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.
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).
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.
The data center landscape has changed dramatically in several dimensions. Server virtualization is almost a defacto in our customers’ data centers with a big increase in VM density. They are also moving towards world of many clouds. And then there is the massive data growth. Some studies show that data is doubling in every 2 years while there is an increase in the adoption of solid-state drives (SSD). Several of our customers are also either consolidating their data centers or forming mega data centers. All of these mega trends certainly come with increasing challenges for the Storage Administrator as the storage network is becoming more critical as it is the strategic asset in the Data Centers.
Take a look at this short video with Richard Darnielle (Director of Product Management for MDS Product lines) and me. Richard shares his insights on the mega trends that will shape the next-generation storage networks.
Guess what? Once again Cisco is here to help you on your journey to addressing these mega trends by raising the bar for storage networks. How you ask?
At Microsoft Management Summit 2013 in Las Vegas this week, Cisco is showing a host of new technology innovations and integrated solutions for the virtualized data center. By bringing Cisco virtual networking and UCS solutions together with Microsoft cloud solutions, we are expanding the market for our technology, while providing more technology options and flexibility for our customers.
Our new version of Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V has been in wide use for the last several weeks since we opened up the public beta to all volunteers. The availability of Nexus 1000V and these go to market initiatives with Microsoft are the culmination of 3 years of joint effort between the companies, including developing the ecosystem for completely integrated solutions. These fully integrated solutions include VSPEX, FlexPod (with EMC and NetApp) that enable channel partners to deliver value to end customers.
The feedback we’ve been getting from the beta users of the new Nexus 1000V has been really positive. If you missed the insights from Microsoft MVP, Damian Flynn, when he presented at one of our online webinars, you can hear him talk about his experiences here.
What we consistently hear from customers is the Cisco Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V:
Offers consistent operational experience across physical, virtual, and mixed hypervisor environments
Reduces operational complexity through dynamic policy provisioning and mobility aware network policies
Improves security through integrated virtual services and advanced Cisco NX-OS features
So, after weeks of biting my tongue through what seemed like a constant drip of leaks and rumors, we can finally take the covers off OpenDaylight. So, lets cover some of the basics:
OpenDaylight is an open source project formed under the Linux Foundation with the mutual goal of furthering the adoption and innovation of Software Defined Networking (SDN) through the creation of a common industry-supported framework--essentially we are building a open source SDN stack.
This is the cool part--the Project has drawn members from across the industry. Its actually been pretty interesting working with all these companies towards a common goal over the last few weeks--kinda like an all-star team. This is an open project, so any company can join the project at any time and any developer can get involved.
It’s late Sunday night in Las Vegas as I write this from my hotel room – Cisco’s day one MMS 2013 blog post. It has been a long day already here at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center getting set up for the show… Our Cisco booth is complete; UCS, Nexus 1000V, FlexPod, and VSPEX Engineers have their demos loaded and ready to go; the always popular Cisco t-shirts are stocked and ready to be handed out; the Event team is here and primed.
Over dinner tonight I was mulling over with my core event team what to write about in this blog. For some reason, and I forget why, we had been discussing Napoleon at the table. So, I started searching for some famous Napoleon quotes that might apply to technology, I.T. management, and Cisco’s activities at MMS 2013.
I found this quote from Napoleon Bonaparte: “Imagination rules the world”. Those four simple words are so very true when it comes to the power inherent in Cisco’s Nexus 1000V and UCS management capabilities. We’ve all learned about the powerful hardware architecture of UCS – with its modular approach to helping you deliver a modern datacenter for compute, networking, virtualization, and storage. I think at MMS 2013 though people will see the imagination, and innovation if I can add to that, of what Cisco UCS Manager and Nexus 1000V Engineers have delivered for Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1.
Cisco’s management portfolio is focused on doing what we know best – managing the compute, network, and virtualization infrastructure layers. We partner in the most complementary way with Microsoft’s System Center management portfolio. Together we offer a true ‘better together’ model affording end to end management ranging from the hardware chassis to the business transaction.
So, if you are at MMS 2013 this week, check us out in booth #501. We’ve got a set of demos anchored by Nexus 1000V and its integration into the Hyper-V Extensible Switch as well as a strong set of Cisco UCS Manager and Cisco PowerTool for PowerShell demos. Completing our demos is kiosk’s devoted to our private cloud solutions with our strategic partners NetApp and EMC respectively FlexPod, VSPEX.