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Cisco’s Cloud Verse, VCE and EANTC Cloud Mega Test

May 22, 2012 at 3:30 am PST

 

Tom Chatham is a Principal vArchitect with VCE Corporate Engineering responsible for delivering VCE solutions, customer solution testing, technical marketing events and evangelizing private cloud. 16 years of experience in the industry, most of that time spent focused on storage, virtualization and unified computing. Including extensive network infrastructure, systems architecture and business continuity.

Tom is at EMC World in Las Vegas  these days and on Twitter @tchatham -- Check booths 410 or 515 .

I asked Tom to share  his experience and point of view on the EANTC Cloud Mega Test  - here is what he sent me

 

“Over the past four to five months, there has been significant buzz about VCE’s role in the EANTC Cloud Mega Test.  I was lucky enough to be a part of the test team, and I wanted to share some of my experiences in working on this fantastic project with EANTC and Cisco.

It started with a bang, of course.  Back in late January, Light Reading published their first report on the testing EANTC had done of Cisco’s CloudVerse architecture. I was at Cisco Live London where details of the test were first shared and members of the CloudVerse team were in attendance to share the results. Over the next couple of months, EANTC followed that up with other reports in the series.  All in all, they covered the Cisco Unified Data Center that is the foundation for cloud services, Cloud Intelligent Networks, Cloud Applications & Services, and Long-haul Optical Transport used in delivering cloud-based services.  Of course, I wasn’t involved in all of that.

As with all of the Mega Test programs (the Mobile Mega Test and Medianet Mega Test being the ones that Light Reading conducted previously), these programs are a big deal.  Cisco spends millions of dollars -- literally -- on lab infrastructure, engineers and communications for each one of these tests.  Light Reading has EANTC come in to provide independent, objective oversight and testing.  And when the report comes out, there is a lot of buzz in the industry on exactly what went on.  It’s not every day we get to play in a multi-million dollar sandbox!  I was one of several dozen people from Cisco, VMware, VCE, EMC and Ixia working on this project.

As the buzz about the test bounced around in the industry, a sidebar conversation emerged about VCE’s involvement in the test. As you may know from social media, I’m a Principal vArchitect with VCE Corporate Engineering.  Essentially, my job is to make sure that customers get the most out of VCE’s technology – VblockTM Systems.  The Vblock system is pre-engineered, pre-tested converged infrastructure that combines Cisco’s computing and networking equipment, EMC’s storage equipment, and virtualization from VMware.  VCE itself operates as a joint venture between Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel.

One of the things that was missed in the excitement over the test results themselves was the fact that the Vblock system played a big part in the Cloud Mega Test.

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Multiprotocol Storage

Spring has come again for the storage industry, bringing with it new options in both storage and server hardware itself and the networks that connect them together. The rise of SSD (solid state disk), rising connectivity speeds for Ethernet and Fibre Channel, and a new awareness of the importance of storage from a virtualization standpoint mean that storage is experiencing growth and change. For years, the stand-by for storage networking was Fibre Channel.  Today, Fibre Channel (FC) is still the stand-by for storage networking, but there are more options.  Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI, and the traditional file protocols of SMB and NFS are all viable enterprise-grade options to think about.

Its important to understand that despite sudden array of choices in the storage networking market, it is not necessary to simply pick a proverbial winner and run with it.  Every business has its own business needs and I.T. design goals for the data center and the storage environment contained therein.  Most large data centers today are primarily Fibre Channel environments, with a heavy investment in FC and FC-based storage arrays.  The principles of consolidation and network simplification would state that these large data centers should be converting over to FCoE, based on the management, cable, and capital reductions.  But the reality is far from that easy.

With a large investment in FC, companies simply cannot rip and replace the storage network and replace it with FCoE. Setting aside the huge disruption that would cause to operations, the waste of the existing investment in recently purchased FC equipment simply isn’t bearable.  Then there are technical challenges, older equipment such as main frames that require FICON connectivity, and the testing process that has to happen when a new technology is introduced into a data center environment.

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Intelligent Automation for Cloud at EMC World this week

May 21, 2012 at 11:54 am PST

It’s time for EMC fans to gather from across the globe for this great event: EMC World in Las Vegas started today!

It’s also an opportunity to learn about Cisco’s cloud management solutions, designed to deliver end-to-end unified management and an intelligent approach to IT automation — complementing intelligent infrastructure such as UCS, Nexus, EMC storage, and the Vblock platform.

You may have heard that we recently introduced the new Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition. Here’s a brief overview and demo featured on TechWise TV:

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SDN Goings On at CiscoLive 2012

May 21, 2012 at 11:03 am PST

So, apparently, a few of you are interested about what we will have to say at around OpenFlow and software defined networking (SDN).  If you are lucky enough to heading off to CiscoLive! in San Diego, then there are a couple of things that you should definitely put on your to-do list.

We have three sessions you should check out:

  • From the Trenches: Delivering Real Software Defined Networking Solutions (PNLRST-4007):  A panel discussion with Cisco folks, a couple of customer that have some real-world experience with SDN and OpenFlow and perhaps an analyst or two.  The session will focus on what we see folks currently doing, lessons learned and what direction the panel sees the technology evolving
  • Software Defined Networks and OpenFlow (BRKRST-205): Fari warning--this session will make your brain bleed, but in a good way.  Its a deep technical exploration into SDN and some of the design implications of deploying said technology.
  • And, as always, Padma’s keynote will offer insight into our thinking in this are Read More »

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Cisco at EMC World: Joint Solutions and Unified Data Center

May 20, 2012 at 9:19 am PST

Elvis may have left the building, but Cisco is just arriving to Booth 402 at EMC World. There’s a lot to learn and see, here are some highlights from the Unified Data Center point of view.

Session Title: Transforming Data Center Storage Networks to the Cloud
Speaker: Dr. J Michel Metz, Product Manager, Cisco and Josh Mello, Solutions Technical Marketing, EMC
Date/Time: Monday, May 21, 2012, 4:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.

Hint: Scan the conference for Dr. J Metz

Hint: Scan the conference for Dr. J Metz

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