At Enterprise Connect I was delighted to see the excitement generated by Cisco’s announcement that brings together our market leading Cisco WebEx and TelePresence solutions. Recently I discussed this initiative in more detail with a colleague, Richard Mullen, looking at how TelePresence and WebEx working together supports our vision of pervasive conferencing and enables users to meet with anyone, anywhere, on any device.
In particular, I highlight three key factors in a successful meeting Read More »
Tags: Cisco TelePresence, Cisco TelePresence is now WebEx enabled, Cisco WebEx, collaboration, pervasive conferencing, video conferencing, web conferencing
Note: This guest blog is from our partner EMC. In it Chad Dunn, Director of VSPEX Business Operations, comments on VSPEX as an infrastructure solution for Microsoft oriented I.T. environments. Rex.
Cisco and EMC Buddy-Up on VSPEX for Microsoft Private Cloud
At EMC we’re always keen on working with fellow industry-leaders to deliver solutions that accelerate our customers’ journey to cloud computing – and Cisco, the leader in fabric, is one of our most collaborative friends. In particular, we’ve focused a ton of joint effort on EMC VSPEX.
Since VSPEX was launched last April, hundreds of customers from across the globe have adopted VSPEX powered by EMC and Cisco technology – from the US to the UK to Australia. That success is tied directly to our collaboration, from completing Cisco Validated Designs for VSPEX to jointly certifying VSPEX as part of Microsoft’s private cloud Fast Track 3.0 for “small” implementations.
If you aren’t already familiar: What is VSPEX?
VSPEX is a set of complete virtualization solutions – integrating virtualization, servers, networking, storage and backup – that are proven and validated by EMC and delivered to customers by channel partners. That validation is extremely important too – why? Because validation = confidence. It ensures interoperability and fast deployment, and removes the complexity and risk.
Well… What’s New?
With the increasing interest in Microsoft-based private clouds, we wanted to deliver a solution to customers that was not only validated by EMC and Cisco, but also certified by Microsoft. Just like what we did with the “small” Microsoft private cloud Fast Track implementation – but bigger. So that’s exactly what we’ve done: EMC and Cisco have just certified a new VSPEX configuration as a Microsoft private cloud Fast Track solution for enterprise implementations.
The enterprise implementation along with the small implementation greatly accelerates the transformation to Microsoft private cloud environments for our customers, but also just as important is how VSPEX can help customers simplify the ongoing management of their cloud. Key to successful cloud management is delivering robust end to end orchestration and automation. EMC and Cisco’s integration with Microsoft System Center enables our customers to leverage the management tools and interfaces that they know and already utilize. Additionally, EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) provides Microsoft application administrators more self-service and management empowerment and shortens the time to do storage provisioning by 4x for Microsoft applications.
Speaking of Microsoft applications, we’ve also just introduced 2 new VSPEX solutions to support them. VSPEX for virtualized Microsoft Exchange makes deployment of 1,000 to 10,000 Exchange mailboxes fast and easy, while VSPEX for virtualized Microsoft SQL Server dramatically simplifies implementation of an environment supporting online transaction processing.
We’re very excited about these solutions as well as all of the other things that come as a result of our collaboration with Cisco around VSPEX – and there’s plenty more to come – so keep an eye out on www.cisco.com/go/vspex and follow @EMCVSPEX on twitter for the latest.
Tags: Cisco, EMC, Hyper-V, Microsoft, private cloud, vspex
Note: This guest blog is from our partner NetApp. VDI Reference Architect Rob Briggs introduces ExpressPod for the Microsoft private cloud as well as comments on FlexPod successes. Rex.
FlexPod, ExpressPod, and Windows Server 2012 RDS -- “It’s in the Box!”
I’ve seen a lot of great discussion and buzz this week at the Microsoft Management Summit on deployment of private cloud, Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1. Around the Cisco and NetApp booths, it’s been exciting to see the interest attendees have shown around our new Private Cloud Fast Track 3.0 validated FlexPod solution – FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud.
But what exactly does this mean for customers? Take a look at ING Direct, which has deployed FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud and achieved massive cost and time to market savings. With their “Bank in the Box” solution, ING Direct made “copies” of the entire bank environment for their developers in 10 minutes, compared to a previous 12 week turnaround. This dramatically accelerated time to market of new products and services.
For many small to medium sized businesses or remote offices, FlexPod, System Center and a private cloud infrastructure may be more than what is required. Instead, we’ve seen that many of these customers want to start with a simple to deploy virtualization solution. ExpressPod, with all of benefits of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V , it is a pre-packaged and tested solution for growing small and medium sized organizations with exactly this scenario in mind. Think of it as having many of the benefits of FlexPod, but priced, sized and packaged for small to medium sized deployments.
