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Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) solution for Citrix XenDesktop: Different Business Use Cases

June 12, 2012 at 6:55 am PST

Desktop virtualization is one of the major initiatives at Cisco and our partnership with Citrix is flourishing as Jonathan Gilad reported on this social media platform several times.

Today I invited  Bhumik Patel , Alliance Engagement Architect at Citrix, to write about some aspects of the collaboration between Cisco and Citrix to provide the best workspace experience to our customers. Bhumik is responsible for delivering technical best practices and joint solutions on Citrix XenDesktop and Cisco VXI desktop virtualization solutions for customers and partners. He has been with Citrix since 2007 and is based out of Santa Clara; CA. Prior to this role, Bhumik was part of Citrix’s WW Consulting group leading consulting projects for several enterprise Citrix customers around the globe and has led initiatives for developing best practices while integrating Citrix and partner solutions.

Bhumik is at Cisco Live in San Diego this week and on Twitter @bhumikp and on his blog – Check Citrix booth #734.

“As a Citrix Architect implementing Desktop Virtualization solutions with Cisco VXI and Citrix XenDesktop in the field, I would like to share some of the successful business use cases that a joint solution addresses primarily from a Citrix viewpoint. Since Cisco VXI is a unique, end-to-end architectural solution integrating virtualized data center, virtualization-aware networks and virtualized collaborative workspaces for optimally delivering virtual desktops with XenDesktop, it is really built to drive multiple I.T initiatives for you at once, all leading towards a flexible, next-generation workspace. Let’s look at the VXI solution at a very high level and then a few practical use cases:

 

First and foremost benefit is with Cisco UCS providing an ideal platform for hosting Citrix XenDesktop delivering virtual desktops for organizations. With the extended memory technology providing great VM density, and the service profiles allowing customers to dynamically build and scale out their infrastructure hosting XenDesktop. UCS also provides a great end user experience even for some very large VM footprints due to the unified fabric supporting very high I/O bandwidth. The solution with UCS and XenDesktop is completely validated and tested for providing the required density numbers. I had the opportunity to contribute to the initial validations with Cisco and you can read more on it here. So the guess work is eliminated while implementing your VDI solution, which could be a huge benefit in itself.

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Cisco live 2012 – Built on FlexPod

June 12, 2012 at 6:42 am PST

Cisco Live 2012 is a a very busy and vibrant event -- Amongst our partners , NetApp is playing this year a specific role to make sure that our attendees have the best experience ever .

I asked NetApp Vaughn Stewart (@vStewed) , Director for Cloud Computing and Virtualization at NetApp, and an avid blogger to tell us a little bit more about NetApp participation at Cisco Live 2012

“I am here in the beautiful San Diego to support the NetApp team and activities at Cisco Live 2012. This year’s event features the largest number of joint Cisco and NetApp solutions in our history! I expect Cisco Live attendees will be impressed with the depth and breadth of our offerings.

When I was asked to blog on what we have in store for the event I thought they were asking me to write another book! Honestly, I can’t even cover the volume of FlexPod activity in a single post. With that said, allow me to share with you a few items I find truly compelling.

FlexPod Powers the NOC at Cisco Live

This year’s Cisco Live network infrastructure is expected to support over 15,000 users with 35,000 devices and is expected to transfer over 3 terabytes of Internet traffic. Powering the Network Operations Center (NOC) that provides these services is a FlexPod. This is the second year that a FlexPod has powered the NOC at Cisco Live!

You can’t miss the NOC, it’s the glass walled datacenter locate adjacent to the World of Solutions’ entrance. Stop in and meet the NOC engineers; they can discuss the number of Cisco technologies and solutions running on the FlexPod. For those who want to learn even more, the Cisco Live NOC is featured in session BRKNMS-1035 on Thursday at 3:30 in ballroom 6D.

FlexPod Overruns the Exhibit Hall

FlexPod provides unmatched infrastructure flexibility ranging from architectural capacity and network connectivity, to bare-metal and virtual operating systems, to the broadest set of business critical applications.

With over 1,050 customers in 33 countries, FlexPod is leading the industry as the platform of choice for those seeking an agile datacenter. With over 70 public references, 20 Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs), the broadest set of validated management partners and numerous security validations including PCI Compliance, FISAM and ICSA; it’s easy to understand we are adding 1.5+ new FlexPod customers every day!

