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Virtual Symposium: Virtual Machine Networking

I am happy to announce another Virtual Symposium, this time on the topic of virtual machine networking.  We will be holding it on July 25th from 9am to 10am Pacifc Time.

Beyond our usual panel of Greg Ferro, Steven Foskett, Ivan Pepelnjak and yours truly, we will be joined on the panel by Marko Milivojevic (@icemarkom), David Davis (@davidmdavis) and perhaps a couple of other folks.

We have settled on the 60 min format.  The panel will share some initial thoughts, but we will devote most of the time to answering questions from the audience, either through the WebEx Q&A tool or via the #VirtSyn tag.

To register, go here.

See you there.

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A Cloudy Day in Hollywood

I was recently vising a few customers south of our corporate offices in the Los Angeles area and I was jolted into realizing that I need to add one more significant benefit of deploying our Intelligent Automation for Cloud software.

When I talk about benefits of Private (and Public ) Cloud I usually focus on these four business drivers:

  • Drive towards shorter provisioning times (for both Physical and Virtual Infrastructure) and self service
  • Desire to reduce infrastructure costs by moving from a provision for peak loads on each application to one of pooling of resources and “averaging” out the workload peaks and to enable the pay for usage
  • Users (and management) was a predictable SLA for provisioning achieved through orchestration and automation
  • Need to reduce VM sprawl and increase governance and compliance over the provisioning process.

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Superheroes of the Cloud Part Three: The Original Cloud Builders

In my journeys of talking to IT organizations I come across individuals who really stand out in their drive and passion to transform their organization and achieve a pragmatic cloud for their stakeholders.  This is the third in a series of Blogs on the Superheroes of the Cloud.  What makes these individuals and their organizations special is that they distinguish their organizations by having a unique angle to their Journey to the Cloud.   I won’t spell out the exact formula but I will offer some tidbits on why I am impressed by these superheroes.

Who said that building a cloud operating model is easy?  It is not.  It takes complete focus on the end goal and a systematic approach to defining the many levels and subsystems of the cloud management and automation framework.  It takes lots of time learning from missteps and successes.  You are pressured to hasten the timeline and deliver under budget.  You have to be a visionary and yet be the most pragmatic individual on the block.

When Cisco Intelligent Automation added Cloud Automation to our core DNA, we looked for individuals in our services organization who would stand up and be the original builders and architects of the pragmatic clouds for our customers.  They would train an entire group of people within Cisco and at our partners to build those clouds.  Their students became teachers in their own right.

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NX-OS: Delivering Ongoing Value

When we talk about networks in the data center, there is often talk about bandwidth, 10Gigabit Ethernet, switch sizing, and the changes that have been wrought on the network since the inception of widespread server virtualization. The base operating system that the switch runs on, the networking software itself, is often only discussed in terms of how/when/why to do upgrades. Networking software has more relevance than that, especially from a strategic standpoint.

The strategic nature of networking software is easy to see. But the most important way networking software is important is in the flexibility it can provide over the lifetime of the product line. Poorly written or architected networking software can put a huge burden on the vendor when new features or when major changes to the networking industry occurs. As a customer that matters because the vendor may spend the time and money to accommodate those changes or has to charge an exorbitant amount. It all speaks to the investment protection a vendor can bring. Poor network software equals poor investment protection and a degraded upgrade path.

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Data Center Interconnect using nV Edge Clustering

Data Center Connections using “nV edge”

The ASR 9000 product family has recently come out with a new feature called nV Edge (nV = Network Virtualization).   This feature unifies the data center edge control, data and management planes. So, I’ll note a couple things here on this feature and then tell you why I think it has potential to be truly awesome.

My good friend Rabiul Hasan just wrote  a proof of concept document just posted to Design Zone that provides  the configuration and setup details.  I encourage you to go check it out here.

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