Having made a splash with the introduction of its Unifed Computing System(UCS), Cisco Systems used the recent Blade Systems Insight conference as an opportunity to showcase some of the partners supporting its drive into the data center. These included BMC Software, which is powering Cisco's management software, and the global consulting firm Accenture. There's been quite a bit written about BMC's importancein Cisco's data center strategy, including speculation about an acquisition.
Accenture will be a key partner for Cisco in implementing the UCS system for its large enterprise clients. The two companies have formed the Accenture & Cisco Business Group, a "virtual organization" to provide a single point of contact to design and build solutions around Cisco's latest technology.
One area where Accenture sees great potential for UCS is enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, where the new platform may allow some to lower their costs. "We're going to be able to move large Oracle and SAP installations onto this system," said Lin Chase, Director of New Market Development for the Accenture & Cisco Business Group, who said Accenture has a "multi-billion dollar practice" specializing in data center optimization and consolidations.
Chase said the expanded memory capabilities of UCS enable large scale enterprise applications well as transaction-intensive apps with large memory requirements to run on the x86 platform. "It supports enterprise level security and compliance, enabling core enterprise applications to run on a virtualized platform for the first time," she said. "And it enables massive scalability - each system is designed for up to 320 servers and up to 6,000 virtual machines, ensuring capacity for peaks in transactional demand.
"I think we're going to see a great acceleration of the adoption of virtualization due to the appolications this platform makes possible," said Chase. "This is a fabulous platform for setting up enterprise cloud platforms."
Chase said interest in Cisco UCS has been particularly strong from the telecom sector. "In 25 years, this is the first time the large telcos have been calling me to learn about a new product," she said.