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Round-Up: Cisco at HPC for Wall Street

We had a great time at the recent 10th Annual High Performance Computing Linux for Wall Street event in New York on April 8, 2013. This year’s HPC conference focused on speed and cutting-edge advances in network visibility, analytics, and instrumentation. Some of the brightest minds in the financial services industry were in attendance to learn about and discuss the latest technology innovations that help financial trading firms gain a competitive edge.

HPC Event Image 1

I was fortunate to take part in a panel at this year’s conference which discussed how the acquisition and monitoring of data can enable firms to manage risk and compliance in the enterprise. The panel was comprised of moderator Paul Jameson, Managing Director, Global Financial Services, Cisco Systems; Donal Byrne, CEO, Corvil; Jean Hill, Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal; and Bruce Cooper, CTO of Liquid Holdings and COO of Green Mountain Analytics.

We covered a lot of information during the conference, but our panel discussion addressed these key topics:

  • Challenges and approaches to establishing low latency at scale.
  • Gaining and applying intelligence to optimize trade strategy execution through analytics and instrumentation.
  • The evolving importance of programmability within the network and software defined networks evolution and application in high performance trading. Read More »

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Desktop Virtualization On Your Terms – Flexibility and Choice with Architectures That Fit

Desktop Virtualization On Your Terms – Flexibility and Choice with Architectures That Fit

I recently had the opportunity to host several customers in a roundtable discussion, exploring their experiences in deploying desktop and application virtualization, the challenges encountered, and the benefits they’ve reaped.  It was an engaging dialog with organizations spanning mid-market, enterprise to large service prVirt_during Webinar w_Jim Mchughovider environments deploying either Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon View desktop virtualization software.  In case you missed it, you can check out the event here.  I mention this because it provides a valuable backdrop to some important news Cisco is sharing today, centered on helping IT organizations (like those I met with) more quickly achieve success in VDI.

Over the last few years, Cisco UCS has rapidly established itself as a leader among competitors with a much longer history in the server marketplace.  Why is that?  If you talk with anyone who’s implemented UCS in their data center, they’ll instantly tell you about the operational streamlining and simplification that UCS Service Profile Templates offer, the value of a unified data center fabric for LAN and SAN, and the performance derived from a platform that was purpose built for highly scalable, virtualized environments.

It shouldVirt_info graphic_UDC to End User be no surprise then, that when organizations evaluate their options for server infrastructure to host virtual desktop workloads, the same UCS core value proposition extends nicely to desktop virtualization – the benefits of which are multiplied, in fact, given that virtual desktops can consume infrastructure resources and capacity in unique ways compared to other mission critical enterprise applications.  We’ve therefore seen great response from our customers (as demonstrated in our webinar/panel discussion) when it comes to the fitness of UCS in hosting virtual desktops.

What we’ve come to find through our customer’s experiences, is that the vendor marketplace has traditionally taken a one-size-fits-all mentality around VDI architectures that either forces organizations to overspend CAPEX on approaches that are tuned for much larger environments, or wrestle with an economized approach that results in poor desktop user experience.  Clearly, there’s a spectrum of IT implementation use cases that apply, when we’re talking VDI.  Persistent desktops vs. floating, SAN in place vs. greenfield, one-hundred seats vs. tens of thousands, etc. so one size will never adequately fit all!

For this very reason, we’re expanding our portfolio of desktop virtualization solution architectures, along with the ecosystem of technology partners who are helping us accelerate the path to VDI success for environments of all sizes.  While Cisco enjoys a strategic relationship with NetApp and EMC, we’re now  offering desktop virtualization solutions that also include technologies from partners such as Nimble Storage, Nexenta, Atlantis Computing, Fusion-io, Tegile and others in process.

With these partners’ technologies come new capabilities that exploit key trends in the VDI and data center marketplace, including the proliferation of flash-based storage solutions, and appliance based approaches that mitigate the need for embedded SAN infrastructure and expertise (especially in smaller environments).  Additionally, unlike our competitors who are narrowly focused on their own storage portfolio, Cisco can offer our customers the flexibility and choice they desire in selecting the storage technology and solution for VDI, that best fits their environment.

I encourage you to learn more about this exciting new portfolio of architectures by checking out the assets below.

Please also check out the webinar “Customer Insights: Desktop Virtualization On Your Terms

Our featured guests include:

  • Mark Balch, Director UCS Product Management, Cisco
  • David Johnson, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
  • Charles Rosse, Baptist Memorial HealthCare
  • Udaya Kiran, WiPro Technologies
  • Robert Dixon, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • And myself (Jim McHugh) as your Host/Moderator

Check it out and let me know what you think in the Comments section!

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Accelerating Your Success with Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solutions

Earlier today, Cisco introduced an expanded portfolio of desktop virtualization solution architectures, based on Cisco UCS, that extend Cisco’s value proposition, solution breadth and market reach.  This is very important for our partner ecosystem, which continues to be the foundation for selling Cisco’s Desktop Virtualization Solutions.

Desktop virtualization continues to gain traction.  According to a recent Gartner forecast, companies are projected to add 59 million more virtual desktop users worldwide between 2013 and 2016. Despite that growth, we found that significant challenges remain for getting VDI implementations off the ground.  These include:

  • Up-front CAPEX often associated with upgrading the data center and network infrastructure required to support VDI
  • Complexity associated with combining multiple disparate technologies together in a way that’s cohesive and easy to manage
  • Guesswork and risk associated with ensuring that the success seen in a small pilot is replicated in larger production environments

Read More »

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A Perfect Collaboration According to the “Esquire Guy”

Collaboration is a verb, an action, it is something that we do.  People come together and collaborate to reach a common goal.  Often, people need to collaborate to determine what that goal is, then collaborate more to determine how best to reach that goal.  It is through effective communications that people collaborate. However, there’s more then just communications to collaboration.  In the following article the “Esquire Guy” attempts to answer the question  Read More »

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Network World’s Top VPN Choice: Cisco ASA and AnyConnect

Network World recently completed a competitive review of the leading Virtual Private Networking (VPN) products and the Cisco® Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) and AnyConnect™.  With a long history of providing market-leading remote access VPN capabilities and optimal usability, Cisco is honored to receive this recognition from Network World based on their hands-on product testing.  Read More »

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