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Breaking through Performance Barriers: Desktop Virtualization at Cisco Live

We’re halfway into Cisco Live!  Each year I find more and more attendees are coming to talk to us about running various desktop delivery models on UCS.  Some observations from folks I’ve chatted with:

More and more of you are asking about NVIDIA GRID solutions for graphics intensive use-cases.  I had several in fact, from the oil and gas industry who were especially interested in our C240 M3 solution with GRID – which conveniently we’ve been demo-ing here, remoted out of our San Jose lab.  If you’re not familiar with it, check out our solutions for both Citrix and VMware.

CAPEX-friendliness with great performance, for small seat count environments is key.  Lot’s of folks asking about solutions that are optimized for 100-200 seats of Horizon or XenDesktop, that are completely self-contained, including compute, storage, broker and the infrastructure assets.  I’ve shared this brand new whitepaper on our C240 200 seat config with everyone I talk to – just a single rack footprint that includes the LSI Nytro MegaRAID Controller with 200 GB of flash for write-caching, plus 12 x 600GB SAS drives.  Here’s what’s been tested:

Hardware Components:

  • Cisco UCS C240-M3 Rack Server (2 X Intel Xeon processor E5-2697 v2 @ 2.70 GHz) with 384GB of memory (16 GB X 24 DIMMS @ 1866 MHz), hypervisor host
  • Cisco UCS VIC1225 Converged Network Adapter/Rack Server (Optional for 10GB Connectivity)
  • 2 x Cisco Nexus 5548UP Access Switches
  • 12 x 600GB SAS disks @ 10000 RPM
  • LSI Nytro MegaRAID Controller 8110-4i

The infrastructure/user file volumes are on the 1st 4 drives set up in a RAID 5 config, and the 2nd and 3rd groups of 4 drives (combined in RAID 10) are for XenDesktop MCS (Citrix) or Floating Assignment / Linked Clones (VMware).  Extremely cost-effective for 200 seats with great performance that doesn’t max out the system and has plenty of room to breathe.  Check out the Citrix and VMware configs of this “in-a-box” solution.

Flash – Flash and more Flash.  It’s hard to move around SF without seeing a Cisco UCS / Flash-Forward advertisement promoting UCS Invicta Solid State Systems.  Invicta is changing the economics of desktop virtualization with industry-leading wear life rating, expansive write-IOPS capacity, and superior manageability within the UCS fabric with UCS Director.  We’ve got a nice demo of 600 XenDesktop seats booting off an Invicta appliance, in under 9 minutes.

There you have it – great performance that goes beyond the traditional barriers associated with cost-effectively delivering desktop virtualization.  Definitely check out these three solutions if you have some time remaining at Cisco Live this week.

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Python code from UCS PowerTool

May 20, 2014 at 9:25 am PST

I have been out of college for almost 25 years and have been programming ever since.  However I was a programmer before I graduated, I was a programmer when in 7th grade I got to bring home a Commodore PET (Personal Electronic Transactor), for a week at a time. I thought that everyone would want to bring it home, I got to school early every Friday morning to signup to bring it home the next week. Turns out I was always the only one in line. Then my dad bought me a Timex Sinclair 1000, and I was hooked.

Oddly enough I started out studying engineering in,1984, I didn’t think that my computer hobby was a pursuable major. In most classes I just felt I didn’t get it and those around me did, maybe engineering was not for me. Then I took my first programming course, Fortran, I got it, but very few others did, it was then that I realized that I was a programmer.

In “The Mythical Man Month” by Fred Brooks, in the very first chapter, The Tar Pit, there is a description of the joys of the craft and it captured why I program, perfectly.

The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures.

Written in the 1970s, I couldn’t believe how succinct and right on-target was the statement. My early languages were C, Pascal, PL/1, ada. And after I graduated C++, Java, and object oriented programming became the rage. I did come to like Java and augmented my programming skills with Perl and was perfectly happy to continue along with those, that was until I met Python

I’m not the kind of person to get into debates about what programming language is better and why.  I’m an average guy programmer, if it works, great! And Python works great.
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Cisco UCS and ACI Infrastructure Innovations for Big Data at Hadoop Summit

Big Data remains one of the hottest topics in the industry due to the actual dollar value that businesses are deriving from making sense from tons of structured and unstructured data.  Virtually every field is leveraging a data-driven strategy as people, process, data and things are increasing being connected (Internet of Everything). New tools and techniques are being developed that can mine vast stores of data to inform decision making in ways that were previously unimagined.   The fact that we can derive more knowledge by joining related information and recognizing correlations can inform and enrich numerous aspects of every day life.  There’s a good reason why Big Data is so hot!

Hadoop Summit

 

This year at Hadoop Summit, Cisco invites you to learn how to unlock the value of Big Data. Unprecedented data creation opens the door to responsive applications and emerging analytics techniques and businesses need a better way to analyze data.  Cisco will be showcasing Infrastructure Innovations from both Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Cisco Applications Centric Infrastructure (ACI).  Cisco’s solution for deploying big data applications can help customers make informed decisions, act quickly, and achieve better business outcomes.

