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Honored to be designated as VMware vExpert 2011!

I am happy to share that for second year in a row, VMware has designated me as a vExpert 2011. vExpert award is a recognition of one’s contributions to the VMware and broader virtualization and cloud computing communities.

Blogging being one of the key factors for the vExpert award, I want to extend special thanks to the people who follow my blogs. As always, feedback is highly appreciated.

I am very excited to be a part of the vExpert program as we continue to strengthen the integration of various Data Center Business Advantage technologies with VMware and continue to roll out joint innovative solutions (VMDC, Vblock, FlexPod for VMware etc.) to market. These solutions are helping thousands of our joint customers efficiently accelerate their journey to cloud.

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Gorilla Nation and Cisco ACE Virtual Contexts – and More!

This customer’s testimonial brings to my mind this commercial from the 1970′s:

If you’ve had a laugh, or if not, the case study is about Gorilla Nation, an integrated digital media company that focuses on vertical publishing and advertising sales and services, has leveraged the powerful multi-tenancy features of ACE to lower OPEX, reduce power and cooling, and eliminate device sprawl, all while maintaining SLAs and delivering high performance in a massively scaled environment.

Cisco Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) and Cisco VIC

What is VM-FEX? VM-FEX is the consolidation of the virtual switch and physical switch into a single management point.

This sounds funny to say, but it amazes me how many people still use standard VMware vSwitches.  In the enterprise there are just too many things that can be missed on standard vSwtiches and we need consistency. This consistency is obvious when port group names need to match identically or vMotion will fail. Last time I went through the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage class we were working on the standard vSwitch configuration, which utilizes some interesting port group failover order setting which include overrides. So, I zipped through my sheet and was waiting for the instructor to ask for answers. After a few other students I spoke up and proceed to explain my complex but accurate vSwitch configuration.

You remember this diagram from class right??

And the override settings?

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Innovate on the Cheap

Innovation is inextricably linked with the old adage “If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again!”  Great entrepreneurs concur that in order to drive real innovation, corporations must cultivate originality by giving employees the freedom and resources to introduce new ideas, methods and processes.

So I began to wonder, what are some great ways that an enterprise can balance the hard costs and the opportunity costs of fostering innovation with the more practical demands of the balance sheet?

A few weeks ago, I heard James Urquhart talking to a customer about their cloud strategy and he said some things that I thought were very powerful.  He was talking about the flexibility of Cisco UCS and how it allowed for inexpensive do-overs.  You can buy the hardware and try something on it at small scale.  If it shows promise, you can scale it up to meet the full market need.  If it doesn’t work, the hardware can quickly be recaptured and repurposed for the next innovation.  Repeat, redo, retry, redesign—cost effectively “try, and try again.”

As the conversation went on with the customer, we came to recognize the same benefit of a well-engineered orchestrator as the common point of interaction of all the pieces of IT.

New services in the cloud are more than just building a new VM template or vApp and then cloning it on demand.  The move toward ITaaS means bringing in new purpose-built technologies (such as IT chargeback, application configuration management, network flow management, industry-specific compliance reporting, etc.), and integrating them with existing OSS/BSS products you already have (ticketing systems, network monitoring, email, etc.).

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Cisco FabricPath – Scaling your data center network

Recently, I was having a discussion with some customers about how data center networks are being redefined by convergence and virtualization, and how Cisco FabricPath is helping IT staff scale their data center networks to make them more agile for virtualization deployments. If you’re not familiar with Cisco FabricPath technology,  it’s a superset  of the IETF TRILL standard with added features. Cisco FabricPath allows you to build out highly scalable, multi-path layer 2 networks without Spanning-Tree.

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