It’s been just over 14 months since we introduced the Cisco UCS X-Series to great fanfare and acclaim. Appropriately enough, the X-Series unveiling ceremony was part of a “Future of Cloud” event as it is computing platform that I believe will redefine hybrid cloud infrastructure for the next decade.
The customer adoption trends for the X-Series proves that our optimism was well-placed. Here are a few data points.
- The X-Series is the fastest-ramping* UCS product ever and is even gaining traction with customers who have never purchased a UCS product before. Our goal was to get to “100 in 100,” as in securing the first 100 customers within the first 100 days of availability. We ended up blowing past that number easily.
- We have had more than 1500 customers evaluate the X-Series through meetings, demos, and trials. Almost half of those evaluations have turned into purchases so far with many more to come.
- And, according to the latest data from IDC**, the healthy customer demand for the X-Series is a key factor in Cisco achieving 52.8 percent revenue marketshare of the worldwide x86 blade server market.
The results may speak for themselves, but I think it’s important to understand why there has been such broad and strong appeal for the X-Series among customers around the world. I’ll point to three reasons:
Innovation: The X-Series powered by Cisco Intersight was purpose-built through foundational innovations for transforming on-prem compute deployments for hybrid cloud operating models. One of the most innovative aspects of the X-Series is its versatility as demonstrated by the evolutionary aspects of the X-Fabric and its modular system design that blurs the line between rack and blade server form factors. This versatility also enables us to develop a wide number of solutions with our ecosystem partners. To date we have delivered more than 20 Cisco Validated Designs for many use cases including converged & hyperconverged infrastructure, server & desktop virtualization, cloud native services, and automation to name a few. But we have not compromise performance for versatility demonstrated by the fact that the X-Series is the first modular computing platform to offer 100G connectivity end-to-end per compute node and 48 million IOPs in one chassis.
Operational Simplicity: Another hallmark of the X-Series is that it is simple to operate with the tight coupling with Intersight being one important reason for this. But the X-Series itself was designed as a standard and open system so that customers can deploy, manage, and automate their hybrid cloud infrastructure faster and with less risk to run most of traditional and modern workload. A great example of this comes from one of our customers, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving 25 counties, who was looking to simplify its IT operations, mostly to cut costs. This customer had been spending more than $80K per month on its leased converged infrastructure services. Our account team showed the customer how they can deploy a more advanced converged infrastructure technology with an X-Series enabled converged infrastructure while reducing their total operating complexity and costs by using Intersight.
Future-Readiness: As much as I would love the power, I do not have the ability to predict the future with any degree of accuracy. Nobody does. That’s what the “X” in the X-Series was designed to solve. The traditional computing purchase-and-deploy model was to use a system for a few years and then discard it as new technologies and workloads required an upgrade. This model might have been good for vendors, but it was not ideal for customers and certainly not for sustainability as servers are a major contributor to e-waste each year. We wanted to break this cycle with the X-Series by making it adaptable and field-upgradeable as new CPUs, GPUs, connectivity options, storage and physical interfaces emerge. In turn, this enables the X-Series to support not only today’s workloads but also more processing and storage-intensive workloads that customers may need in the future – e.g., AI-enhanced Big Data and software-defined storage.
This ability to support current and future workloads across cloud and on-prem environments was the primary reason we won a deal at a major university in the Midwest. This customer saw the value of modernizing its hybrid cloud operations with future-proofed CPU and GPU acceleration modules and ease-of-management, which were key selling points for its “lean IT” initiative. This is enabling the customer to modernize its applications through support for virtual workloads and next-gen databases.
Try a UCS X-Series…on us!
To celebrate our one-year anniversary in style, we are extending the
limited time offer of an
UCS X-Series chassis and fabric connect.
For more details and to get started, visit our
*Measured by product bookings
** IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker (CQ2’22)
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Author: Vikas Ratna
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