Cisco is partnering with leading software providers to offer a comprehensive infrastructure and management solution, based on Cisco UCS, to support our customers’ big data initiatives.   Taking advantage of Cisco UCS’s Fabric based infrastructure, Cisco can apply significant advantage to big data workloads.

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Moving at #Cloud Speed: CiscoLive Intercloud News

May 20, 2014 at 7:00 am PST

This week we are celebrating with more than 25,000 attendees at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and many more viewers  on line the 25th anniversary of Cisco Live and it’s an exciting time for Cisco and our partners! As John Chambers described it so eloquently  in his Monday keynotes, customers are embracing the opportunities around the Internet of Everything and are looking for us to help them realize the benefits and manage the transition. And cloud deployment is certainly a critical component of this new IT world.

Since we announced our Intercloud strategy at Partner Summit, it continues to build momentum. This week, we are taking the next bold step and announcing new offers and new partnering models.   We are expanding beyond our hosted collaboration and SaaS offerings with a richer set of cloud services.

Cisco is Moving Fast with our Partners to deliver on the Promise of an Intercloud

Read Robert Lloyd bio.

Read Robert Lloyd bio.

Rob Lloyd President, Development and Sales  intends to demonstrate in his keynotes  how fast Cisco has been able to move by driving a partner-centric Cloud strategy.

You can watch on line Rob’s keynote  for a deeper dive into what is happening both at Cisco and with our customers as the Internet of Everything becomes a reality.  Find out what Cisco is doing today, what we’re planning in the future, and what others are doing to tap into the power of the Internet of Everything.

You may also want to read the press release and Rob’s companion blog.

Edison Peres, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Channels at Cisco. Read his bio.

Edison Peres, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Channels at Cisco.

A partner-centric approach differentiates Cisco and our partners

Innovation is required to meet the rapidly changing business requirements for cloud, mobile and the Internet of Everything. With that, new Intercloud reference architectures are being added to the Cloud and Managed Service Program for partners who deliver Cisco Powered services.

You can learn more in a new blog by Edison Peres, Senior Vice President of Cisco Cloud and Managed Service Organization (CMSO):  Cloud Evolution: A Journey Together.

Aligning Your Strategy and Business for Cloud Success

Dr. Gee Rittenhouse and Faiyaz Shahpurwala

Dr. Gee Rittenhouse and Faiyaz Shahpurwala

This afternoon , Cisco executives Dr. Gee Rittenhouse –CDO and Faiyaz Shahpurwala -- Senior Vice President, Cloud Infrastructure and Managed Services share our hybrid cloud strategy with you, including solutions such as Cisco InterCloud and Intelligent Automation for Cloud. They also discuss in their keynotes  the role of applications and our partner ecosystem.

If you missed out on the Cloud Technology Trend Keynote – Aligning Your Strategy and Business for Cloud Success by Dr. Gee Rittenhouse and Faiyaz Shahpurwala, you’ll want to catch the on-demand replay.

In this session, Dr. Gee Rittenhouse and Faiyaz Shahpurwala provide use cases and insights to answer the following questions:

    • How do you evolve your strategy at the right time with the right model?
    • Which cloud is right for which workload?
    • What is “fact or fiction” amid all of the cloud discussions and options?
    • Is your strategy aligning you for success?
    • Are your investments today setting you up for future success?

Watch CiscoLive sessions on-demand

Follow the CiscoLive on-demand conversation on Twitter #CL365 

Additional Cloud Information:

Imagine a new IT: A Bold Next Step for the World of Many Clouds

Imagine a new IT: A Bold Next Step for the World of Many Clouds via YouTube

Enterprise At-A-Glance (AAG) -- PDF

Provider At-A-Glance (AAG) -- PDF

Infographics:

Additional Resources 

 

 

Read the press release:Cisco and Dimension Data to Accelerate Global Hybrid Cloud Adoption.  Dimension Data Named Cisco’s First Global Intercloud Partner, Expanding on Successful 23-Year Relationship

 

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Evolution of Cisco Prime Network Services Controller

Cisco Prime Network Services Controller 3.2.2 is available for download, follow this link to download the software and documentation. The 3.2.2 release incorporates a number of new features on top of 3.2.1 release. Refer to an earlier blog for the features introduced in 3.2.1 release. Following video provides a brief introduction to Prime Network Services Controller.

Following are some of the key capabilities introduced in Cisco Prime Network Services Controller 3.2.2 release:

  • Prime Network Services Controller operating in OpenStack environment supporting Edge Router and Load Balancer network services
  • License automation for CSR 1000V, Citrix NetScaler VPX and Citrix NetScaler 1000V
  • Automatic instantiation of Compute Firewall, Edge Router and Load Balancer network services with Dynamic Fabric Automation

OpenStack support

The Cisco Prime Network Services Controller 3.2.1 supports Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere environments. Prime Network Services Controller 3.2.2 extends multi-hypervisor capabilities by introducing the support for OpenStack (KVM) in addition to Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere.

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