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Cisco beta Savvis shares thoughts on UCS

Savvis has only had the Unified Computing System platform in its labs for three weeks. But the service provider began talking with Cisco two years ago about a mutual vision for unified computing in the data center.

CTO Bryan Doerr says Cisco is forcing the industry to consider a different way of data center computing -- especially with regard to the server.

We were having trouble motivating that original thought and revisiting the current mode. It's such a critical component of the data center and one [where] there's so much allegiance to a particular style of packaging and tool sets that introducing a brand-new change was going to be pretty difficult.

Doerr says the concept is not new -- one of its server vendors, Egenera, has been doing unified virtual computing for years. That said, Doerr says incumbent server vendors may lack the impetus -- not the technical knowhow -- to rework their equipment in such a manner.

There's no question that other [vendors] are capable and have the technical ability to do the kinds of things Cisco has done here. But the question is, where is the will and the motivation? Do they see the market that Cisco sees and do they see a risk to the product that they already offer in that new market opportunity? It's one thing to say you can accomplish all the functions of this unit by assembling these four boxes and layering this hunk of software on top; it's another to buy the unit with all of that done.

Some of the pain points Savvis is hoping Cisco's UCS can address is memory constraints in creating and scaling virtual machines; understanding the service profiles built into the environment; and having those profiles follow the VMs.

As VMs migrate they're compatible wherever they land. 

Doerr says Savvis is not yet evaluating Juniper's Project Stratus cloud proposal but said it's incumbent upon the service provider to consider everything in the marketplace for its needs.

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