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Cisco Introduces New Solutions for EMC VSPEX

The Cisco and EMC teams have been working closely to expand the VSPEX solution portfolio to accelerate growth and opportunity. In addition to the new CVDs, we released a new application white paper and management design guide for VSPEX. Wait, there’s more. We also recently published new Cisco marketing collateral for VSPEX and a customer case study. Let’s take a moment and provide some details.

The two new CVDs are designed to facilitate the deployment of virtualized infrastructure. In this instance, customers can choose between VMware vSphere 5.1 or 5.5 for 300, 600, and 1000 virtual machines.

These new presized and validated solutions simplify virtualization deployment for businesses using VMware vSphere software. The solutions use the very latest Cisco UCS Servers and EMC VNX Series Storage. Customers can feel confident they are deploying the correct balance of computing, networking and storage resource using best of breed technology from Cisco and EMC.

One of the key value propositions for VSPEX is that it enables applications to be up and running more rapidly than a build your own infrastructure solution.  Providing application guidance is the next logical step so the team created a SharePoint 2013 on VSPEX white paper. Customers can now rapidly build and deploy robust, high-performance SharePoint 2013 collaborative environments on VSPEX with Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 3.0.

Being able to simply manage an integrated infrastructure is critical. Hence, we introduced a UCS Director Implementation Guide for EMC VSPEX. This new implementation guide provides step by step instructions on how to setup, configure and operate VSPEX via Cisco UCS Director. Cisco UCS Director delivers unified integrated infrastructure management for administering computing, network, virtualization, and storage from one self-service web interface.

Please watch Jim McHugh, VP of Cisco UCS Marketing, discuss VSPEX’s value proposition, momentum, and new solutions.

Finally, and most importantly, our customers are seeing real value from VSPEX. The John Fabick Tractor Company (Fabick Cat) deployed VSPEX to improve performance and reduce costs. Fabick Cat experienced the following results:

  • Up to 25% better performance
  • 78% reduction in software virtualization costs
  • Zero downtime since being deployed

I urge you to read the complete Fabick Cat case study on how they leveraged VSPEX’s flexibility and scalability to easily provision new servers and add additional storage.

Kudos to the Cisco and EMC teams for their timely execution of the CVDs, implementation guide, and white paper. Please also read Chad Dunn’s, Director of VSPEX Business Operations at EMC, blog post on our new CVDs.

To learn more about Cisco’s solutions for EMC VSPEX download our new brochure or visit

Unlocking Wi-Fi Enabled Value-Added Services

Competing with the virtual, e-commerce world is becoming increasingly challenging for real-world businesses. Traditional retailers have long envied the massive amounts of valuable data that online retailers have available to help them better understand customer behavior and implement winning marketing tactics. Online retailers know valuable information such as how frequently customers return, how long they spend on their sites, what the customers looked at but didn’t buy, and where they went before and after coming to the site. Businesses as diverse as hotels, banks, stadiums, airports, and large public venues are all looking for ways to get similar detailed data on customer activities in their facilities, so they can improve the customer experience and their bottom lines. The data and insights have not been available to bricks-and-mortar facilities, until now.

That situation is changing through the growing availability of Wi-Fi in business locations. Many retailers, hotels, and other businesses are increasingly offering Wi-Fi as a service that allows their customers to connect mobile devices to the Internet. Hidden in this valuable service is a vast amount of information and insight, which retailers and others can use to deliver tangible value to their bottom lines. Hypersensitive location information, device details, identification of returning customers, and sophisticated path analysis are just some of the customer data captured by Wi-Fi networks. Businesses are now realizing that the data and capabilities offer new ways to improve the customer experience and support a range of market-leading monetization models.

For many businesses, these new location-based experiences and Read More »

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Courts Excellence in a Changing World: Highlights from Day 1

IACA DubaiI am fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the Courts Excellence in a Changing World conference in Dubai, UAE this week.  Hosted by the International Association for Court Administration (IACA) in association with the Dubai Courts and the DIFC Courts as host judiciary.

This event in Dubai is the first of its kind in the Middle East region and the sixth International Conference to be held by IACA and the largest so far with representation from over 50 countries around the world.

The agenda’s theme is  “Court Excellence in a Changing World” with leaders from judicial organizations from the Middle East and all over the world attending to share, and gain knowledge about best practices, latest strategies for change and successful examples of court efficiency.

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Big Data in Security – Part II: The AMPLab Stack


Following part one of our Big Data in Security series on TRAC tools, I caught up with talented data scientist Mahdi Namazifar to discuss TRAC’s work with the Berkeley AMPLab Big Data stack.

Researchers at University of California, Berkeley AMPLab built this open source Berkeley Data Analytics Stack (BDAS), starting at the bottom what is Mesos?

AMPLab is looking at the big data problem from a slightly different perspective, a novel perspective that includes a number of different components. When you look at the stack at the lowest level, you see Mesos, which is a resource management tool for cluster computing. Suppose you have a cluster that you are using for running Hadoop Map Reduce jobs, MPI jobs, and multi-threaded jobs. Mesos manages the available computing resources and assigns them to different kinds of jobs running on the cluster in an efficient way. In a traditional Hadoop cluster, only one Map-Reduce job is running at any given time and that job blocks all the cluster resources.  Mesos on the other hand, sits on top of a cluster and manages the resources for all the different types of computation that might be running on the cluster. Mesos is similar to Apache YARN, which is another cluster resource management tool. TRAC doesn’t currently use Mesos.


AMPLab Stack

The AMPLab Statck

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Winning the Beer Game with The Internet of Things (IoT)

Supply Chain Management (SCM) has always been critical to business operations and success. Executives in large corporations remember lessons from their SCM courses back in business school. For those who have forgotten, consulting companies and universities teach SCM using well-known games such as the Beer Distribution Game. The problem the Beer Distribution Game highlights is the lack of insight people along the distribution chain have beyond a few steps.  However, I’d posit that the Internet of Things (IoT) provides us the opportunity to holistically visualize and play with our entire supply chain.  In effect, IoT may make the Beer Distribution Game a relic of the past. 

Beer Distribution Game!The Beer Distribution Game is a role-player table game created by Jay Forrester at MIT Sloan School of Management in the early 1960s to teach principles of management science. The game is played by teams who simulate the supply chain of the beer industry during 40 weeks. Each team represents a brand and the goal is to meet customer demand. Each player represents a specific area of the supply chain: retail, wholesale, distributor and factory. Within each team players cannot communicate each other and information is only passed through orders and shipments notes every week. The winner of the game is the team with lower total cost of capital employed in stock for everyone in the supply chain while avoiding out-of-stock situations. Read More »

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