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CareCore National uses Nexus 1000V and VSG to secure virtual data center applications

February 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm PST

CareCore NationalCisco has just released a customer case study (PDF) of CareCore National, a 1200 person healthcare insurance company located in South Carolina. CareCore’s use case demonstrates how Cisco’s Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) for the Nexus 1000V can be used in a virtualized data center to logically isolate virtual machines running on shared application servers to meet compliance requirements. Read More »

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Partnering with Cisco helps Savvis set the bar for enterprise cloud

February 2, 2012 at 9:53 am PST

We invited Mike Taylor, Vice President of global infrastructure engineering and operations at Savvis, to provide his insight on Savvis’ journey to the cloud. Read below for what he has to say. Check out related blog for an additional perspective.

If you’ve been following the cloud services market, you’ve likely heard the term “enterprise cloud” proclaimed by various vendors. But really, what does that mean? How do you differentiate an enterprise cloud from a mass market option?

At Savvis, a CenturyLink company, we love talking about our enterprise cloud offerings and what distinguishes them from the mass market clouds that continue to flood the marketplace.

First, let me be clear: In some areas, enterprise and mass market clouds are the same. Benefits for both include flexibility, quick provisioning of compute power and a virtualized and scalable environment. However, it’s important to note that enterprise clouds also provide a range of security options, unprecedented speed-to-market and vastly improved collaboration between the end-user and the vendor.

Savvis’ enterprise cloud is a VMware-based service differentiated by an array of built-in security features, as well as many optional managed security capabilities. Savvis built its cloud solutions using the same trusted suppliers – including Cisco – used by enterprise customers in their own data centers. Our cloud services are divided into tiers, providing different levels of performance and availability for different types of application needs. These services are delivered in a multitenant way and can also be delivered as a single tenant.

So how do you realize the promise of enterprise cloud infrastructure? My colleague Steve Garrou, vice president of global solutions management at Savvis, recently shared on the Savvis blog a list of items that should be addressed when considering a move to enterprise cloud. Rather than reinvent the wheel, here are the items that Steve outlined:

Decide whether you are going to maintain two infrastructures or consolidate.

  1. Understand what applications are currently running in the existing environment and expectations for moving certain solutions to the cloud.
  2. Analyze the architecture of the application environments.
  3. Determine how much capacity you need to run the applications; are the capacity requirements seasonal or variable?
  4. Assess compliance and security requirements.

Years ago – before “enterprise cloud” was common terminology – Cisco and Savvis shared a vision for a cloud service that offered enterprise-required services, not simply compute virtualization. That vision became reality two years ago when we launched Savvis Symphony Virtual Private Data Center, one of the industry’s first enterprise-class, multi-tenet cloud solutions. A key element of the cloud architecture was the Cisco Unified Computing System.

Partnering with trusted companies like Cisco helps Savvis set the bar for enterprise cloud. I recently sat down with Cisco to talk about our collaboration. You can see the results of those conversations in the case study and video.

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Nexus 1000V Updates Bring Scalability and Cloud Readiness to the Network

For anyone who has ventured to a tech conference, flown into an airport or even driven down CA highway 101 this past year, it’s clear that cloud is still top of mind for many technical and business decision makers. We believe this means that enterprises are no longer just talking the talk, but are looking deeper into their networking infrastructure to see if they are ready to meet the challenges of cloud, virtualization and workload mobility. At Cisco, it is our job to help build clouds that can handle elastic demand and efficiently use the  networking infrastructure at both a virtual and physical level. This week, we are announcing several key upgrades to the Nexus 1000V family that bring scalability and cloud readiness to the network.

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Announcing the new Nexus 1010-X Virtual Services Appliance

January 31, 2012 at 4:01 pm PST

Nexus 1010-XCisco is announcing this week a new member of the Nexus 1000V virtualization infrastructure portfolio, the Nexus 1010-X virtual services appliance. The new Nexus 1010-X is an extended version of the existing Nexus 1010 appliance, and represents a larger, more scalable and cost-efficient configuration for larger data center deployments and cloud applications. What is a virtual services appliance and why should customers use it? The Cisco Nexus 1010 and 1010-X provide improved management, scalability and visibility in environments running the Nexus 1000V virtual switch and the VMware vSphere hypervisor. Read More »

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Managing Data Center Assets

January 31, 2012 at 10:34 am PST

Its hard to believe that almost an entire month has gone by since the beginning of the year.  The year has been off to a great start for Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) now serving 10,000 customers.  Reaching the 10,000-customer milestone is an achievement for relatively new and innovative platform.

Generally asset management implies financial management but this discussion is focused on operational management of the data center components. Typically, in Data Centers, different teams manage servers, networks and storage.  These teams have cursory knowledge of each other’s domains.  This organizational structure hinders data centers from obtaining higher efficiencies and agility.  Data Center Management tools that allow automated workflows with enforcement of policies set by domain experts reduce time needed to effect changes and hence increase agility.   Unified server, network and storage infrastructures with proper management capabilities improve overall efficiency, reduce data center complexity and promote better resource utilization.  With Unified infrastructures the server management teams can make informed decisions on application workload placement based on their visibility into the network setup and policies set by the Network domain experts.  For example, a server administrator could place more sensitive applications on servers that are connected to very secure network segments, or place bandwidth hungry applications on network segments with spare capacity.  If network managers need to move network segment capacity around they would need the equivalent of network hypervisors.  These decisions which affect multiple domains could be manually executed or orchestrated with systems management tools.  The crowning glory would be for the end customer of the IT service to request infrastructure services from a catalog and get access to it instantaneously.  A Forrester Research paper that Cisco sponsored even shows a maturity model for service orchestration within a data center.  Where do you think your organization is on this maturity model?

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