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Want to visit Cisco at Microsoft Management Summit 2013? Play Cloud OS Trivia for the chance to win a trip!

CMTriviaOnce again this year Cisco will be a Platinum sponsor at Microsoft’s Management Summit 2013 (MMS 2013) in Las Vegas, April 8 – 12.  At the event we will showcase new Cisco solutions and technologies applicable to the world of Windows Server, System Center, and Hyper-V.

We’re participating in a small way via sponsorship with Microsoft in their Cloud OS Trivia Challenge. Join your peers in the Microsoft Cloud OS Trivia Challenge; test your knowledge with trivia for a chance to win some excellent prizes-including a trip to MMS 2013. You also have a chance to win a Microsoft Surface, Windows 8, Windows Server, or a Linksys Router. Play Now!


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Server Management – Critical consideration for data center automation and orchestration

I wish the topic of Server management was as juicy as Lance Armstrong’s confession or as intriguing as Manti Te’os girlfriend hoax, but it is NOT.  It is, however, intertwined with two of the domains– 1) infrastructure management and 2) automation and orchestration described in the Cisco Domain Ten model. Server management was also one of the topics in a series of discussions with Mike Spanbauer from Current Analysis.

Cisco UCS Management addresses the problems of complexity and scaling which the panel discussed.  Service profiles ease the deployment of policy based server management and simplify routine setup tasks as well as server repurposing tasks within the typical server lifecycle.  The Cisco UCS is architected for automation from the very core with an open API.   The operational benefits can usually be quantified in $$ and cents as some of these customers have experienced.

Travelport   –  “86 percent savings in total support hours”

Hendrick Automotive Group – “Boost IT staff productivity by more than 30 percent”

Xerox –   “Staff productivity has improved 20 percent…”

Peak10  – “We can certainly quantify the impact Cisco UCS has had on our operations: the benefits are clearly there…”

To create an effective computing platform that supports mission-critical applications and cloud-computing environments, automation and efficiency are basic requirements. With traditional rack and blade servers, the operational complexity of managing discrete infrastructure Read More »


Modernize Your IT Infrastructure by Migrating to Cisco UCS and NetApp Storage

Many organizations continue to struggle with the pace, complexity, and changing demands of a data-driven world. Hence, it’s not a big surprise that agility, flexibility, and cost efficiency continue to be important themes in the data center. These demands and needs may be acting as a forcing function for organizations to modernize aging, complex, and costly RISC/UNIX infrastructures in order to meet todays business goals. Data center managers are looking to grow and stay ahead of the competition by transforming IT from a cost center to an innovation center. We see more and more how important it is to choose an infrastructure that can easily adapt to ever changing business requirements.

The Cisco Unified Computing System, NetApp storage, and our jointly developed FlexPod platform are standards-based, cost-effective solutions that can meet or surpass performance, reliability, and availability requirements that RISC/UNIX customer have come to expect. The FlexPod architecture can scale up or out, and it can be optimized for a variety of workloads in both virtualized and non-virtualized environments.

I urge you to read our new, joint solution brief which highlights how Cisco and NetApp with support from software and hardware partners can meet the requirements of the most demanding mission-critical IT applications and modernize your IT infrastructure with maximum efficiency and minimal risk.


Previously I talked about the growing demands and how the role of IT has to change from a cost center to a business strategic partner.  And we also looked at the journey you need to take to deliver IT as a Service. Cloud computing is part of this journey and it is happening – and I mean all types of Clouds – Private, Public and Hybrid. In other words, we are entering the World of Many Clouds. Forrester Research recently published a report that concluded, “Cloud computing is ready for the enterprise… but many enterprises aren’t ready for the cloud.”1   Yet cloud deployments are happening, driven by workload virtualization and changes in application architecture and usage.

Take a look at this short video with Paul Perez (VP/GM of Unified Computing System and CTO of Data Center Group) and me. Paul shares his insights on the trends of how Cloud is changing the way of the IT and the challenges you will be facing.

Guess what? Once again Cisco is here to help you on your journey to the World of Many Clouds. How you ask?

Read More »

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What’s New with VXI for 2013?

Desktop Virtualization the Cisco Way

Now that 2013 is officially here –  it must be time for the next wave of innovations for the Cisco VXI Smart Solution. The first of these enhancements is Jabber for virtual environments, which we are announcing today.

In 2012 we saw the 1000th customer deploy VXI to meet their desktop virtualization and VDI needs. You can read Phil Sherburne’s blog for a look back on 2012. Granted, these VXI deployments are not all 30,000 seat environments – they cover a complete spectrum of implementation scale, from small pilots to large production environments with tens of thousands of seats.

We recognized an interesting trend in 2012. Many IT departments were expanding on their initial deployments by simply adding UCS blades to scale the installed pilot VXI infrastructure – one of the great benefits of having a VDI architecture that scales seamlessly from zero to 5000 virtual desktops in just 30 minutes.

It’s rare for an IT department to roll out an enterprise-wide desktop virtualization deployment from day one. There are technology and operational lessons that are often best learned though a pilot production deployment numbering hundreds, rather than thousands of seats. With Cisco VXI we are assisting IT organizations with the initial pilots through attractive bundles that are targeted at pilot deployments, pre-production pilot service offers and the like.

However, once the pilot is successfully deployed, IT needs to consider how best to expand the deployment on three dimensions:

  1. Efficiently scaling the number of virtual desktops
  2. Supporting additional work profiles and use cases and
  3. Operationalizing the provisioning and administration of large deployments.

The VXI roadmap is well aligned with helping customers expand and scale their desktop virtualization deployments across all three dimensions.

diagram for 2.7 DC blog

Phase 1 of the roadmap has been focused on providing the most scalable, efficient and simplified infrastructure for desktop and application virtualization. Together with partners, including Citrix and VMware, we continue to expand on the capabilities of VXI in this area with greater virtual desktop densities, storage optimization, network and security enhancements – and the like.

In phase 2 of the roadmap we have been focused on expanding the use case support by enabling greater levels of mobility, broader device support and just as importantly greater support of integrated collaboration and voice/video services in a virtual desktop and application environment.

In the 3rd phase we will focus on helping enterprises and service providers enhance the operational efficiencies of large deployments through private, public and hybrid cloud workspace models.

Today’s “Jabber for virtual environments” announcement is squarely focused on enabling support for a broader set of use cases, by evolving our virtual workspace architecture. This important enhancement is part of a strategy for better enabling collaboration services on any device running a virtual desktop. This capability is enabled by software, called the Virtualization Experience Media Engine (VXME) that will initially run on Cisco’s thin clients followed by Windows thin clients and Windows PCs.

To learn more watch the webcast or take part in the conversation here

Also if you are going to be at Cisco Live in London at the end of the month –  don’t miss out on seeing the VXI technologies in action at the World of Solutions Data Center and Unified Workspace booths.

And finally, be on the look out for additional VXI developments as we progress through the rest of 2013.


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