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James Bond and Data Centers??

This weekend I managed to see the new James Bond film, Skyfall.  The technologist in me noticed the transformation of the espionage industry to the cyber world.  More interesting were the Data Center scenes in which the equipment was neatly arranged with minimal cabling.  One blog even called it the data center of the future.


(This film image released by Sony Pictures shows Daniel Craig, left, and Javier Bardem in a scene from the film “Skyfall.” Bardem portrays, Raoul Silva, one of the finest arch-enemies in the 50-year history of Bond films.) (AP Photo/Sony Pictures, Francois Duhamel) – Notice the data center equipment in the background.

Reality is that data centers are full of cables (see above) unless you are using Cisco UCS in which case you have a chance of being in the future NOW.  General availability of UCS Manager 2.1, which brings all the cable reduction benefits to rack mount servers could not have been more timely.

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UCS Multihop FCoE In Under an Hour

It’s been a long time coming, it’s true. It was long the #1 request I have gotten when it comes to Cisco’s deployment for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE): when is UCS going to have “FCoE Northbound?”

Now, at long last, I can confirm that the answer is right now.

I saw the announcement over the weekend, and before I had a chance to even sneeze out a tweet of my own, I was beat to the punch by a few other intrepid UCS fiends. The reaction was one of unadulterated joy and pure, rapturous bliss.

Or something close to that.

In all seriousness, from a storage perspective the one thing that has driven people crazy is the fact that the UCS Fabric Interconnects (FIs) could not continue with convergence upstream. It’s been the #1 question I’ve gotten as a storage Product Manager, and while I’ve long said that FCoE is not the panacea for the Data Center, I believe this goes a long way in making converged network even more realistic in today’s environments. Read More »

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Why You’ll Want LISP Routing – Part 3

Now that we covered how LISP Routing works in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, let dig into some of the things you can do with it. I would suggest you go back and read the first two posts if you are new to LISP since I am not going to cover that material again. So, lets look at three of the most popular use cases: 1) VM mobility, 2) IPv6 migration, and 3) smarter multi-homing.  I am going to cover the generic use cases, then wrap with some real-world customer use cases.

VM Mobility

Since it seems to be the hottest topic, let start with the mobility solution. From a networking perspective, there are a couple of things that are important with a live migration (ex. VMotion): we want to try and preserve TCP sessions (note: this does not mean “packets don’t get dropped”) and we want to maintain optimal routing (note to server folks: you too care about these things).  We would also like global mobility—basically the server admin should be able to move her VM wherever she want and not be constrained by IP addressing considerations.

Let’s build on the scenario we have been using in the prior posts, where we have a host is chatting with a VM  Assume that we have gone through the whole map-request/map-reply process, so we have something that looks like this:

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SAP TechEd Madrid Wrap-Up

SAP announces support for Virtualized SAP HANA for non-productive platforms at SAP Sapphire/TechEd Madrid

On the final day of TechEd in Madrid, SAP announced that they will be supporting virtualization for Non-Productive SAP HANA systems. No other details were given surrounding this announcement, but this is a significant departure from their previous position as it related to SAP HANA. This should be good news for Cisco given that the Cisco UCS server platform was built from the ground up to host applications in a virtualized manner. As we work with VCE, EMC, and NetApp this will only enhance our position in the SAP HANA space

Cisco had an excellent presence at the event. There were almost 700 visitors to our booth as we had on display, FlexPod from NetApp, VBlock from VCE and IT Process Automation. In addition we had as many visitors to the SAP HANA Test Drive area where Cisco had the C460 SAP HANA certified platform.

One area that got quite a bit of attention was the SAP Precision Retail mobility application on the Cisco platform. I attended two sessions that were well attended by attendees at the conference. There were at least 40 to 50 attendees at each session. In addition, the application was on display in the SAP Mobility area. Cisco is the only hardware vendor that SAP has worked with on this particular application and will be actively selling this application as part of their portfolio.

Michael Missbach, who manages Cisco’s SAP competency center in Walldorf Germany, was the leader in two Microforums on Tuesday and third speaking session on Wednesday. The first was SAP on the Cloud and the second was a Microforum with TUI Travel’s (HotelBeds) CIO Mr. Garcia. Mr. Garcia was able to discuss his installation of SAP on Cisco UCS as well as his use of SAP HANA on the Certified Cisco UCS server platform and how this architecture design has saved him approximately 150,000 Euros a year.

Using SAP HANA on UCS- TUI Case study from Cisco Data Center

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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 9): Be Kind to Your Protocol

In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, we hear from VMware’s Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) and Chuck Hirstius (@rexremus) as they discuss how to Be Kind to Your Protocol, including solutions to common problems and the art of tuning.


Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here:
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns
Andre Leibovici and Chuck Histrius on Engineers Unplugged at VMworld Barcelona.

Andre Leibovici and Chuck Histrius on Engineers Unplugged at VMworld Barcelona.

Do you agree with Andre and Chuck? Are you being kind to your protocol? Find more information on Chuck’s blog and Andre’s blog. Post a comment or a question here, or join the conversation with @CiscoDC on Twitter or Facebook.

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