Over a year ago, I blogged about the evolution of Enterprise Desktop environment and what it takes for an IT organization to evaluate a VDI project. Much has changed in a year – there has been an explosion of devices such as smart phones and tablets and employees and C-level executives are increasingly demanding access to corporate networks and data through their personal mobile devices. While it’s proven to be a productivity boon for employees, this consumerization of personal devices in workplace – the phenomenon known as Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) – has forced IT and data center administrators to reconsider everything from network security to bandwidth capacity and is at the forefront of most IT administrators’ business plans.
After listening to a wide variety of customers from many different markets, there is one thing that has become very apparent – it is all about apps, data, and a rich user experience. When it comes to day-to-day collaborative applications such as voice, video, and WebEx, they have to run seamlessly from a variety of devices. In short, the perfect storm of BYOD clients, rich media applications, access methods, and compliance requirements are influencing IT decision makers to re-evaluate their approach to desktop virtualization implementation. Many of our customers are looking for a solution that supports voice/video/collaboration in a VDI environment and asking for help architecting their datacenter, network and end point strategy so that they can accommodate richness of devices and various collaboration applications. While it is important to have a well-designed datacenter, we need to stay focused on user experience in a virtual desktop environment while building architecture that addresses security, management and faster provisioning.
Today’s Day 2 keynote at Microsoft’s Management Summit (MMS) here in Las Vegas focused on the world of connected devices and how IT organizations struggle at times to deliver quality services based on the demands of our anytime, anywhere, always on world.
One solution being demonstrated this week at MMS helps to resolve some of these issues. The Citrix XenDesktop on FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution is a joint effort between Cisco, Citrix, and NetApp in the Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) area. The solution helps to simplify, secure, and scale desktop virtualization on Cisco’s agile data center infrastructure based on Cisco UCS while also incorporating storage assets from NetApp and desktop assets from Citrix. All based on a Windows Server, System Center (including support for System Center 2012!), and Hyper-V environment.
This combination of technologies from Cisco, Citrix, Microsoft, and NetApp has produced a highly efficient, robust and scalable Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for a hosted virtual desktop deployment. To learn more details about this new offering, please download the publicly available reference architecture at the link below:
So, the theme for the day was “Less Unicorns, More Ponies”
I have to admit, I could not attend some of the afternoon sessions–there is a define downside to going to a conference with your boss.
Anyway, we heard from a number of folks (a lot of SPs and academics) that are doing the hard work of trying to do useful real-world things with OpenFlow and SDN. There were a fair number of successes but also a good number of struggles. Kudos to the ONS folks for trying to present a balanced view as opposed to hosting a two-day OpenFlow pep rally. So, sadly, the shine is starting to come off the SDN unicorn, but in the long run, this what needs to happen for the long term health of SDN.
Hands down, my favorite session was Igor Gashinsky from Yahoo! for a number of reasons: 1) it was darn entertaining, 2) I think hyperscale data centers present some the most interesting and demanding environments right now, 3) the use case was interesting, and 4) frankly, it allows me to make a point.
It seems that much of the conversation around SDN centers on the southbound conversation–the ability to program the hardware. While that is certainly useful and interesting, at least as interesting and important is the northbound conversation–the ability to extract interesting information from the infrastructure and make it available to the controllers, applications, tools, etc. In Igor’s case, he talked about being able to extract info directly out of the switching hardware to facilitate troubleshooting–not an inconsequential task when you have 20K servers and 400K VMs. Its a good use case but I also think its just scratching at the surface.
I believe its an interesting topic and one of the things that David Ward will dig into a bit further during his session this afternoon.
From an IT manager’s perspective, the applications that run the business are important, very important. In fact, many RISC/UNIX migration discussions focus on application support, performance, and availability. With a growing number of customers transforming their IT practices and economics by migrating off RISC/UNIX platforms to Cisco UCS, we have introduced Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) for business-critical applications which also contain a RISC/UNIX migration element.
The first migration focused CVD is Oracle PeopleSoft on Cisco UCS. The goal of this CVD is to provide sufficient information to run an Oracle ERP application like PeopleSoft on Cisco UCS. ERP applications are the backbone for many organizations to run their business functions and robust performance is a requirement. With that in mind, we measured the online performance of Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Resources Management System (HRMS) 9.1 using Oracle Database 11g on Red Hat Enterprise Linux ( RHEL) 5.6 operating system. The solution was comprised of a standard 3-tier technology stack of web, application and database servers. The web and application servers were run on Cisco UCS B200 M2 blade servers and the database server was run on a Cisco UCS B250 M2 blade. This benchmark measured client response times for up to 2500 concurrent users which represents a small to medium-sized company profile.
SAPPHIRE 2012 is coming very fast, but is still 3 weeks away. So I figured out that I can give you some insights about what’s going on between Cisco and SAP!
The best ways are probably to let a customer share his/her experience, and to invite you this April 18th to a special webinar.
SAP Hana has truly revolutionized data analysis, allowing companies to tap into volumes of their company information in real-time. As one of SAP’s global technology partners and a certified SAP HANA hardware partner, Cisco has teamed with SAP to provide a foundation on which our customers can transform their businesses.
Medical technology leader Medtronics chose Cisco’sUnified Communications Systems (UCS) platform on which to run its SAP HANA in-memory computing appliance, because it was the best startegic fit with Medtronic’s existing infrastructure out of the four certified vendors considered .
To know more , please read this excellent article from InsiderProfiles.