Unified Computing System helps world's No. 1 IT networking provider to $11.5 billion in sales for its second fiscal quarter, up 11 percent from the same period in 2010.
Bolstered in large measure
sales of its Unified Computing System data center equipment
, Cisco Systems
revealed encouraging financial results that exceeded Wall Street analysts'
projections for the third straight quarter.
San Jose, Calif.-based
Cisco, still the world's No. 1 IT networking provider, on Feb. 8 reported sales
of $11.5 billion for its second fiscal quarter, up nearly 11 percent from the
same period in 2010. Profits escalated a whopping 43 percent to $2.2 billion.
Earnings totaled 40 cents per share.
Wall Street analysts polled
by the Thomson Reuters news service had written that Cisco would report
earnings of 34 cents a share on revenue of $11.2 billion.
Chairman and CEO John
Chambers told analysts and journalists on a conference call that the company
still faces challenges from "an uneven world economy and constrained government
spending." But Chambers said that sales improved in nearly all product
categories during the quarter that ended Dec. 31.
In contrast, market
competitor Juniper Networks had some of its biggest customers cut back their
networking budgets, Chambers said.
Background on UCS
Cisco's UCS is a
preconfigured, snap-together system (well, there is some wiggle room for
customization, but not much) consisting of its own proprietary data center
architecture, server, and management software and services. The servers run on
Intel's quad-core Nehalem Xeon processors and can be upgraded as needed. The
system is modular and very scalable.
EMC and its archenemy,
NetAppboth friends of Ciscoprovide the storage capacity. BMC is providing the
provisioning, change-management and configuration software in the stack. VMware
and Microsoft virtualization layers are sanctioned, and Accenture helps shape
the individual product solutions for customers.
One year after it started
shipping its partner-powered Unified Computing System in July 2009, Cisco
Systems announced that it had 1,000 installations processing data workloads in
climate-controlled IT centers.
That number alone is
noteworthy, because these are not trivial data center units. They require more
than a modicum of thought, planning and investment, and most being in the
mid-six-figure price range, they are certainly not inexpensive. In fact, many
of them are million-dollar-plus installations.
As of Jan. 18, 2012less
than three years after the March 16, 2009, introduction of the UCSthe world's
No. 1 Internet pipefitter is proclaiming that it now has 10 times that many
installations in production. Ten thousand sales of anything IT, especially as
big as these things are, is very impressive.
UCSes are being used to power
virtual desktop systems with thousands of users, ATMs, video surveillance
systems, hospital X-ray imaging archives, science and military installationsin
other words, any and all types of data centers.