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Is Your Network Ready for the Cloud Journey?

For many months now, we’ve talked about the Journey to Cloud Computing and how an evolution within your Data Center is needed to make that a reality. In many cases, we looked at this from an application perspective, focused on the interaction between automation, applications, servers, storage and the edges of the network.

But many of you have asked us to provide you a broader understanding of the role the Network plays in the Journey to Cloud Computing. Specifically you’ve asked us to highlight several areas:

  • What is Cisco’s perspective and strategy around the usage of multiple types of Cloud Computing (Private, Public, Hybrid, Community) and what is needed from the network to interconnect all these offerings?
  • How does my business manage the network transitions needed between today’s applications (often client-server), the virtualization of those application, and next-generation web and big data applications?
  • What considerations do we need to make within my Data Center as we try and maximize efficiency and scalability?
  • What considerations do we need to make at the edges of our networks when the proliferation of devices is almost out of control?
  • Are there ways to protect my network investments while still having the flexibility to deal with the business uncertainties that are around the next corner?
Is Your Network Ready for the Journey?
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VSG: Vive la difference! A Tutorial for HP

July 27, 2011 at 11:06 am PST

One of the things I admire about Cisco marketing, and I think generates a lot of respect for us from our customers, is how we approach competitive marketing. Most importantly, we hardly ever do it. Sure, we arm our sales teams with specific comparison data, but it’s rare we feel the need to compare ourselves publically or to bash competitors. When you bash a competitor, it really only serves to give them credibility, and highlights that they must be doing something important to occupy your mindshare, or that of your customer’s.  Occasionally though, we are faced with not only having to take the gloves off a little more, but responding to the inevitable FUD that gets thrown our way.

This brings us to a blog post written by HP about Cisco’s Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), which unfortunately contains a number of inaccuracies and misrepresentations of our product that we have to clear up.

Let’s start with this example:

Cisco has a product called the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) for the Nexus 1000V Series. It is a virtual firewall that lets you enforce policy and segmentation virtual environments. All associated security profiles are configured to include trust-zone definitions and access control lists (ACLs) or rules. They also support VM mobility when properly configured. If there’s one thing the company is good at, it is those good-old ACLs developed back in the early 90s!

The strength of VSG’s firewall capabilities is its awareness of the virtual machine environment, and specifically the ability to write firewall rules based on the attributes of the virtual machine, attributes such as the NAME of the VM. This gives tremendous power to establish policies in virtual environments, such as logically isolating tenants running on the same machine, or separating VMs based on operating system or application type in virtual desktop environments, a use case I wrote about earlier. To imply VSG is enforcing good-old ACL’s from the 90’s is disingenuous at best. Read More »

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The journey thus far… Cisco VXI with VMware

Well it’s about a week since we wrapped up Cisco Live…  Looking back, it was a great week of insights, dialog with customers, and some great interaction with our partner ecosystem.  This year’s Cisco Live was special for VXI, as it marked the major “coming out” of our end-to-end VXI system at this venue, with lots of proof points established in the 9 months since we launched at Cisco’s Collaboration Summit.

I’m especially excited about the traction our joint solution with VMware has gained, as demonstrated by customers embracing VXI and desktop virtualization.  I had the opportunity to join James Lomonaco (Senior Manager Alliance Marketing, VMware) in an interview discussing the journey thus far with our joint solution for desktop virtualization -- you can check it out here.   In the coming weeks you’re going to hear more about the joint innovation we share, and some great examples of why the Cisco-VMware solution presents a truly interlocked, integrated solution combining the most innovative, and widely adopted hypervisor platform (VMware vSphere), with the most rapidly growing x86 bladesystem (Cisco UCS).  This workspace-optimized infrastructure integrated with VMware View, delivers on the promise of the highest-fidelity user centric computing platform for customers on their journey to IT as a service.

In an upcoming post, I’ll share with you some real examples of joint innovation in the Cisco-VMware solution that make this platform unlike any other when it comes to supporting desktop virtualization.  As you know, VMworld 2011 is only weeks away, and we’ll have a great suite of content for you to take in, as you make your way back to Vegas, so stay tuned…

By: TwitterButtons.com

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The Napkin Dialogues: FCoE vs. QCN

July 21, 2011 at 2:49 pm PST

While at Cisco Live I had the pleasure of meeting several people who were curious about Multihop FCoE but had the unfortunate experience of getting too much misinformation from several sources (yes, including some of Cisco’s competition, but even some partners!). Some had already seen my article on FCoE and TRILL and wanted to know if I could help explain the relationship between FCoE and QCN (Quantized Congestion Notification), one of the documents in the IEEE DCB standard revision.

Even though we have a very good, short white paper on the subject, this is one of those subjects that as soon as people ask about it we break out the white boarding, or in the case of being at Cisco Live, the napkins. There are just some things that pictures help explain better.

Because of this, I’m going to try something different with this blog. It may work, or I may fall flat on my face; I suppose we shall find out. Read More »

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Cisco UCS : Celebrating 2 years with a fast growing number of customers

July 20, 2011 at 12:01 am PST

Last week in Las Vegas  at Cisco Live , we celebrated with numerous customers the 2 year birthday of the Unified Computing Systems (UCS)

I mentioned it that briefly in one of my previous blogs , but today I’d  like to give some additional color to this event .

Amongst the videos displayed during the event, one video caught specifically my attention. It was a series of customers quotes extracted from several video success stories that we recorded over the past 12 months . Here is the video

What really struck me watching this video, is that no matter the industry, or the size of the company, all our customers deliver a consistent message

-UCS works beyond their expectations in terms of performances, and reliability
-UCS is easy to deploy and even easier to maintain
-The ROI is just amazing
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