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Unified Data Center IQ Challenge : Two more weeks to win

As a quick reminder , to participate to this 6 weeks challenge and have a chance to win every week a new iPAD , you want to visit our Facebook page. The questions are submitted on Sunday midnight PST, and answers have to be provided  at the end of the week . Participation is easy and fun and allow you to collect points to compete for the highest IQ score. This best Unified Data Center “brain” will be the winner of the Grand Prize (valued US $2000).  Every week-end , you can answer bonus  questions, which give you additional points to catch up for the Grand Prize

Just a quick note today to share  with our numerous participants to the contest that this week challenge will be extended to Friday midnight PST  (instead of Friday noon) due to an outage on Monday , which impacted the access to the questions most of the day .

It’s a pleasure to introduce to you our last week winner Trevor Roberts Jr. (@VMtrooper
Trevor is a 15-year veteran of the IT industry.  As an Architect for VCE, he helps customers see the value of Cisco Data Center Solutions for Virtualization and Cloud Deployments.
Trevor believes the programmability of the Cisco UCS platform, especially, facilitates DevOps personnel realizing automation and orchestration goals that are challenging to achieve on other platforms.  This versatility allows IT departments and businesses to respond much quicker to customer demands.  Further, Trevor is excited to see how Cisco’s Software-Defined Networking (SDN) initiatives will spur the next evolution of Data Center Automation.
In his free time, Trevor enjoys travelling and blogging about applications of Cisco UCS and Nexus 1000V for Cloud at

If you haven’t entered the contest this week in answering the questions on virtualization it’s your opportunity to shine and win a new iPAD.

The questions as usual are pretty easy with multiple choice – You just need one correct answer to be eligible to win the weekly prize – Check out – If you know one answer you’d better go right away to Facebook to fill the form – All what we need is your e-mail address and your choices

  • Part of the Cisco multi-hypervisor strategy for Cisco Nexus 1000V , which solution is currently in beta?
    • Nexus 1000V virtual switch on the Citrix XenServer virtualization platform
    • Nexus 1000V virtual switch on Microsoft Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012
    • Nexus 1000V virtual switch the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) open source hypervisor for Linux
    • Nexus 1000V virtual switch on the VMware vSphere hypervisor
  • Which Citrix solution Cisco will include in its “Cloud Network Services” portfolio
    • High-performance NetScaler MPX appliances
    • Multi-tenant NetScaler SDX platforms
    • Software-based NetScaler VPX virtual appliances
    • All of the above
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One More Step Closer “Towards an Industry Standard for Benchmarking Big Data Workloads”

Following the successful workshop “Towards an Industry Standard for Benchmarking Big Data Workloads” (WBDB 2012) held in May 2012 in San Jose [2],  the Second Workshop on Benchmarking Big Data Workloads ( [1] will be held in Pune, India from 17 to 18 December at the Hinjewadi Campus of Persistent Systems Ltd, colocated with the 18th International Conference on Management of Data (COMAD 2012) [3].

I have the great pleasure to co-chair this workshop with my distinguished colleagues Chaitanya Baru, Meikel Poess, Milind Bhandarkar and Tilmann Rabl with support from the National Science Foundation (

The objective of the workshop series is to foster the development of industry standards for providing objective measures of the effectiveness of hardware and software systems dealing with Big Data. Several industry experts and researchers are expected to present and debate their vision on benchmarking big data platforms.

[1] WBDB, CFP:
[2] WBDB 2012,
[3] COMAD 2012
[4] WBDB Program Committee

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Top 4 Ways I Know My First Private Cloud is Successful

My users are happy:  Having clearly identified and targeted my end users (did I focus on  business application owners, trusted business IT folks, IT solutions team, or my administrators?), I can see that the adoption of the cloud automation is growing.  This does not mean they are able to do everything they want in my first cloud deployment, but it means they are getting value out of it and I can see the anticipated number of physical and virtual servers provisioned.  I also see deprovisioning occurring.  After a few months I might still see three times to the provisioning going on as deprovisioning. I also have other teams beyond the first deployment angling for their turn.

IT Operations / the Cloud Command Center are cautiously monitoring the people, processes and technology:  Let’s face it, getting into production was intense and we had to make tradeoffs.  We did not get everything we wanted in the first deployment.  We cut the tape and users jumped in the cloud pool.  We got lots of feedback.  We tweaked one or two things; we got even more feedback.  We breathed a sigh of relief.  We looked forward to chapter two and built long lists of what we wanted.  We adjusted our roadmap.  We reviewed the success, learnings and failures with our management.  We identified and quantified the ROI.  We realized that we had lots of work to do.  Our Data Center operational processes were so spread out among our staff.  We had to think very clearly about managing the change from routine to strategic and how our workforce needed to transition to new roles.

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What the Supermarket taught me about Big Data

Author’s Note:  I have no kids.  I have friends with kids, who used to be in diapers.  The kids were in diapers, not the friends.  I’ve changed a few in my day, but not nearly as many as my friends have. And yes this has some sort of relevance to this story…


In every trade show or conference there’s someone talking about Big Data.  They talk about algorithms, CPUs, memory, software stacks, cabling, racks, ROI, TCO, nodes, names, federation, centralization, organization until you get “the pitch.”  I’m not really interested in the pitch for why someone’s product is better than the other, I’m more interested in the “What is the Problem that you’re trying to solve?”  This to me gets to the root of Big Data,or  the consolidation of a set of diverse data sources with a multitude of data types for which you’re attempting to determine relationships and patterns amongst it. Phew. Got it?

Me neither, but I like to think in examples and this is where it dawned on me in the grocery store.

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Cisco UCS Servers – Making Ben Franklin proud

In my first blog post, I highlighted some of the benefits being seen by customers using Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS) from Case Studies. In posts two, three, and four, I discussed reduction in cabling, provisioning times, and power & cooling in more detail. Today’s post will highlight three customers and their reduction in operating costs where, to quote Ben Franklin, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

EDIF Holding SPA– “We have reduced our operating costs by 75 percent while renewing the technology in our IT infrastructure, and we can now offer better continuity of service and a faster response to our customers.” Samuele Cerquetti, CIO

Seven Corners Inc.– “The system paid for itself in less than a year by recouping the more than $1 million the company had been losing annually due to network outages. The company also achieved a $475,000 reduction in operating costs within the first six months of buildout and saved $84,000 instantly by not having to renew software licenses on a number of virtualized servers.”

Avago Technologies – “Ordinarily, expanding from two to three data centers would be expected to increase operational costs by 50 percent. ‘Our operational costs will actually decrease by 40 percent when we expand from two to three data centers.’” Shreyas Shah, Senior Director, Global Information Technology

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