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Leading Italian ICT Services Provider Deploys Cisco’s Unified Computing System to Provide More Flexibility for Customers and Support Growth Within the Business


Data Center Consolidation Sees Total Cost of Ownership Fall by up to 40%

ROME, Italy - Cisco today announced that Tele Sistemi Ferroviari (TSF) S.p.A., Italy’s leader in the development and management of ICT services for the transport and logistics sector, has deployed the Cisco Unified Computing SystemTM in its data center. Serving the national railways authorities, TSF has seen business activity double in the last few years due to increasing demand from its customers for more IT services. As a result it has had to cope with a corresponding increase in data storage capacity.

By deploying the Cisco Unified Computing System and basing its strategy on the Cisco Data Center 3.0 architecture, TSF has consolidated its data storage, server storage and CPU resources so they are more effectively shared across the whole data center. This delivers a more flexible service for its customers, enabling near real-time provisioning of new services and scaling up existing applications as needed. TSF estimates that the total cost of ownership of its data centers will fall by as much as 40 per cent as a result of deploying the Cisco Unified Computing System.

The deployment of Cisco’s Unified Computing System forms part of TSF’s new business model, “Datacenter As-A-Service,” to shift the infrastructure from a cost-center to a revenue generating facility. Called “HyperCED”, this project has adopted key technologies such as Unified Fabric, Virtualization-Aware networks and Unified Computing to efficiently address the increasing demand for data storage and computing capacity seen by TSF and its customers.

* TSF’s computing resource was previously divided across six independent silos within the data center, with each one having its own data storage facilities and hardware. To meet customer demand, TSF would buy new hardware to fulfill each need. However this was inefficient and costly, particularly as the demand for data storage in one data center would often exceed available capacity, while another data center went under-utilized
* Cabling connecting servers to data storage devices was another area where costs were increasing, accounting for as much as 30 per cent of the total expense of setting up a new server and storage facility
* The entire HyperCED project was designed to offer customers a higher level of service based on state-of-the-art technology, and to support TSF’s growth. The Cisco Unified Computing System has delivered a more responsive service for customers, enabling services to be deployed more rapidly, while improving server density and moving the organization towards a more carbon-efficient infrastructure
* Within the HyperCED project the data center supports existing and new applications. The Cisco Nexus® 5000 provides connectivity and rack-mountable servers to deliver computing resources, whilst the Cisco Unified Computing System provides connectivity through the UCS 6120 fabric and computing resources using the UCS 5100 chassis and B200 blades
* In the year before the Cisco Unified Computing System was deployed, the number of applications TSF was running for its customers increased by nearly 20 per cent. Combined disc and tape data storage demand had grown by 45 per cent from 740 terabytes to more than one petabyte
* The use of the Cisco Unified Computing System has dramatically improved how space is used as storage and CPU resources can now be shared across the whole data center, rather than being physically limited to allocated storage devices

Technology and Business Benefits

* Cost savings
o Increased data center revenues: This consolidation has changed the way TSF markets and sells its data center facility to customers as services can be delivered in near real-time leading to a better, more flexible service.
o Simplified cable management: The cabling connecting servers to data storage devices represented an increasing cost and could account for as much as 30 per cent of the overheads involved in setting up a new server and storage facility. This has been reduced to just five per cent - an 80 per cent reduction.
o New servers: The cost of provisioning new servers has been reduced by up to 30 per cent
o Customer cost cuts: As a result of using the Cisco Unified Computing System and the HyperCED project, there are now no setup costs for new services, a decreased investment risk for medium to long-term projects and additional savings for short-term projects
* Flexibility
o The Cisco Unified Computing System technology allows for central provisioning of assets across the entire data center fabric, making data center management simpler and faster
o Physical resource sharing allows for better workload management and capacity planning to support application peak or unforeseen customer requests
o Near real-time provisioning of new services means customers can move very quickly to deploy or scale up applications as needed, vital in a competitive marketplace
* Productivity
o By deploying a simplified infrastructure that requires less maintenance and set up time, TSF estimate ICT staff will save 30 per cent of the time previously spent on data center management
o As less cabling is required the infrastructure is up to 60 per cent quicker to set up
* Environment
o The cooling requirements for the Cisco Unified Computing System are 40 per cent less than traditional systems
o The use of three-phase power distribution units inside the rack allows the use of smaller power cables, reducing copper usage by 66 per cent

Supporting Quotes

* Francesco Barbieri, Datacenter Operations Manager, TSF

“Cisco’s Unified Computing System is more than a new way to allocate resources, and has become the key element in TSF’s strategy for deploying computing as a service. For the business, the consolidation solution has been a paradigm shift. It has transformed the data center from a cost to a revenue generating operation. For the end user it means a more flexible and transparent service. Before the whole data center infrastructure was sold as a facility - one set price for the whole infrastructure - now we have introduced a new concept of ”the Datacenter As-A-Service.“ Customers pay a fee for each of the specific services they wish to use.”

About Tele Sistemi Ferroviari

TSF operates as a System Integrator for the Development and Implementation of Information and Communication Technology Services for the Transport & Logistics Industry.
The Company has shortly achieved throughout the past decade achieving a high share of Italian Market, thanks to an excellent ability in proposing new solutions for integrated systems.

Information about TSF con be found at

About Cisco Systems

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