In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, David Hartman and Tim Cerling discuss Fast Track 4.0 Solutions, which promote fast and efficient deployment of private clouds with Cisco, EMC, and Microsoft solutions.
How many engineers does it take to straighten a whiteboard? (Answer: 5) Behind the scenes on #EngineersUnplugged
If you would like to become Internet Famous, and strut your unicorn talents, join us for our next filming session at VMworld 2014. Tweet me for details!
This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
Continuing the Multi-Hop FCoE customer adoption series, as Federal, Education, Technology verticals were covered previously, so in this blog I would provide the details on the FCoE design and benefits in an another important vertical -- Healthcare!
Adventist Health System is a large, faith-based health care provider. The system’s hospitals include nearly 8300 licensed beds and provide care for 4.5 million patients each year in inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room visits. The IT department, AHS Information Services (AHS-IS), provides technology systems and services for 32 of Adventist Health System’s 45 campuses over nine states. The business challenge was to provide a scalable data center that can handle increasing volumes of health care data and as well be flexible enough to support wide range of device access protocols. This DC would support AHS’ mission-critical applications and data, including email, electronic health records, virtualization, and imaging system archives.
Today Citrix announced the latest advancements for XenApp and XenDesktop, built on the fourth release of their FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA). With this evolution come significant improvements in Citrix Provisioning Services, Citrix Receiver, FIPS compliance, single console manageability across hybrid cloud environments, Workspace Suite, user experience, and much more.
Cisco UCS: The Optimal Foundation for XenDesktop and XenApp
Cisco is pleased to be a leading technology and infrastructure partner to Citrix, providing the optimal foundation of this unified platform for desktop and app virtualization, benefitting organizations everywhere that seek to evolve their traditional desktop environments into mobile, virtualized workspaces. At the core of this foundation is the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). Check out this animated whiteboard if you’re not already familiar with how UCS has rapidly become the preferred x86 compute platform for XenDesktop and XenApp deployments.
We believe that the latest features of XenDesktop and XenApp will continue to drive exceptional end user experience and accelerate the pace at which organizations embrace desktop transformation initiatives. The benefits of this best of breed joint solution are evident in the customer success stories exposed in the following infographic.
In addition to our joint integrated solutions supporting desktop and app virtualization, we also share a common vision of cloud architectures and services. As demonstrated in today’s announcement we see the end user computing landscape evolving to embrace customer choice and flexibility as organizations seek a “portfolio approach” in how workspaces are delivered, whether that be via on-premise solutions, public cloud or a hybridized approach. This is a key benefit of the FMA platform combined with Cisco Intercloud, enabling customers to derive the maximum benefit from cloud economics. And don’t forget, as part of Cisco’s Cloud Network Services portfolio we offer the Citrix NetScaler 1000V application delivery controller, integrating virtual applications to Cisco Unified Fabric, delivering scalable, reliable application services to users.
Transforming Desktops into Mobile Workspaces
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our joint workspace mobility solution. With this announcement comes Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 providing enhanced support for Citrix Workspace Suite. You may recall that back on May 6th, we announced the Cisco Mobile Workspace Solution with Citrix -- bringing together the technologies of two mobility leaders as a complete and validated business to employee (B2E) mobility solution. This groundbreaking solution allows organizations to deploy mobility at their own pace with a modular approach that builds on the Cisco Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Desktop Virtualization Solutions. It combines all the essential hardware and software technologies, services, and support needed to embark on mobility projects with confidence, speed, and reduced risk. Together, Cisco and Citrix are delivering a complete, unified solution for mobile, Windows, web and SaaS-based apps.
How to Get Started…
Before I close, I want to share one more solution for your consideration. The Citrix Pilot Accelerator is a great way to get one’s feet wet with desktop and app virtualization. This 200 seat configuration provides all the infrastructure and software elements needed to deploy a pilot environment, or outfit a small office/branch. It employs a UCS C240 rack server, equipped with on-board flash storage and SAS drives in an extremely economical bundle, with ample performance, and ability to scale. If you’re wondering how to get started with Citrix and Cisco, this is a great solution that neatly fits in just 2 RU. And, if you weren’t aware, Cisco offers XenDesktop 7.6 software and other new products as part of our resale program with Citrix. A great way to build the perfect bundle!
It’s time to dust off your most comfortable shoes, pack your spare battery packs, and warm up your throwing arm--VMworld 2014 is almost here. As always, the Cisco Data Center team has a lot going on both on the show floor and off. Here’s a quick guide to some of the community highlights for those attending and those watching it all unfold.
Conference hair? We have your solution. Visit us at Cisco Booth 1217 for your #CiscoUCS hat. Tweet a selfie and enter our raffle!
