For about 2 decades, Fibre Channel has been deployed to support the most rigorous and demanding applications, and is mainly because FC possesses certain characteristics that enterprise customers embrace, i.e -- reliability, performance and scalability. 16Gb Fibre Channel is one of the preferred choice for mission-critical applications that required deterministic low latency networks to connect to storage. In addition to emerging technologies like FCoE and 40 GE, enterprise customers still continue to deploy Fibre channel for mission critical applications and this trend will continue for a while, due to huge customer investment in FC infrastructure and how their IT departments are organized. According to Dell’Oro report (June, 2013), 38% of data center switch/director ports are projected to be 16 Gb FC during 2014.
In order to support this demand for 16G, you may expect more product updates and new offerings from Fibre Channel vendors. For example, EMC announced their new 16G FC storage networking connectivity that further extends EMC’s lead in the market. Customers can now take advantage and future-proof their virtual data centers by deploying complete, end-to-end 16 Gb Fibre Channel connectivity throughout the cloud. A couple of months ago Cisco announced high density 16G and FCoE platform –Cisco MDS 9700 director , which delivers superior performance—more than three times the bandwidth than any currently available SAN Director in the market.
Well, I want to be very clear, 16G is one of several choices, when you are ready for convergence then you will have a choice of platforms that will support FC, FCoE and/or iSCSI, or all three! You can future proof your storage infrastructure!!! (see figure below). Cisco MDS 9700 (only director that supports both FC and FCOE in the same platform) + EMC solution enable customers to deploy Teir 1, 16Gb storage infrastructure and scale efficiently.
This month marks the three year anniversary of Cisco’s partnership with NetApp and our development of FlexPod. Over the years, we’ve experienced some tremendous growth, more than doubling new installations year-over-year, and now we have more than 3,000 customers globally.
Following the success of FlexPod Datacenter, FlexPod Express and FlexPod Select the solution is capping off the year with several technology enhancements. These include the automation of integrated infrastructure, business continuity solutions, and validation of new products and reference architectures.
Together, Cisco and NetApp are introducing four new FlexPod components that enable our customers’ continuing journey to the cloud:
UCS Director 4.1 deeply integrated with clustered Data ONTAP.
The addition of Citrix to the FlexPod Cooperative Support program.
FlexPod Datacenter with NetApp MetroCluster
FlexPod Datacenter with Cisco Virtualized Multiservice Data Center 2.3
I encourage you to take a look at the short video we’ve created that gives more details of all the new components we’re announcing today.
Our friends at NetApp have written a great blog post outlining the last two offerings, but I’d like to focus on the first two components – UCS Director and the addition of Citrix capabilities.
UCS Director Integration
New integrations with UCS Director and Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) provide automation and service catalogues, which help customers move toward delivering cloud services. Corporate IT maximizes benefits when its infrastructure can be commissioned within minutes in response to changes in demand. Cisco UCS Director views FlexPod as a single system and allows customers to rapidly deploy FlexPod by leveraging single element managers. UCS Director, in turn, will soon be natively integrated into Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud for a more comprehensive FlexPod cloud management solution.
With the Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) cloud accelerator, UCS Director and FlexPod are integrated as a “node” in the cloud that can be used by cloud administrators to provision NetApp storage into virtual data centers.
Faster with Intel
Rapid deployment will be used to harness tremendous increases in FlexPod computing power. The newest FlexPod deployments will feature Cisco UCS built on Intel’s Ivy Bridge chipset. We’ve introduced the Intel Xeon Process E5-2600 v2 product family on several servers.
“We like to say that Cisco and Intel are “Joined at the Chip,” because the innovation each company brings is incredibly complimentary. Cisco’s innovation in the data center is an extension of the company’s historic focus: connecting things. Cisco Unified Data Center and products like UCS are the outcomes of our drive to connect the pieces. When we join forces with Intel’s leadership at the computing core, customers see an unbeatable combination.” - Todd Brannon, Tick Tock Goes the Server Clock
Coupled with other UCS innovations, the solution has demonstrated great performance versatility and has set record-breaking industry benchmarks.
For enterprises that want to scale out this capacity, Cisco delivers UCS Central. UCS Central software manages multiple, globally distributed Cisco UCS domains with thousands of servers from a single pane.
Agile deployment and scale-out performance need the backing of a best-in-class support model. The FlexPod Cooperative Support program brings together the technology expertise of Cisco, NetApp and now Citrix. Citrix XenDesktop, Citrix XenServer and Citrix CloudPlatform are frequently deployed workloads in enterprises today. Customers will have direct access to Cisco, NetApp and Citrix engineers trained to rapidly address any operational issues. By adding Citrix, FlexPod has the broadest IT and cloud management support, including Citrix CloudPlatform, Microsoft System Center, VMWare vCenter Orchestrator, CA Automation Suite for Clouds, and BMC Cloud Lifecycle Manager.
Combined, these advances in FlexPod technology will enable the platform to exceed the needs of the most demanding private and public cloud deployments.
We’re incredibly proud of the work that Cisco and NetApp have done over the past three years. We are looking forward to an exciting future together as we use the FlexPod platform to continue delivering significant technology innovations to our customers.
For me, Halloween, October 31st, marks the start of the joyful holiday season. Continuing onto Thanksgiving and Christmas, this time of year is full of family, friends and relaxation.
For retailers on the other hand, today (technically tomorrow) is the start of a very busy season. According to NRF (National Retail Federation), it is when retailers get as much as 20-40%* of their sales of the year. Retailers are measured by multiple factors including sales per square feet. That means, real estate in a store is very valuable. Every foot, no, inch counts.
This is where Hugo comes in to discuss this very topic with John Flood, another UCS E-Series expert. How does UCS E-Series help save space and money for retailers? Help save time for banks?
Last week at the sixth annual Cisco Collaboration Summit, partners from Asia-Pacific, Japan and Greater China (APJC) had the opportunity to network with Cisco executives, other collaboration partners, consultants, and analysts and explore how trends such as mobility and cloud are changing the collaboration landscape.
As Cisco APJC is a partner-led organization, building and enabling our collaboration partners is business critical. Last week, we were privileged to recognize the exemplary collaboration partners who demonstrated best-in-class business practices and serve as a model to the industry. Congratulations to the following APJC partners:
Dimension Data APAC (Asia Pacific) was recognized in the Customer Lifecycle Leader award category for its business excellence in sales methodologies across the customer life-cycle.
Gen-i (New Zealand) was recognized in the Cloud Trailblazer award category for its business excellence in cloud business models.
Mitsubishi Electric System and Service (Japan) was recognized in the Video Visionary award category for its business excellence across the spectrum of pervasive video.
Servion Global Solutions Limited (India) was recognized in the Customer Collaboration Leader award category for its business excellence across contact center, remote expert, and other customer collaboration technologies.
Telstra (Australia) was recognized in the Mid-Market Mover award category for its business excellence in software applications and SaaS.
This week I’m at the inaugural Internet of Things World Forum, hosted by Cisco. To give you a sense of what was discussed in just one day, I thought I’d capture some of the more interesting tweets and stats. Below the tweets is a fun short video where I interviewed SAP’s Benjamin Wesson and with Cisco’s Monique Morrow!