The hardware that comprises this solution is nothing to scoff at: ExpressPod integrates Cisco UCS® C-Series servers, NetApp FAS2220-series storage, and Cisco Nexus® 3048 switches with infrastructure management, into an affordable, easy-to-deploy shared virtualization infrastructure solution. ExpressPod supports an open ecosystem of management and hypervisor solutions and comes in two configurations, small and medium.
The small and medium ExpressPod configurations are low-cost, standardized infrastructure solutions, well-suited for virtualization of business critical applications. The configurations have been built and tested to deliver a cost-effective, high-value, and best practice architecture.
We recently completed testing and documentation of small and medium ExpressPod configurations with Microsoft Windows Server 2012® and Hyper-V. Take a look at our ExpressPod with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Implementation Guide to see in-depth, detailed deployment instructions for each of these configurations.
Each configuration provides a standardized base platform capable of running a number of business-critical applications while providing scalability options to enable the infrastructure to grow with business demands. One such application workload that ExpressPod is well-equipped to run is Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services (RDS).
RDS is a collection of independent role services in Microsoft Windows Server 2012 that support various desktop virtualization and session based remoting scenarios. Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services on NetApp Storage gives detailed implementation guidance and best practices for a RDS solution.
A solution perfectly suited for the value of ExpressPod
As a desktop virtualization solution, RDS offers lower cost deployments. In addition to the cost-effectiveness of using ExpressPod, Microsoft Windows Server 2012 RDS reduces both the capital and operational expenditures of VDI. Simply said, “It’s in the box”. Software box that is. There are no additional software dependencies to roll out an effective VDI solution. Also, I’m happy to say that RDS deployments have been drastically simplified with Windows Server 2012, which reduces management costs.
If you are at MMS this week please be sure to stop by the Cisco or NetApp booths. We’d be happy to further discuss the benefits that either FlexPod or ExpressPod can bring your organization. You can also find out more about these solutions from certified Cisco and NetApp resellers.
Tags: Cisco, FlexPod, Hyper-V, Microsoft, netapp, private cloud
It has been a couple of weeks since its launch and we are seeing lots of interest in the Cisco ISR-AX! I have been hearing from customers, partners and folks worldwide about how they are using the new ISR-AX platforms now and get a router, VPN, firewall, intrusion prevention, cloud/web security, AVC (NBAR2, QoS, NetFlow, Media Monitoring, PfR) and WAN optimization (WAAS) all in one box for less than the cost of just an alternative WAN Optimization appliance. For WAN optimization with WAAS that is less than $1 per WAN optimized connection with ISR-AX!
Anyway, I’ve gotten lots of questions since the launch, so I grouped them and wanted to share the top 4: Read More »
Tags: Application Visibility and Control, Applications visibility, AVC, ISR-AX, QoS, Questions on ISR-AX, wan opt, WAN Optimization
If you’re an end-user or manager of software that has publicly known security vulnerabilities, wouldn’t you want to know about it? If you’re a software developer, wouldn’t you want to know if there are third-party software vulnerabilities that may impact your applications or products? Do you have a patch management compliance requirement for managing software vulnerabilities? I presume the answer is a resounding “Yes” to each question that applies to you. Anything we, as cyber security professionals, can do to help automate the vulnerability management process, while integrating security intelligence into that process from both an end-user and developer perspective, is a good thing. In this post, I will discuss Cisco’s Application Programming Interface (API) that exposes security intelligence as a direct data feed into applications or portals. The API is known as the IntelliShield Security Information Service (ISIS) and has proven effective to answering these leading questions.
“Continuous improvement in vulnerability management practices is imperative to keeping pace with the changing security environment as a result of evolving threats as well as new products and technologies” Russell Smoak, Cisco Systems, Cisco 2013 Annual Security Report
The above quote underscores the importance of striving to raise the bar in protecting against vulnerabilities, which may be exploited in your environment, or in the case of a developer, the products you provide to your customers. Cisco uses ISIS several ways, both internally and externally. Internally, Cisco takes advantage of custom-built tooling that uses vulnerability data from Cisco IntelliShield to notify the product development teams when a security issue originating in third-party software may impact a Cisco product. This tool has greatly increased the ability to manage security issues that originate in non-Cisco code. Externally, ISIS is used to provide the content to several sections accessible through the Cisco SIO portal. A couple of examples include:
- IOS Software Checker: this tool is used to query Cisco IOS Software Releases against published Cisco Security Advisories.
- Security Alerts: this tool provides an “At-A-Glance” type of view of security events such as vulnerability exposures.
Technically, ISIS provides a set of services that support application-to-application interaction using SOAP over the HTTPS protocol, allowing clients to develop ISIS-dependent applications that are not dependent on the technologies used to implement ISIS. The only dependency is for the client to have the ability to produce a SOAP message, send it to ISIS over HTTPS, and ultimately decompose the SOAP response. These services also allow clients to filter the security intelligence based on various inputs, enabling clients to align IntelliShield security intelligence with the unique business needs of their environment. Read More »
Tags: Cisco Security, intellishield, ISIS API, SOAP request, SOAP response