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Who’s deploying Multi-hop FCoE? – Part IV

August 20, 2014 at 8:50 am PST

Continuing the Multi-Hop FCoE customer adoption series, as FederalEducationTechnology 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!

AHS_Interior_LogoAdventist 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.

AHS chose Cisco Nexus Switches with FCoE capabilities to build a high-density, high-performance converged data center infrastructure. AHS implemented redundant Nexus 5000 Switches and Nexus 2000 Fabric Extenders for the access layer. They connect to a redundant pair of Nexus 7000 Switches using FabricPath technology. The Nexus 5000 systems also connect to the Nexus 7000 systems VDCs (Virtual Device context)  through Multi-Hop FCoE fabrics. The Nexus 5000 Switches provide access to traditional FC SAN resources using MDS 9000 Multilayer Directors.  AHS manages the converged infrastructure using Data Center Network Manager (DCNM), which combines management of Ethernet and Storage networks into a single dashboard.

AHS-Dep

AHS

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Cisco and Citrix: Delivering the Unified Platform for Desktop and Application Virtualization

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

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 9.52.47 PMCisco 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.

Proof Points!

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.

Citrix Infographic_06 (final)

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!

Additional Resources:

Cisco Validated Design (CVD): Cisco Mobile Workspace Solution with Citrix -- includes XenMobile, Unified App Store, WorxHome, Receiver, XenDesktop and ShareFile

www.cisco.com/go/citrix

www.cisco.com/go/vdi

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Bring IT to VMworld 2014!

August 19, 2014 at 7:42 pm PST

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!

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!

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!

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.

What’s on your schedule for next week?

 

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F5 device Package for Cisco APIC goes FCS

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

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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

Click here to Register

 

Relevant links

www.cisco.com/go/aci

www.f5.com

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Announcing Cisco UCS Performance Manager: Performance monitoring and capacity planning for UCS integrated infrastructures

Now get data center assurance for UCS integrated infrastructures and tie application performance to physical and virtual infrastructure performance.

You can achieve deep granular visibility into UCS components to optimize resources and deliver better service levels to customers without having to resort to multiple tools and “swivel-chair” management.

vmworld

 

 

If you are going to be at VMworld next week stop by the Cisco booth. We will be on-hand with presentations and demos of UCS Performance Manager.  Get a first look on the show floor at the Cisco booth #1217. Here: http://www.vmworld.com/community/conference/us/sponsors#globalD

Moscone Convention Center-South Hall, San Francisco, CA
Sunday, August 24: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Opening Reception)
Monday, August 25: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 26: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 27: 10:00–5:00 p.m.

Fern Topology View1

Cisco UCS Performance Manager delivers capacity and performance management for Cisco UCS and integrated infrastructure network and storage devices. Just click on the device or the path and see the real-time performance metrics from the main dashboard.

Based on technology from Zenoss, this Cisco solution delivers granular device monitoring from a single customizable console. Cisco UCS Performance Manager uses Cisco UCS APIs and other native APIs and interfaces to collect data from UCS Manager and integrated infrastructure end points to display comprehensive information about all UCS infrastructure components.

Fern Application View dynamically Identifies Converged Infrastructure Components supporting the app

Using Dynamic Views you can view the integrated infrastructure elements that an application is using – right now. They’re kept up to date by configuration change events from VMware and UCS and accurately reflect the infrastructure resources used by each application.

You can easily spot where an error is affecting an application by examining the event rainbows of the components. With added benefits for VMware administrators: UCS Performance Manager gives you the ability to map virtual resources that include vSphere hosts, vSphere defined datacenters, vSphere VMs and endpoints. So, no matter how the application is defined (logical, physical or virtual), from the blade to the switch, you can dynamically see and drill down into affected components for one-stop troubleshooting.

We are also presenting an overview of UCS Performance Manager with a live Q&A at the Cisco booth. Some of the benefits we will be discussing:

  • We will show how UCS Performance Manager provides deep visibility for service profiles, chassis, fabric extenders, adapters, virtual interface cards, ports, and uplinks for granular data center monitoring.
  • How you can use UCS Performance Manager to maintain service-level agreements (SLAs) by managing optimal resource allocation to prevent under-provisioning and avoid performance degradation.
  • You can define component or application-centric views of critical resources; you can monitor SLA health and performance from a single console, eliminating the need for multiple tools.

For a deeper dive and links to a video demo of the solution in action, see Vishwanath Jakka’s blog here.

Mark your calendar for these VMworld speaking sessions:
“Performance and Capacity Management for Cisco Converged Infrastructures”
Tuesday August 26, 2:00pm

And, at 3:30pm on Tuesday, Mark Balch, Director Product Marketing and Raju Penmetsa, Principal Engineer at Cisco will highlight UCS Performance Manager in their breakout session: “Management and Automation for UCS Integrated Infrastructure”.

Session MGT3158.
Room: Moscone West, Room 3022.
See more here: https://vmworld2014.activeevents.com/connect/search.ww?searchPhrase=MGT3158

Hope to see you there!

For more information, or to schedule a demo reach out to Andrew Blaisdell ablaisde@cisco.com or to Vishwanath Jakka vijakka@cisco.com

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