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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 3): Virtualization and Workload Mobility

It’s Wednesday, time for a fresh episode of Engineers Unplugged! This week features VCE’s Tom Chatham (@tchatham) and EMC’s Travers Nicholas (@traversn) in a joint whiteboarding session around virtualization, VPLEX, and workload mobility.

Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns
Tom Chatham and Travers Nicholas Solving Tech Problems, One Rainbow at a Time

Tom Chatham and Travers Nicholas Solving Tech Problems, One Rainbow at a Time

Do you agree or disagree with Tom and Travers vision? Post a comment below or Tweet with #EngineersUnplugged.

**Engineers Unplugged is coming to Barcelona for VMworld October 8-October 10. Interested? Contact me at @CommsNinja for more information.**

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RISC Migration at OOW2012 : Pragmatic approach to transition to Cisco UCS

Lot of activities these days at the Moscone Center here in San Francisco  for Oracle OpenWorld 2102!  But first the major speaking session of the day.

Raghunath Nambiar, Cisco distinguished Engineer , and Ashok Joshi , Oracle Senior Director  will be on stage at 1:15 pm to talk about

Big Data Performance Delivered: Oracle NoSQL Database on Cisco UCS (CON 11671)
Moscone Center West – Room

If you are at the Moscone Center , don’t miss the opportunity to meet Raghu, who led also the TPC-C benchmark (see blog Introducing the World’s Fastest 2-Processor server )

To help you to take advantage as soon as possible of the UCS platform, I talked  yesterday with Carl Fijat, from Cisco Advanced Services to better understand how easy and painless the RISC migration can be.  Carl who was presenting on the Cisco booth ( #1221) talked about the extensive methodology and comprehensive set of tools offered to the customers who are ready to migrate .

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Real Time Business with Cisco Unified Data Center for SAP Solutions

If you have deployed a SAP solutions, chances are that you have also Cisco network solutions in your company. But do you realize that you can get much more out of the presence of the two vendors in your company? And if you run also solutions either from EMC and NetApp you are now literally seating on a golden opportunity. October 9th webcast is your chance to know more.

Cisco and SAP are very natural partners – Both companies are very interested in providing what business customers are increasingly eager to get out of an intelligent infrastructure ready for cloud, big data , and data analytics : Improve personal productivity, increase process visibility, expand customer insight, manage risks and provide security, with the promise of achieving unprecedented level of  business agility,  financial efficiency and IT simplification.

Over the past years , SAP introduced a new concept with SAP HANA, “a game changer in Memory platform, allowing customers to run the business differently thanks to an easy , near real-time access to a vast amount of data”  to quote  Ryan Veerubhotla, SAP AG , VP Ecosystem and channels – If you  haven’t already seen this educative , easy to understand video, check out . A great way to  see how data in motion become data in action!

Truth is ..for a solution such a SAP HANA to be very successful , it requires an outstanding infrastructure – And that’s where the Cisco Unified Data Center plays a central role –

Whether we talk about Unified Computing Systems, Unified Fabric or Unified management including Intelligent Automation, the Data Center portfolio of solutions that Cisco can deploy for a SAP user makes a tremendous difference in terms of ease of deployment, ease of management , cost reduction and containment and of course performances. (a quick reminder that Cisco UCS broke in less than 3 years  + 70 world-record benchmarks including this week a TPC-C benchmark)

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Unified Workspaces That Go Beyond VDI: Built on Cisco Unified Data Center

Today we introduced release 2.6 of the Cisco VXI Smart Solution, offering enhanced performance user experience and faster ROI,  with unified workspaces that go beyond VDI. VXI 2.6 offers new capabilities and enhancements to the underlying platform, spanning Cisco Unified Data Center, Borderless Network, and Collaboration pillars.  I invite you to check out posts from Phil Sherburne and Brian Dal Bello to learn more.  For now, let me turn your attention to the data center pillar, specifically the advancements that are part of this release, and as amply illustrated  in the Cisco Validated Design for VXI.

Reducing the TCO of virtual desktops

With VXI 2.6 we focused significant attention on improving performance, and driving down the cost of deploying end-to-end desktop virtualization through a combination of data center enhancements that are now part of the Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for VXI 2.6.  These include:

  • The Cisco UCS B200 M3 server blade, based on the Intel Romley- platform delivers continued leadership in virtual desktop  density.  We recently commissioned a study with  Principled Technologies to evaluate  B200 M3 performance with virtual desktop workloads – check the results we published for VMware and Citrix based platforms.  We’ve also added the UCS VIC 1240 (mezzanine LOM)  to the CVD, offering up to 80 Gbps aggregate bandwidth per Blade Server.  Bandwidth management capabilities of the VIC 1240 and its effect on delivering QoS in a mixed workload scenario of  virtual desktops and other workload types is covered in detail here.  The CVD also includes the Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect, 6296UP, that provides up to 2 Tbps throughput, thereby offering enhanced workload scalability and overall performance
  • Support for published shared desktops with XenApp 6.5, including Jabber for Windows.  With this feature, we deliver much greater scalability while also extending our industry-leading Jabber solution support to this popular application delivery approach, resulting in a more scalable, cost-effective, superior collaboration user-experience
  • Optimizing storage costs is also a key focus area for the release, and VXI2.6 introduces support for a number of capabilities that help reduce storage costs.  With VMware vSphere 5, we have Content Based Read Caching (CBRC) addressing performance bottlenecks associated with the high read IOPS found during O/S boot and AV scans.  CBRC offers host RAM-based caching to reduce read IOPS to back-end shared storage, improving scalability and overall storage performance and end-user experience.
  • With B200 M 3 servers, we support “Tier-0″ Solid State Disk (SSD) which enables the storage of Desktop images internally on the server while user data and personalization can be stored on back end shared storage, allowing for better overall performance and reduced dependency and costs associated with  back-end shared disks  We  have also included validated testing of the WhipTail Flash silicon storage array (SSA) offering  up to 12TB of flash with 250k IOPS in a 2U array.

Want to learn more about VXI Release 2.6?  Check out the following:

And visit our website at www.cisco.com/go/vxi

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Data in Motion – The Highest Value of Big Data

Massive amounts of data are being created every day, and shaping the way we live, work, and interact. Big Data  can give  a strategic advantage. Big Data can also create a richer experience for customer. We all agree about that.

But early on our scientists have speculated on the implications of the explosion of data. They described their  vision for a future Internet of Things — when trillions of networked computers could free people to focus their energies on pressing issues like climate change or resource shortages. (See video interview  from  David Evans, (@DaveTheFuturist) Cisco’s Chief Futurist and Chief Technologist and blog from  Shaun Kirby,  Director of Cisco’s Innovations Architecture Practice  for Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions)

Today we definitely see the Internet as the next realm for Big Data to shine : From a video camera, a tire pressure sensor  to a smart meter  these devices are creating a constant flow of data. In fact, as Carlos Dominguez , Cisco SVP , Office of the Chairman of the Board and CEO explains in his today blog “Finding Wisdom in Big Data” , the data generated by the devices will very soon make up the majority of all information available.  With the caveat , that  the real-time nature of these new sources of data requires that it is evaluated in motion and in meaningful way. The value of data is often dictated by time – being at its highest value as it is created. It is less and less relevant  to look at them later.

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