So, if you haven’t noticed, we’re building a little momentum with Cisco UCS in the datacenter. In January, Gartner produced their annual Blade Server Magic Quadrant and placed Cisco in the “Visionary” box. I agree that UCS is visionary and we are definitely not a “me-too” entry into the blade server market (our ability to execute can be debated, but …). Later in the same month, SearchDataCenter.com predicted Cisco UCS to be one of the top data trends for 2011. It was nice to read some comments like “Cisco has the most to gain in this new market” and that they expect UCS to have a footprint in “nearly every datacenter around the world”. Then in February, John Chambers announced on the quarterly analysts call that UCS is enjoying a $650M annual run rate with an exploding 700% Y/Y growth rate. We are on target to top $1B in UCS revenue this year. OK, enough sidetrack. Now back to the point of this article….
We’ve listened to all the FUD coming from our competition about how UCS doesn’t work without BMC, UCS requires external software to get the job done, UCS has no built-in management features, etc. This all happened because our announcement of UCS was more of a leak at first, which caused us to have to up our time table a bit. That being the case, some of the information that leaked was inaccurate or not properly understood (or conveyed possibly). BMC was the first ISV to sign on to making their server management tool (Blade Logic) integrate with UCS. Since UCS was designed to be an open system, this was exactly what we had planned to do all along. But it was taken by the press early on as “BMC wrote the management stack” for Cisco. This is completely and totally false. BMC has a great automation and management story. It makes sense for us to work at making sure UCS fits well into their stack, but Cisco wrote UCS Manager from the ground up. We sat down and wrote an API first, and then wrote a CLI and GUI that adhere to that API. Then we made that API available to other ISVs, like BMC, CA, EMC, Microsoft, VMware, Zenoss, HP (yes, HP), IBM, Solarwinds, Compuware, Symantec, Cisco Tidal, and more. Then came the hardware integration with the major storage vendors, but that’s beyond the scope of this article. If you don’t like the way something is integrated in today, we make the API available to customers as well, and we have several customers writing their own plugins and apps that integrate with UCS. We even have an iPhone app written by a Cisco employee in his “spare time”!
What you should take away from this is that Cisco is working very hard to find all the management tools that YOU have to work with and the ones that YOU like to work with. All that being true, we know that you are likely using management apps from your traditional server hardware vendors today. Applications like HP Systems Insight Manager (SIM), Dell Management Console (DMC), and IBM Director, etc. I would like to know which one of these you are using and what are the features you like (and dislike) about these applications.
The BRIEF survey below is only 5 questions. If you can spare the time – I’d appreciate it. I’m not collecting any names or anything so it’s dead simple. Lastly, if there is some super awesome feature about your vendor tool that you really want to tell us about, please leave a comment saying so. Just one word more on the comments…I’ve been in this business long enough to know that people are passionate about their hardware vendors. It’s a religion and sometimes a radical one. If you really (really) like your hardware management vendor software, please say so. By the same token (and what does that expression mean anyway?), if you really (really) hate your hardware management platform, please say so, but don’t go overboard. I don’t want to turn this into a love-fest or a negative rant session – somewhere comfortably in the middle would be nice. I’m just looking to learn what your habits are and pick your brain a bit about what works well for you and what doesn’t.
[wpsqt_survey name=”Server Mgmt Software”]
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