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“Microsoft is a great partner in the data center…” – John Chambers, October 2012

I was flying back home late last week after participating in Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 launch event in Denver.  As I scanned through my email InBox I saw the John Chambers quote from an interview he had done with CRN . John’s quote is timely given our many Cisco engineering and marketing activities going on with Microsoft as well as with our key partners EMC and NetApp. Let’s take a look and see what’s happening:

  • Our UCS and Nexus platforms are key components in our VSPEX for Microsoft Hyper-V reference architecture with our partner EMC.
  • Our FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution with our partner NetApp is providing Hyper-V based private cloud solutions to customers such as ING Direct in Australia and the University of Waterloo in Canada.
  • UCS Manager is tightly integrated with Microsoft System Center 2012 and this was recognized with it being awarded the Breakthrough Technology Award at Microsoft Tech Ed in Orlando.
  • UCS PowerTool delivers industry leading – and in this case this phrase is really well deserved – integration with Microsoft’s PowerShell  technology affording ease of automation for deployment and rapid configuration of UCS and Microsoft applications such as Exchange and SQL Server.
  • Nexus 1000V enables virtual networking scenarios in Microsoft Windows Server 2012’s new Hyper-V Extensible Switch – a result of great teamwork between Microsoft and Cisco R&D organizations. View our recent WindowsITPro webinar on virtual networking and Nexus 1000V here.

These Cisco technologies and solutions bring UCS, Nexus, and UCS Manager into your environment helping to create a better datacenter for your Microsoft private clouds and applications.  We will continue to work closely with Microsoft and key partners on various Microsoft/Cisco initiatives.  Our combined efforts allow you more choice in determining how to spend your IT budget and a Cisco based datacenter for Microsoft applications is a good choice indeed!

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Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud – Openstack Support (and AWS, vCloud, vCenter)

In support of our Openstack Edition, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC video) is introducing a community supported “Multi-Cloud Acceleration Kit” (MCAK) that extends IAC Starter Edition to enable provisioning of OpenStack clouds as well as vCloud, Amazon EC2 as well as vCenter and UCS blades. IAC provides both a real service catalog and an orchestration tool that help OpenStack be adopted by the enterprise. IAC provides rich Role-Based Access Control,physical provisioning and adapters to a large variety of back IT systems including help desks, CMDB’s, directories and many other systems.

 

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Unified Data Center IQ Contest : And if there is only ONE ..

First the news .. this week we got 455 answers ! So we definitely witness a fierce competition between the best brains!
Congratulations to our two first winners of a new iPAD !!
They already got an e-mail , and as soon as we have their agreement we will introduce them to you.

Now don’t forget two important rules:

– If you show up at this point of the competition you still can win a weekly iPAD and catch up for the Grand Prize (valueed $2000)  with bonus questions over the week-end
This week bonus question are about “desktop virtualization “ Perfect timing as Citrix Synergy starts next week in Barcelona- Check the bonus question on www.Facebook.com/ciscodc – You have till Sunday evening PST to answer – And follow  @ciscodc and @drombaut for some hints.

-Next week question will be about Unified Management solutions and more precisely Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, SAP IT Process Automation, but also some questions related to Openstack. So check www.Facebook.com/ciscodc first thing in the morning (PST) on Monday .Remember ,the sooner you answer the questions, the more points you can get for the Grand Prize.

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Virtuata and vCider: Next Steps to Building a World of Many Clouds

One of the things that has always been clear to us is that a pragmatic cloud and virtualization solution is going to need to embrace diversity.  There were going to be many paths to cloud and customers would want the freedom to choose to host workloads on physical infrastructure, any of the hypervisors available or one of the emerging number of cloud options.  This realization has been one of the factors that has shaped our strategy for delivering practical solutions for virtualization and cloud to the market.

Cloud Networking: Multi-Hypervior and Multi-Service

Initially, we focused on physical/virtual consistency and separation of duties.  We kicked this effort off with the Nexus 1000V, which was a fully functioning NX-OS switch rendered fully in software.  With L2 handled, we moved on to deploy virtual services consistent with this physical counterparts like the ASA 1000V, the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) and vWAAS. Finally, we fleshed out the networking stack with the Cloud Services Router (CRS 1000V).

The network has always been a platform for enabling heterogeneous OS and heterogeneous applications to connect. Naturally, the next step was to take the capabilities we had built and extend them across multiple hypervisors so we could now deliver a consistent experience for customers with heterogeneous hypervisor environments.  We built on our success with over 6,000 enterprise and service provider VMware vSphere customers and are now extending those came capabilities to Microsoft Hyper-V environments as well for Xen and KVM open source hypervisors. With the recently announced shift to a “freemium” pricing model, with the Nexus 1000V-Essential Edition, customers are gaining these benefits with minimal cost and risk.

vCider and Virtuata: Opportunity for Secure Multi-cloud Networking

However, some of the most interesting progress has come from our two of our more recent acquisitions that have been centered on the concept of providing better operations and management of multi-cloud environments.  As customers more broadly adopt cloud and virtualization, security and isolation at the VM level become of paramount importance. To address this need we acquired Virtuata this summer. The Virtuata technology will give us (okay, you) the ability to have sophisticated and consistent security for VMs across multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud environments.

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Workload Automation, The Next Generation

I was talking to a few analysts this week on workload automation and some interesting themes came up.   Workload Automation (aka Job Scheduling) starting with IBM mainframes and job control language.  Over the years the automated execution of business processes (moving batch data  in real-time schedules) became a major workload in the data center.   This was extended from mainframe to distributed computing with Unix and then Windows compute.  Along with this came all the Enterprise Resource Planning and Business Intelligence package applications that made SAP and Oracle famous.  Moving the data around was absolutely mission critical.  Huge demand on the data center resources drove the need to begin to control the resource states of the target compute engines to be ready for the high demands of processing millions of transactions or running critical reports for the Enterprise.

Now here is the rub…

The 40 to 60 year old set (of which I am member) know all about this “in the background” processing and its importance.  The challenge now, with all the new Web applications being created and a new batch of IT professionals is that this critical part of the IT ecosystem is being forgot about, downplayed and generally not paid attention too until there is a big outage and enterprise controls and automation are put in place.  There are so many places where workload automation can be applied to help automate key processes.  Many of our customers of this product line have increased the size of their operations 2-3x over the past 3 years.  All this cool new technology and new products being sold are putting increased demands on workload automation.   Learn more about this cost saving automation technology, your CIO will thank you for it.

 

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