arguably one of Coke’s most enduring messages. It’s one that also resonates with us too when it comes to being a true industry pioneer.

AGSFor example, did you know that in 1986 we launched the first multi-protocol router to allow two local area networks to talk to
each other? Or that we enabled the ‘network of networks’ with the launch of the Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (IGRP) in 1992?

Fast forward to 2016 and we continue to pioneer technologies ushering in new paradigms. In March we launched the first truly hyperconverged solution in the form of HyperFlex.

Based on standard x86 technology and our Unified Computing System (UCS), HyperFlex fuses compute, network, virtualisation, storage and data protection into a single platform. One that’s deployed in under an hour and managed with simple and well-known tools.

Our solution means you can use racks and blades for independent scaling of compute and storage. Software is offered as a subscription, with Fabric Interconnects and one-tab storage management included.

But the key factor is that the network comes included. This means no hidden cost or complexity once you’ve bought the kit. Better still, it runs on tools you’re already used to.

With all current competing offerings, you’ll need to set up the network, level set the bios and firmware of the servers, and expand the cluster as a manual process.

Taking you one step beyond

When we released the world’s first converged infrastructure solution in 2009 there were industry commentators that doubted we’d succeed in the server market.

Yet UCS with its intuitive management software and service profiles is recognised as a game-changer thanks to its ability to automate tasks and speed up provisioning of the data centre.

Crucially, UCS is a core building block for many other vendors offering not only converged solutions, but hyperconverged and cloud too. These are proving popular with organisations worldwide.

However, by choosing HyperFlex, you get the assurance that your solution is supported end to end with us. There are several more compelling reasons why it pays to choose Cisco as your primary technology partner.

Over 90% of the world’s Internet traffic touches Cisco technology at some point in its journey, while organisations of all sizes trust us to consistently lead them through the huge market transitions we’ve seen:

  • The convergence of data, voice and video
  • The network as a platform
  • The internet of things

With digital transformation now being the pervasive driver of change across all markets, firms are entrusting us to move them:

  • Beyond automation to a policy driven integrated infrastructure, where policy not only drives automation of the data centre, but can be extended to expansion into the cloud, while supporting application and security requirements
  • Beyond just being flexible and accommodating of different consumption models to providing firms with the choice to run their workloads and applications on whatever the right platform or environment is for their needs
  • Beyond security to a digital environment where security and analytics are pervasive

We can also help you to address your day to day IT pressures. The need for rapid expansion of capacity. The need to ensure optimum performance despite the ever increasing demand placed upon your data centre. Adapting to the change in the way networks are designed, delivered and deployed.

Our guarantee

With Cisco you can have cloud, on premise or a hybrid of both. No matter which way you set up your network, we’ve a portfolio tailored to your needs.

You can afford our products too thanks to competitive pricing and different ways to own them. You can also expect lower running costs with no compromise on quality, reliability or security.

Ultimately, choosing Cisco better protects your business with industry-leading technology that’s fit for the digital future and secure. With security built into every part of your network you can detect threats, mitigate risk and minimise the impact of attacks.

Our solutions are easy to use, simple to scale and secure to run. That’s the guarantee every business should expect and it’s the one you get when choosing Cisco.

If you’d like to get a taste of the real thing, register your interest in our UCS or HyperFlex hands-on technology workshops.

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