Sunday, August 24
8-11 am: vBreakfast
What better way to get to know the community than over breakfast at Mel’s Diner? Join #CiscoChampion Shane Williford and many others in this yearly tradition of carbo-loading for an action-packed day.
1-4 pm: Opening Acts
This new addition to kick off the community learning at VMworld is brought to you by the VMunderground group in partnership with vBrownBag, both of whom Cisco is sponsoring this year. Learn about topics spanning tech and professional development in this informal panel sessions.
3-5 pm #v0dgeball
For the 2nd year in a row, Cisco is the proud sponsor of Team CloudBunny at this annual charity event. Exactly what it sounds like, this is the time of year where smack talk is encouraged and a year’s worth of glory is earned. All proceeds benefit Wounded Warrior Foundation. So don a pair of ears, or just come out and prepare to cheer. Suggested donation is $5 for fans.
Yes, it’s an actual charity dodgeball match! Come out to donate and cheer us on!
8-11 pm #VMunderground
This annual tradition is bigger than ever! Come out to meet your colleagues at this community-backed event. Conveniently located right across from Moscone, it’s the perfect time to meet old friends and connect with new ones. We’ll be there with various giveaways (did someone say #vBacon?). Be sure to follow @CiscoDC this week for a chance to win one of the limited supply of #VMunderground wristbands available.
Tuesday, August 26
8-11 pm #vBacon
Back for the 3rd year, #vBacon is bigger and more bacon-filled than ever. If you’ve not yet registered, do so today for the VIP entrance into the community party where everyone knows your Twitter handle. Complete with caricaturists to capture the moment, locally themed food and drink, and lots and lots of bacon. Accept no imitations.
The one and only #vBacon happens Tuesday night! Join us!
In between the social activities, there are great Cisco sessions, demos, and #EngineersUnplugged being shot at the Cisco Booth 1217. Also, we’ll be in the Social Media Lounge and on the vBrownBag stage. For a complete listing of learning opportunities, here’s a Full Cisco at VMworld Event Schedule. We look forward to connecting with you!
For those watching from home, you can keep up with the news by following any of the hashtags above, and also #CiscoUCS, #CiscoACI, #VMworld.
Recent few weeks should have been exciting if you are a customer of ACI. First, we announced the shipment of ACI to Data Centers worldwide. Then, F5 announced that its device package for Cisco APIC is FCS. We also had a very successful F5 Agility at New York early in August, showcasing Cisco ACI-F5 Big IP joint solution in breakout sessions, world of solutions Expo and in keynotes Panels. Cisco also recently published a jointly written technical whitepaper, a solutions brief and a Design guide with F5.
In this blog, I want to take you on a quick tour of the Cisco ACI-F5 integrated joint solution.
Traditional approaches to inserting L4-L7 services into a network entail highly manual operations, that takes days or even weeks to deploy. Likewise when an application is retired, removing a service device configuration, such as firewall rules, can be difficult. Cisco APIC can automate service insertion while acting as a central point of policy control. APIC can also automatically configure the service according to the application’s requirements, which allows organizations to automate service insertion and eliminate the challenge of managing the complex techniques of traditional service insertion.
Diagram-1: ACI – F5 Big IP Integration architecture
As depicted in diagram-1 above, F5 BIG –IP integrates with Cisco APIC through well established and open APIs (Simple Object Access Protocol [SOAP] or Representation State Transfer [REST]). The result of the integration is a device package, which is currently available on F5’s software download website. With the device package from F5 loaded on Cisco APIC, customers can achieve automated network and service provisioning across the F5 services fabric, providing end-to-end telemetry and visibility of applications and tenants. Cisco APIC acts as a central point of configuration management and automation for Layer 4 through 7 services and tightly coordinates service delivery, serving as the controller for network automation.
With Cisco ACI -F5 BIG-IP joint solution, customers can preserve richness of F5 Synthesis offering through policy abstraction, offering investment protection, application deployment agility, scale and secure multi tenancy and achieve great operational cost benefits. Existing F5 Physical hardware or virtual editions can be deployed with Cisco ACI. Moreover, in this model, application policy based provisioning of workflows allows for efficient and faster roll out of application across multiple tenants while maintaining operational best practices across L2-L7 teams within an IT organization.
With Cisco ACI and F5, you can overcome your biggest IT agility and cost management challenges, ensuring responsiveness to customers and employees and a more competitive posture. As a result, rather than being a perceived barrier to success, your IT organization can drive innovation and agility to meet business objectives.
To learn more, please register for the technical webinar Cisco and F5 are hosting on Aug 26