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ACI Customers Share Experiences at Gartner Data Center Conference

[Note: If you like hearing these customer perspectives, register today for our upcoming live ACI webcast: “Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy”, January 13, 2015, 9 AM PT, Noon ET, featuring more ACI customers and several key ACI technology partners.]

Happy New Year to everyone! I thought this would be a great opportunity now that everyone is back into the swing of work to highlight a couple of customer presentations from last month at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas. Cisco hosted a 30 minute session on our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and we invited two customers, Acxiom and Symantec, to present their use cases and experience in deploying ACI so far.

These Gartner conferences attract primarily CIO and high-level IT executives, and it’s no secret that they prefer hearing from industry peers rather than vendor product pitches. Kamal Kharrat from Acxiom and Vince Spina from Symantec both do a great job talking about real benefits from their deployment and the reasons they chose ACI as a primary platform for their SDN strategy.

http://gartner.mediasite.com/mediasite/play/52a862bd7f1b42d5ba9166ccf2505917?autoStart=true

Gartner ACI Session

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IT Automation Eases the Cost of Doing Business

The increasing pace of business is creating high demand for IT efficiency and speed.

IT directly affects your ability to respond correctly and quickly to new opportunities.  Slow IT equates to slow business.

The latest release of Cisco UCS Director allows IT to automate the deployment of infrastructure delivering the speed and efficiency IT needs in order to support business demands.

Not familiar with Cisco UCS Director?  Briefly, this solution reduces data center complexity by replacing manual provisioning tasks with unified automated workflows that span compute, network, storage and virtualization.  But this solution doesn’t manage just Cisco products.  It unites Cisco UCS-based integrated infrastructures and third-party hardware solutions into a single management view to ensure maximum IT efficiency.  Heterogeneous management is just one of the features that makes Cisco UCS Director different.  You can learn more by going here. Read More »

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Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure Extends Market Leadership

Last month, Cisco added the VersaStack solution to our integrated systems portfolio. The new VersaStack solution leverages Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure with IBM Storwise V7000 storage. Cisco continues to partner with both leading and emerging storage technology vendors to deliver solutions built on Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure. Customers want choice. By choice, we mean that Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure is available with many different storage vendors, including NetApp, EMC, HDS, IBM and Nimble. In other words, the customer doesn’t have to switch storage vendors, they can continue with their current storage or mixed storage vendors and gain the surprising benefits of Cisco UCSCisco Nexus, and UCS Director. We realize customers have technology preferences and administrative skill sets that may lead them to a specific solution. Customers also want to seamlessly implement the latest and greatest technology with minimal risk. Cisco’s strategy is to provide that choice with our latest innovations and back it up with Cisco Validated Designs to ensure a faster and more reliable infrastructure deployment.

Our strategy is clearly working – IDC recently released their Q3CY14 integrated infrastructure quarterly tracker and Cisco is the leader in the integrated infrastructure segment with the top two solutions, Vblock and FlexPod, being based on Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure. Vblock and FlexPod have a combined 45% market share! Cisco’s market share is even greater when we add in the participation of Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure with Cisco Solutions for VSPEX and the Unified Compute Platform solution. Emerging storage vendors, Nimble Storage and Pure Storage, also build integrated systems leveraging the innovation and leadership provided by Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure.

In fact, hyper-converged infrastructures such as Simplivity and StorMagic are also leveraging Cisco UCS. Customers want to accelerate and simplify the deployment of IT infrastructure. This is a common customer pain point that is driving the market for both hyper-converged systems and integrated systems. The choice between the two comes down to performance, scale, manageability, and enterprise data management requirements. The great news is that Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure can be a common platform for both integrated and hyper-converged systems.

Capture New Business Opportunity with Effective Automation

The connections between your business success and data center efficiency have never been clearer or stronger. Delivering data center resources quickly to capitalize on new business opportunities or projects is a major factor for business success. The only way to expedite resource delivery is by replacing manual processes with repeatable, best-practice-based automated service consumption and delivery.

So what is getting in the way?

The first problem is inconsistent delivery of standardized infrastructure instances. Many solutions on the market today only manage virtual resources while others just support their proprietary hardware stack. Automation needs to be across all layers – and that includes networks. I believe the only way to achieve the speed and efficiency businesses desire is to manage your entire heterogeneous data center as a unified whole — holistically. Read More »

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Build your Ark – prepare for the GPU VDI flood!

Its been 9 months since we first discussed VDI 2.0 and the evolution of how and why GPU is becoming a necessary piece of a modern VDI environment. If you missed that blog, have a look here to catch up on this exciting transition. There have been many confirmations of this shift over the last several months but none as exciting or enabling as the early access program for vSphere 6 and VMware’s first stab at NVIDIA GRID vGPU. As a refresher, GRID vGPU is what many would consider the “Holy Grail” of GPU and the primary purpose of the NVIDIA GRID vGPU technology. By physically partitioning the GRID cards, you get the best of scalability and performance without the overhead of technology like vSGA or the limited scale of pass through GPU’s.

As you probably know, Citrix XenServer and XenDesktop have supported vGPU for a little over a year. It was amazing to see staunch vSphere environments start to implement XenServer just to get access to the benefits of GRID vGPU. This appears to have caught VMware a little off guard as they are typically the first to enter new innovative spaces with the vSphere hypervisor. As a result of Citrix beating VMware to the punch on GRID vGPU, work on GRID vGPU shot to the top of priorities at VMware. Who wins in this punch/counter punch contest of GRID vGPU? WE ALL WIN! Competition drives innovation and in this case, very timely innovation.

So lets talk about the early access program for vSphere! Oh… I almost forgot – the restrictions on the early access program prevent discussion outside the people that are part of the early access program. So unfortunately there isn’t much we can discuss specifically about the program, but we can discuss its inevitable impact. vSphere is the leading hypervisor, NVIDIA is the leading GPU enabler for VDI and Cisco is the leading enterprise compute platform that just launched the C240 M4 with the latest Intel Haswell E5-2600 v3 series processors. NVIDIA‘s GTC (GPU Technology Conference) is March 17-20 and VMware is indicating that vSphere 6 should be available around then. You couple all of this with some exciting things that Cisco is working on relative to Compute and GPU’s (maybe an announcement at GTC.. J )… the perfect storm is brewing for sure. Learn more about NVIDIA GRID vGPU here:  http://www.nvidia.com/object/virtual-gpus.html

 

 

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