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Next Generation DataCenter, Delivered

With a bit more than a year to go in the decade, we can count on one hand the number of true innovations that have transformed IT through the aughts. We're a skeptical lot, loath to accept new risk,particularly when it means substantially changing how we do our jobs. Today,we are looking squarely at another innovation that you will soon see making its way to your data center. You've probably heard the buzzwords already--unified computing, utility computing, agile computing, cloud computing. Those words sound like a marketing gimmick, but what they really represent is the continued collapse of the traditional data center well beyond just server consolidation. The unified computing platforms of today promise to consolidate everything and anything possible into a single chassis,and month by month, the vendors with the biggest R&D budgets are succeeding at this task.

If space/power utilization and business agility are a concern for you, then the question isn't if a unified computing solution is in your future, but when. The question then becomes which vendor, management solution, and migration strategy to employ to get there safely. Given the big names in unified computing, it's safe to say that if you make an investment in Cisco,HP, IBM, or Dell, they'll be around to service your solution 10 years from now. So the answer to this multivariable equation now depends on what your total infrastructure management needs are.Perhaps a flow chart would help here.

Decision: Do you require a vendor that can deliver a hardware solution and advanced orchestration software capable of automating complex business rules and scripts all under the same roof? If yes, then HP and IBM may be the best choice for you.

However, many organizations are happy with the alerting and fault tolerance they get from VMware's ESX combined with their network management system of choice. Not every organization needs a team of HP or IBM engineers to orchestrate the reconstruction of the matrix based on a set of events that happen in real time. In that case, the hardware and provisioning innovation in the Cisco UCS chassis could be everything you've been waiting for.

Read more in the current digital issue of Network Computing. [registration required]