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With VPLEX and OTV, Cisco,EMC and VCE change the Mobility and Disaster Recovery Game (Part1)

May 25, 2012 at 6:15 am PST

if you get the chance to be at EMC World you probably saw an interesting demo shared by Cisco, EMC and VCE  about Mobility and Business Continuance -- If you didn’t , Cisco Live San Diego will be another opportunity to see it

Our favorite bloggers Jake Howering  and Omar Sultan wrote  in the recent past  about DCI (Data Center Interconnect)  , OTV (Overlay Transport Virtualization)  i.e  DCI as an enabling framework for both Workload Mobility & Disaster Recovery 

Today I am pleased to have EMC Colin Durocher, bringing his perspective on the best way to address a critical challenge for a lot of IT organizations.
Next week I will post a second part  (here) , with a video  about the demo itself

Colin Durocher (on Twitter  @OtherColin) is a Principal Product Manager with the RecoverPoint VPLEX Business Unit.He has been working with the VPLEX product in several capacities including QA, software development,
systems engineering, and product management for over 10 years.
He is a father of two, a professional engineer, and is currently pursuing an MBA.
Colin is based out of Montreal, Canada.

“Life Inside the Datacenter Silo

The traditional approach to IT is characterized by datacenter silos.  Within each silo, we have our operations down to a science:

  • We use server clustering, redundant network fabrics, and RAID storage to protect against unplanned local failures.
  • We maintain spare capacity to absorb failures and workload spikes
  • We don’t think twice about moving data between tiers, or even between arrays to optimize cost and performance.
  • We commonly move virtual machines non-disruptively from server to server to load balance or perform maintenance.
    As far as mobility and availability needs are concerned, life is good…  Within the silo.

Crossing the Chasm (Between Silos) 

When it comes to protecting against site failures, we use array replication to maintain a copy of all our data in a secondary (often passive) datacenter.  We maintain scripts to automate our failover in case we ever need to declare a disaster.  We practice our DR plan at least once a year.  Don’t we?  Moving applications between datacenters is complicated enough that we really just try not to do it.  When we do, it often entails a professional services engagement.

All this has worked reasonably well for us up to now.  But IT budgets are being squeezed and IT administrators need to eliminate waste, reduce complexity and find ways to increase their operational efficiency.  It isn’t an optional thing.  Consider the IDC digital universe study (2011) which estimates that by 2020, the amount of information under management will increase by a factor of 50 while the number of IT staff managing it will increase by only 1.5

That gap will need to be filled by different technologies.  Let me introduce one to you – EMC VPLEX Metro.  For hundreds of customers, it is breaking down the barriers between datacenters bringing new levels of efficiency, simplicity, and availability.

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Evolution of the Data Center LAN: An analyst view

Data centers have evolved from a simple client-server model to complex virtualized environments, with the network continuing to play a vital role to enable businesses to adopt new technologies and applications for growth and scale.  The data deluge resulting from the exponential increase of video traffic and rich media applications  along with and workload mobility, and users are bringing their own devices (BYOD) such as tablets and smart phones into the work environment,  is driving significant change in information technology. The question in the minds of CTOs, IT Directors and Managers — even System Administrators —  now becomes, Is your data center network really ready to meet these new challenges?

As part of The Data Center LAN Switching Thought Leadership discussion series, Dr. Jim Metzler, Moderator, Ashton, Metzler & Associates, discussed some of the key technologies that have driven the data center network evolution.  The discussion focused on the viability of converging LAN and SAN environments along with the best approaches to scale Virtual Machines and incorporate OpenFlow and Virtualization into data center networks based on input from industry leaders  - Cisco, HP,  Arista, Avaya, Brocade, and Extreme Networks

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The not so hidden war: Private versus Public Cloud…

The cloud battle lines have been drawn out over the past 2-3 years.  Is your company getting your CRM from the public cloud?  Most definitely!  Does your IT shop use one site Service Desk tools or are they using a public cloud provider?  Maybe.  Did you click the button and put your music in the cloud.  Probably.

Many 10’s of billions of enterprise CAPEX and OPEX dollars are spent on enterprise compute and the tools to manage and automate that.  IT shops have a very difficult question:  Do I invest in building my own private cloud, or do I leverage the public cloud?   Many say that a well run private cloud can be cheaper, more secure, and more in tune with internal requirements.   Private and Public clouds are vying for your spend and mind share.  Who will this battle?  How much of a war is this?

Let’s understand that management and automation software has become just as important as your hardware selection as the key ingredient in your compute strategy.  This is a war over close to 100B dollars of enterprise and service provide spend.

There is indeed a 3rd player in this war:  a company and a service offer that is both pragmatic and in a leadership position.   I personally spent close to 6 years in the managed services business earlier in my career and every lesson I learned in managing on-premise, hosted, and private infrastructure for clients all pointed to the most pragmatic approach for how to address client needs:   Customer Choice.

News Flash:  CSC has selected and is deploying Cisco’s Intelligent Automation for Cloud as the cloud automation engine behind their on-premise private and public cloud offering running on VCE vBlock technology.  This is a significant market statement about where infrastructure as a service is going and how to get there.  Leveraging the lessons from Cisco IT usage of Intelligent Automation for Cloud (self service, catalog and orchestration) for private cloud management and automation and all the knowledge based best practices that our business unit has harvested over the past 10+ years of experience in automation in public and private clouds, CSC and Cisco and have joined forces in the war.  Many other service providers are as well.

If you would like the benefit of a private cloud, but want someone else to operate it, give CSC a call.  It will be an intelligent choice for Intelligent Automation from Cisco.

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Cisco at EMC World : It’s All about Partnership!

May 23, 2012 at 2:23 pm PST

A quick report from EMC World 2012 in Las Vegas
Pretty busy day this Tuesday with  a lot of topics covered by Cisco experts and partners

Desktop virtualization
Interesting conversation between EMC Josh Mello (@joshmello), Presidio Steve Kaplan (@ROIdude), and Cisco Ravi Balakrishnan  who addressed major questions in this panel such as common barriers for adoption, architectural innovations and value proposition brought by each company

More about VDI from Steve Kaplan here , and  from Cisco with Tony Paikeday and Jonathan Gilad

VSPEX

 

This Tuesday was also the opportunity to meet Nexus Colin McNamara (@colinmcnamara) and EMC Damian Karlson(@sixfootdad) to talk about VSPEX awareness and potential.

Stay tuned for  a video blog  in the following days

Meanwhile you may want to check this to-the point blog from Colin  VSPEX EMC’s Flexible Reference Architecture  Explained

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Migrate Oracle’s Siebel CRM to Cisco UCS

May 23, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

In my last blog I mentioned that we are rolling out a set of application specific migration and deployment guides that detail how to transition from a proprietary RISC/UNIX platform to the Cisco Unified Computing System.  Our newest guide reviews the migration of Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications from a SPARC/Solaris platform to Cisco UCS with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. All of the guides capture the key drivers behind the migration effort as well as the migration methodology, approach, best practices, and results. The Siebel CRM migration to Cisco UCS delivered dramatic performance improvements with fewer servers and lower total cost of ownership. Click here to go directly to the Oracle Siebel Migration Guide and see figure 13 and 14 for a summary of the performance results. Read More »