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More Musings on SDN and OpenFlow

April 16, 2012 at 10:38 am PST

Just in time for the Open Networking Summit, we are ready to tease a bit more of what we are doing on the Software Defined Networking front. David Ward has posted some really intriguing musings on SDN.  Its a really good read and it should give you some hints on our thinking not the topic.  If you don’t know David, he is über smart and quite entertaining--he is also the current chair of the Technical Advisory group at ONF, so he knows of what he speaks.

For those of you at ONS this week, David will be speaking on a panel on Wednesday @ 2pm.

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Cisco’s UCS Manager and PowerTool: Optimally Managing Microsoft Environments

April 16, 2012 at 10:28 am PST

Many of us at Cisco who focus on the world of Microsoft are in Las Vegas, NV this week for Microsoft’s Management Summit 2012 (MMS 2012) event. Management has been a key focus area for our Cisco® Unified Computing System (UCS) family since the beginning and we have made extensive investments in management technologies.

Our Unified Management solutions afford seamless management and control of physical and virtual server environments and extend via integration into Microsoft’s System Center family. At MMS 2012 we will be showcasing our new infrastructure management tool offerings for Cisco UCS, UCS Manager, and System Center, specifically:

  • The Cisco UCS Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, enabling IT staff to monitor health status for 1-to-N Cisco UCS domains.
     
  • The Cisco UCS Integration Pack for Microsoft System Center Orchestrator, helping administrators automate and standardize UCS management.
     
  •  Integration of Cisco UCS with Windows PowerShell through the Cisco UCS PowerTool, enabling administrators to manage infrastructure alongside operating systems and applications on UCS B-series, C-series, and stand-alone C-series servers by using a command line interface.
     
  • The UCS Manager XML API, providing a common programmatic means of managing Cisco UCS.

These new technologies can help IT staffs manage and orchestrate server and networking infrastructure and the Microsoft software stack holistically. Organizations can build on this foundation to achieve a data center that is integrated, with the network as the core foundation for innovation; highly available within and between data centers; and open, through support for standards and innovation for the best possible integration across systems.

To test drive UCS Manager, please visit: http://www.cisco.com/assets/sol/ucp/flash/cisco-ucs-test-drive/ .

To download PowerTool and our Microsoft System Center management packs, please visit: http://developer.cisco.com/web/cdc/tech/unifiedcomputing .

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How Cisco Partners Help Customers to Accelerate Innovation: Submit Your Success Story for a Video

April 16, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

This week in San Diego Cisco,  partners from all over the world are converging to learn about the latest trends in IT organization, and latest solutions from Cisco at the  Partner Summit 2012 ( follow on Twitter the hashtag #ciscops12)
If you are a Cisco partner, we hope that you plan to attend either physically or virtually. Check  my previous blog for details on the data center program.

Let’s be real! Our great success in the Data Center relies  mainly on this incredible ecosystem of talented professionals who believe in Cisco vision and products. These companies are  bringing  an unique value add, in building solutions designed specifically for more and more demanding IT customers -- Customers under a lot of pressure to deploy solutions which are cost effective and extremely agile to meet the business requirements.

We recently met in London, one of our key partners , Dimension Data.   A perfect “Mise en Bouche ” just before the Cisco Partner Summit!

Dimension Data entered the data center networking market about 3 years ago and it has been the fastest growing area of our networking business over the  past years . It is now a significant contributor to our business and because of that we will double our investment in this particular space.  It allows us to grab business across the 50 countries that we operate in, and it also allows us to get far more strategic with our clients and build  up the network platform inside the data center that enables our clients to achieve the savings and benefits  and more exciting opportunities in the market. So we certainly will be investing far more in the space together with Cisco to execute better in the market.  Watch Gary Middleton , Dimension Data Business Development Manager, share his satisfaction to work with Cisco in the data Center space.

To illustrate Gary’s statement, here is a perfect and recent example of the momentum  created by Cisco and partners, when working together  :

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VSPEX: Our Continuing Exploits with EMC

April 12, 2012 at 11:04 pm PST

This week has been a busy week for integrated infrastructure solutions.  Of course, this isn’t a complete surprise around here—we have been preaching the gospel of simplified infrastructure and integrated solution stacks for some time; however, it is gratifying to see the concept continue to evolve and gain customer traction.

One of the developments we are particularly pleased with is the announcement today from EMC regarding their EMC VSPEX program. Cisco and EMC have a long history of partnering together for the benefit of our mutual customers, from storage solutions to the original Vblock to VSPEX.  For those of you who missed the announcement, VSPEX is a reference design program to help guide customers as they build out their next generation of infrastructure.  With our own success with the Cisco Validated Design program, we know this is an effective tool for customers as they look for trusted resources to guide infrastructure investment decisions.

We are a big fan of giving customers choice and giving them options and letting them decide on a path that best suits their needs.  EMC’s VSPEX program is another great example of this.  Its complimentary to our existing offerings in this space, so VSPEX gives customers yet another option and may appeal to customers that did not see the existing options as a good fit or might not have otherwise considered this approach.

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Fast Data: A Brief Analysis of Trends

Data is one of your most important assets. Fast Data implies real-time analytics – the ability to analyze your business and marketplace in real-time.  Fast Data can give you significant competitive advantage by helping you to predict and respond to situations instantaneously. Today we announced [1] that the combination of Cisco UCS and Actian Vectorwise Analytical Database can provide such capability at much lower cost of ownership than traditional solutions. Demonstrated by industry standard TPC-H publications, the extreme performance is coming from the ability of Vectorwise to scale extremely well in multi-core environments and effective caching of large data sets enabled by Cisco UCS extended memory technology eliminating IO bottlenecks.

These two benchmark results achieved the best performance and price-performance for 2-socket servers in 100GB [2] and 300GB [3] scale factors, new additions to our 60+ world record performance records on Cisco UCS since its introduction just three years ago.

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