In this week’s Engineers Unplugged, Frank Denneman (@FrankDenneman) and Damian Karlson (@sixfootdad) discuss parallels between VHS and traditional storage models, and how all old technology isn’t outdated. This is a great discussion about the role flash storage plays vs array. So be kind, rewind, and let’s dig into the theory behind the evolving storage models:
This episode was powered not just by unicorns, but by stroopwafels.
**The next shoot is last week of January at Cisco Live in Milan! If you want to be internet-famous, contact me ASAP to talk about being on the show.**
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)
Speed is one thing that Cisco UCS and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild franchise share in common. If you have ever been to a professional hockey game you recognized and probably came to appreciate the speed, skill, and nimbleness of the players out on the ice. For Cisco UCS, speed is an attribute inherent in what we do, too – our compute business is highly competitive and requires constant, skillful, and quick innovation to deliver the best and newest in technology to our customers.
Simplify infrastructure to boost staff productivity,
Improve resource management for controlled growth
Promote sustainability to conserve resources and provide environmentally conscious facilities for clients.
Looking at their long-term goals for cloud computing, the Wild staff decided to invest in a solution based on our Unified Computing System™ (UCS®) servers with Tegile based hybrid storage solutions. In doing so, the Wild established for them a highly agile data center environment that supports their current and future cloud initiatives with a virtual desktop infrastructure solution. The end results of the I.T. transformation project for the Wild were impressive as they:
Achieved 43 percent reduction in support costs
Reduced power by 63 percent and heat output by 68 percent
Reduced data from 42TB to 17TB
Once again we see the UCS architecture delivering improved performance at lower operating costs for a Microsoft oriented environment – Dynamics and CRM. In the case of the Minnesota Wild, a small I.T. organization when compared with larger enterprise I.T. organizations, they were able to deliver significant business value to their organization and position themselves for future technology shifts. Read more about the Minnesota Wild and their Cisco UCS experience here.
The VDI landscape is increasingly evolving to embrace virtual desktops that look, perform, and respond like their physical predecessors. Whether it’s application responsiveness with low latency across the network, or high-performance storage with expansive IOPS capacity that mirrors the native experience on one’s desktop/laptop, implementers and users expect their virtual desktops to behave akin to physical.
These technological achievements have led to increasingly successful virtual desktop deployments for knowledge workers and task workers, but not so much so for users of 3D graphics applications traditionally running on high-end dedicated graphics workstations. Across many industries and verticals like Manufacturing/Design, Higher Ed, and Healthcare, you’ll find end users needing access to immersive 3D graphics applications.
Cisco, Citrix and NVIDIA are pleased to be at the forefront of extending the applicability of VDI for graphics-intensive use cases, enabled by our jointly validated solution architectures based on Cisco Unified Computing, NVIDIA GRID™ vGPU™ and Citrix XenDesktop. This joint solution offers affordable, scalable performance for graphics-intensive VDI use cases, built on an optimized computing infrastructure from Cisco. Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) is the foundation of Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solutions. Cisco UCS provides an end-to-end, service-and-application optimized platform for mobile, virtual workspaces. The embedded NVIDIA GRID solution enables GPU sharing without sacrificing application compatibility or the user experience. Citrix XenDesktop and XenApp deliver desktops and applications as on demand services that tap into the benefits of GPU resources. With our combined desktop virtualization solution, we’re expanding the utility, reach and performance of VDI.
Learn more about Cisco, Citrix and NVIDIA joint solutions for immersive 3D graphics in virtualized environments by checking out this helpful Solution Overview
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.