To know more about Application Centric Infrastructure join us for a special webcast
with John Chambers and Soni Jiandani
on November 6th at 10:30 am EST/7:30 pm PST/15:30 GMT
Revolutions are usually led by challengers, not incumbents. But Cisco’s Nov. 6th mega-launch of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is sounding revolutionary as described by some experienced industry watchers. Any revolution must transform the experience of its participants – in this case , the Application development teams, DevOps and CloudOps that are provisioning new applications in many mid-to-large Enterprise Data Centers. As John Chambers said at Interop “The ability to create an infrastructure that is agile, simplified, automatically programmable and able to scale on demand is critical to enabling the application model”. In this blog, we’ll zoom in on “Agility” as an experience.
The growing agility gap
In the last decade, Cisco and other equipment providers have greatly improved the agility of data center infrastructure – the ability to respond quickly to new demands for scale, performance and security. Technologies such as a unified fabric, virtualization and infrastructure controllers augmented by intelligent Automation and Governance have greatly simplified the management of the infrastructure.
But there is strong evidence that the demand for agility is increasing even faster – creating a growing agility gap.
Compared to traditional backoffice applications, new Mobile, Social and Big Data applications are much more dynamic due multi-tenancy, higher demand peaks, more distributed users, broader device support, varying performance needs, 24x7 global usage, and changing security vulnerabilities. Furthermore, to run economically at scale with performance and availability, these applications need a mix of virtualized and dedicated, “bare-metal” resources. And the reality is that only 40% of workloads are virtualized anyway in most enterprise data centers.
These factors are driving more distributed workloads and storage across the data center, more frequent changes to ports, LANs and subnets, more re-configurations of security and load-balancing, more application and flow optimizations and more monitoring and diagnostics to ensure application metrics.
Data center teams are getting overwhelmed. IDC’s 2011 research showed that total Data Center spend has shifted to these type of management and administration tasks – and that was just for virtualized servers. New bare metal workloads will increase this spend further as they move to scale, unless something is done.
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Tags: ACI, application centric infrastructure, application lifecycle, Application policy, data enter, SDN
I just got back from another blockbuster of an event that was VMworld Barcelona. If you’re VMworld Alumni, you know the drill – long days turn into nights, meetings, convention hall food, and before you know it, you’re at the customer reception and Taio Cruz is there. I also scored a really nice plastic tumbler (the drinking kind, not the Batman kind) when leaving the conference – which my family is probably going to steal from me in the near future.
This year was no different, and there’s been plenty to talk about especially as it pertains to the Cisco / VMware relationship (if you’re following the whole ACI vs. NSX thing) – I’ll get there in a minute, but before I do…
I spent a ton of time chatting with folks in the Solutions Exchange, re: their VDI implementations. Taking inventory of the most frequently asked questions, here’s what became discussion fodder in ranked order for those of you dying to know:
- Solutions for graphics-intensive use cases using NVIDIA GRID
- Persistent VDI with Cisco’s On-Board architecture (server-side flash caching)
- Cisco Validated Designs for FlexPod and Reference Architectures for VSPEX
- Desktone (now “Desktone by VMware”)
If one had to “connect-the-dots” across these topics, two common themes readily emerge. This year, no doubt, has been all about:
- Making VDI address a wider array of use cases with “equivalent-to-physical” levels of performance and,
- Simplifying how organizations implement and manage it.
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Extending our vision of shared infrastructure and unified management for enterprise applications, we are announcing industry’s first validated and certified solution for real-time Big Data analytics with SAP HANA. Based on our joint work with Intel and SAP at the SAP Co-innovation Lab (COIL), the solution integrates SAP HANA with Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop running on Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture (CPA) for Big Data, enabling real-time analysis of Big Data, while radically simplifying the infrastructure and management.
Solution Brief: Simplifying the Deployment of Real-time Big Data Analytics -- UCS + SAP HANA
Blog: Building on Success: Cisco and Intel Expand Partnership to Big Data
White Paper: Cisco UCS with the Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop Software
Tags: Cisco UCS CPA, HANA, intel-distribution-for-apache-hadoop
I’d like to share with you some insights from the recent deployment of Cisco Prime Service Catalog from one of our customers: Steria.
Steria is a leading provider of IT-enabled business services with 20,000 employees worldwide. Steria serves private and public sector organizations across the globe – with operations across 16 countries throughout Europe, India, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. With their expertise in IT and business outsourcing, Steria provides innovative solutions to help their clients improve efficiency and profitability.
One of Steria’s recent challenges was how to satisfy its clients’ desire to improve employee productivity and enable employees to work from any device. While IT-as-a-Service is becoming an increasingly competitive market in the Americas, offerings in Europe are still sparse – so this was also an opportunity to provide competitive differentiation for Steria’s services. Steria turned to Cisco to solve 3 key problems:
1. Providing employees with instant on-demand provisioning of desktop software and easy access to workplace IT resources,
2. Enabling employees to work from any device anywhere, and thus optimize computing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO),
3. And providing a simple, user-friendly portal and service catalog to make software offerings easily accessible.
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Tags: Case Study, cloud, customer, data center, IT, it-as-a-service, ITaaS, mobility, prime, Service Catalog, Service Provider, Steria, unified management, workplace IT
The International Conference on Performance Engineering (ICPE) is a leading forum focusing on the integration of theory and experience in various disciplines of performance engineering. The conference has been bringing together experts from industry, academia and research to share and discuss ideas, challenges and solutions -- work-in-progress and state-of-the-art -- in performance analysis, measurement and optimizations of hardware and software systems.
The 5th ICPE is supported by ACM and SPEC, will take place from March 23 to 26 in Dublin. Submission deadline for the industry and experience track is November 7th.
Additional Information is available at Conference Site, Industry and Experience Track.
(Chair, Industry Track)