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Introducing UCS Central: Unified Computing at Global Scale

If your motto is “go big or go home” then you’re probably going to like UCS Central.  Since inception, Cisco’s Unified Computing System has upheld some important core tenets in its design ethos:  management via policy, simple scaling and open infrastructure programmability. UCS Central, a new management product in the UCS family, extends all of those principles to a level of scale and granular administrative reach that are truly unprecedented in our industry. The Data Center team at Cisco is very excited about what UCS Central is going to mean for our customers, so on November 8th we’re hosting an online event to lay out the whole story. I hope you will join us.

UCS Central is essentially a manager of managers. Consider a single domain of UCS to be a pair of Fabric Interconnects where an instance of UCS Manager resides and looks after the goings on of up to 160 servers and all of their I/O connectivity. UCS Central now allows administrators to manage multiple domains of UCS and scale their aggregate environment to the range of 10,000 servers.

You might say that UCS customers can opt for the “go big” option. I suppose since this the golden age of mobility, they can access it all remotely to go big and go home…


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Five Cool Things about Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 3.1

Some would say that cloud has passed the peak of inflated expectations.   After that stage in the development of a new technology or trend the tough work begins.  We in the Cisco’s Cloud and Systems Management Group have done just that in releasing Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Version 3.1.  In the past four weeks I have presented this cloud self-service and orchestration platform to well over 30 existing customers and others interested in what all the noise is.  The response has made me extremely proud of our team.

One:  Our UI is so intuitive that you don’t need a manual.  The Cisco Cloud Portal delivers a uniquely intuitive experience for the roles of cloud administrator, organization technical administrator, and end user.  Private cloud can be as easy as Amazon Web Services.

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Big Data – Hadoop from an Infrastructure Perspective

It’s amazing how some concepts take off like gangbusters in a short duration of time. Big Data is one such concept, that creeps into our conversations because of all the market noise. There is definitely merit to the fundamental premise behind Big Data for most businesses; create better end-user experience, make intelligent business decisions, reduce intellectual waste and monetize on new opportunities or opportunities that did not present itself before. Thus the demand for Data Scientists, application developers, statisticians, mathematicians, etc. – note these are mostly on the development and analytic side of the house. What’s amazing is large databases have been there for the longest time, in many cases, even the data that are targets now for Big Data applications were also available for the longest time. What has evolved rapidly are the applications tools that facilitate optimized manipulation of massive data sets and flexible interfaces to diverse databases – example Hadoop.

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Introducing Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud – Version 3.1

Just the other morning, my 3.5 year old daughter said “Daddy, can you make me a waffle?” And like any self-respecting parent, I of course responded with “Poof. You’re a waffle.”

It reminded me of something we frequently hear from customers: they effectively ask us to “make my data center a cloud.”  Now we could wave our arms and say “Poof. It’s a cloud.” But it’s not that easy.  Despite what some cloudwashers may say, virtualizing your data center does not mean you have a cloud – and self-service provisioning of VMs is not cloud computing.  Real clouds require much more.

Fortunately, we have solutions to help our customers deploy real clouds – with market-leading compute, network, and management products in our Unified Data Center portfolio as well as our cloud enablement services.  In fact, today we introduced yet another innovation in our Unified Computing System (UCS) portfolio with Cisco UCS Central.

I’m pleased to also announce the latest release of our cloud management software solution today: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud version 3.1.  This release introduces several exciting new features, and I’ve highlighted a few of these new product capabilities below.

Virtual Data Centers – In simple infrastructure-as-a-service use cases, virtual machines and other resources may be provisioned from a shared pool of resources on-demand.  In more advanced infrastructure-as-a-service use cases, virtual data centers (VDCs) can be established to provide project teams or departments with a dedicated resource pool of compute, storage, and network capacity for their own organization. I’ve written in the past about this concept of a virtual data center and this is what Cisco IT deployed for our own internal private cloud.

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Cisco WAAS – Key to Cloud, Key to the Cisco Network On Wheels

Wow, time flies.  When I started blogging at Cisco, 2 years back (here), helping organizations formulate their cloud strategy was top of my mind.  I’d ran a customer market research survey, and one of the things we learned that in certain parts of the world, the access bandwidth to the cloud was a significant concern – in terms of reliability, cost and bandwidth available.  From this customer feedback, we concluded that Cisco WAAS – Wide Area Application Services – that helps accelerate applications and optimizes bandwidth usage  – was a key asset in helping our customers overcome this cloud adoption challenge.  And from this feedback, we realised that our Cisco WAAS Planning and Design Services were key to some of our customers adopting cloud.

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