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Cisco fire resized 600A few weeks ago, Cisco posted a field notice to customers of its UCS server blades, saying that failures on the blade can “cause the component to overheat and emit a short flash which could lead to complete board failure.” Cisco also warned that the defect could affect the other blades in the chassis by disrupting power flow. They informed their customers that they are replacing currently deployed UCS B440 Blade Servers, are making hardware modifications and are launching a hardware replacement program. It stands true that any recall, especially when dealing with expensive hardware, will impact the company’s bottom line. 

This is further proof that designing reliable hardware is difficult and underscores why high-profile companies such as HP spend billions on development. The Cisco recall also highlights the need for industry standards. Associations like the Open Data Center Alliance are working to bring interoperability and standards to the data center and cloud computing. This organization gives a voice to all the IT managers who have been searching for solutions based on unified standards. Unfortunately, vendors like Cisco who supply hardware and software to cloud service providers are attempting to push proprietary closed technology to maintain control. Unfortunately, through outages and disruptions to their business, customers of UCS are paying the price of this closed solution.

Egenera has its own unique story on navigating away from expensive hardware costs and creating a more open environment. Back in 2000, Egenera was founded as a pure hardware vendor. Although we produced hundreds of millions in sales in the first five years, we consistently heard our customers a single desire: to eliminate any risk of vendor lock-in through open solutions based on industry standards.

 Our customer base required best in class hardware for their mission-critical operations. With this industry standard hardware, they required rapid provisioning and repurposing of hardware capacity to run either physical servers and/or virtual host servers as well as a fast and consistent way to recover when bad things do happen.

 We realized that designing reliable hardware is difficult but our software is really what made our hardware tick.

 We soon discovered that while our hardware was market leading, what really made it tick was the software.  In short, customers wanted PAN Manager on industry standard blade servers to create a reliable, flexible and unified computing infrastructure for applications running on both bare metal hardware and virtual servers.

 Having rejected the vendor lock-in that is fundamental to other solutions, Egenera now delivers customers a robust, simple yet powerful heterogeneous converged infrastructure solution that adheres to their mission of open and multi-platform management and automation.  Today, PAN Manager is available on almost every major vendor’s blade platform. As a result, customers can now get the converged infrastructure user experience typically delivered with proprietary stacks of technology, but on an open platform and at a much lower price point.

 Egenera enables the customer to get the best of both worlds, turning open reliable hardware, from HP, Fujitsu, NEC and Dell, into a manageable and dynamic infrastructure fabric.

 And with partners like these we don’t have to worry about the hardware catching fire either.

Originally posted on Egenera's blog: http://www.egenera.com/cisco-recall

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.