Cisco Live attendees will have the opportunity to learn of the latest FlexPod news including…

  • New entry level FlexPod for midsize and distributed environments. Its based on the Cisco UCS C-series and NetApp FAS2240 array. The new platform received a support from our field and analysts.
  • Validated FlexPod Management and Solutions. This new program strengthens the management options offered to FlexPod customers providing unified, turnkey functionality for automation and orchestration and have passed extensive testing in Cisco and NetApp labs.
  • MS Private Cloud built on FlexPod. Learn how Cisco, NetApp and Microsoft are accelerating private cloud adoption with deep integration into management interface such as Microsoft Hyper-V, System Center 2012 and PowerShell Toolkits with NetApp OnCommand management software.

FlexPod is also powering the over 80 VXI clients residing throughout the Cisco Live expo hall, including the event registration desks, Internet kiosks, and walk-in self-paced labs. In addition a number of technology partners will feature FlexPod platforms in their exhibits.

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Play Ball!

June 11, 2012 at 2:36 pm PST

One of the annual joys and rites of summer for millions of Americans is cheering for their favorite baseball teams. Fans continue to have more options than ever for following their favorite teams on-the-go with always-on access to MLB.com’s news and streaming video anywhere, anytime, on any device, supported by Cisco networking and data center infrastructure. Press coming to Cisco Live are in for a baseball treat today, with a tour of Petco park, followed by a behind the scenes look at the MLB IT infrastructure from Joe Choti, CTO and Sr. VP, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and Steve Reese, VP of Technology, Petco Park.

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Third-Party Virtual Services on the Cisco Nexus 1010-X Appliance Start with Imperva WAF

June 11, 2012 at 12:55 pm PST

Nexus 1010-X services imageIn a blog post earlier this year, I highlighted the Nexus 1010-X virtual services appliance announced at Cisco Live! in London, and why virtual services can be best deployed on a separate UCS-based appliance running NX-OS. The Nexus 1010 and 1010-X are dedicated platforms for hosting virtual service nodes, like the Nexus 1000V virtual supervisor module (VSM), virtual firewalls, and our virtual network analysis module (NAM). All these services run in virtual machines on the Nexus 1010, rather than taking up valuable resources on application servers, and allow for easier manageability by the networking and security teams (rather than the server team).

Continuing on the same theme, this week at Cisco live! San Diego (my how time flies between these shows!), web application firewall (WAF) manufacturer, Imperva, announced that their SecureSphere WAF would soon be available on the Cisco Nexus 1010-X virtual services appliance (Q4 CY 2012). This is the first third-party virtual service announced on either the Nexus 1010 or 1010-X appliance, and provides additional security capabilities on top of Cisco’s virtualization infrastructure for cloud applications.  Read More »

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Cisco UCS Serial # 0001: Saving $80,000/month in Operating Costs and with Improved Software Licensing Compliance

June 11, 2012 at 10:50 am PST

You meet the most interesting people at trade shows! This morning at Microsoft’s Tech Ed event here in Orlando the Cisco booth was humming with activity as the exhibit hall opened for the attendees. One early visitor to our booth turned out to have a very interesting – and quite fun – Cisco UCS story. 

 Jeff Stahl of Kindred Healthcare was the early visitor with the unique story. I started off my conversation with Jeff commenting on the complementary “Got Servers?” Cisco t-shirt he had just picked up. Jeff quickly mentioned he was a Cisco UCS customer and in fact was ‘our first’ customer as he has UCS serial # …0001 in his datacenter. What followed over the next few minutes was a fun conversation with Jeff and a few Cisco Engineers hearing about Kindred Healthcare’s UCS experience.

 The Kindred Healthcare case study is available online here – and the benefits they accrued in moving to Cisco’s UCS server platform make a great read:

 For instance, their comments on UCS and management are timely as our UCS Manager solution is up for a “Best of Show” award here at Tech Ed 2012 – “In addition to these savings, the Kindred team was also impressed by the centralized management that UCS offered, including service profiles that ensure consistent configurations. “We evaluated a number of different server solutions, but Cisco UCS really came out on top,” says King. “We didn’t consider the decision a mere hardware upgrade. Rather, UCS presented us the opportunity to truly transform the way we deliver services.”

 Also great to hear and read up on was the savings in overall operating costs and improved licensing compliance for their Microsoft solutions such as SQL Server and SharePoint – “The elastic characteristics of the UCS-based infrastructure have allowed Kindred to temporarily extend its virtualization services … As a result, the company reduced its operational costs by more than $80,000 a month. Kindred also saw Microsoft licensing savings. “We are now able to leverage our existing investment in Microsoft infrastructure service licenses by landing their services on our shared infrastructure, giving us immediate concurrency and the ability to upgrade as desired.”

 To learn more on Cisco’s UCS and Nexus capabilities for Microsoft software, please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

 

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