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Delving in Cisco Data Center Fabric, Part 1

Following my last blog post , I have gotten a number of questions on how we specifically define “fabric” so I thought I’d dig into that a bit more with this post.  So, the primarily point is that our definition of fabric it built around a specific set of features and capabilities. It is not tied to specific products or topology. Again, we think it’s important that our customers have choice and not have an arbitrary architecture foisted upon them.

At its most basic level, a fabric is a highly available, high performance shared infrastructure built with integrated, intelligent compute, storage and network nodes that can be rapidly and simply organized around the requirements of a given workload.

We see this fabric as having six specific characteristics:

    • Open -- based on open standards
    • Integrated -- breaks down traditional silos with a more holistic approach
    • Flexible -- allows customers architectural flexibility and choice
    • Scalability -- easily grows and adapts as the data center evolves
    • Resilient -- delivers bullet-proof uptime
    • Secure -- provides security and policy compliance

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Seeing Is Believing! UCS Advantages Made Visual

Our Technical Marketing Engineers (TMEs) have delivered a library of technical videos, accompanied with voiceover explanations in clear, simple English, to show you how the Unified Computing System really works.  Taken as a whole, this library provides a great functional tour of UCS, but it’s broken down into very digestible, well-defined topics so that you can zero in on topics and features of particular interest.

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Clouding with Confidence – A Tale of Two IT Departments

Maybe you’ve noticed our recent ad campaign, “Cloud with Confidence“, in which we talk about the explosion of companies enabling their business via Cloud Computing activities -- Public, Private and Hybrid Clouds. One of my favorite parts of the messaging is that it doesn’t try and confine the definition of “cloud” as a single thing but instead it highlights the power of connectivity between people, information, markets and ideas. The value to businesses is the interaction and availability of all of these services to help them move from a great idea to a great implementation as quickly as possible.

But that’s just marketing, right? We live in an environment where people are skeptical of large claims and want to see results. Increasingly, they often want to see other people take the risk before them. Not only do we hear this from CIOs that are managing long-term strategies and budgets, but we also hear it from IT organizations that don’t want to do a lot of extra work if the benefits aren’t going to be there.

Fair enough.

How about a couple of REALLY BIG examples? Read More »

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Time to Vote in the Crazy Cable Contest

March 22, 2011 at 8:33 am PST

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos for the Cisco Crazy Cabling Contest. We’ve received some great photos so far! The jumble of wires data center managers have to deal with every day highlights the headaches folks have to deal with when trying to maintain and manage their data centers!
Now you can help select the winners from the top 5 finalists. Go to www.facebook.com/ciscodc and look at the top photos along the “wall” of our data center Facebook page. To vote, please make sure you are first a fan of the Cisco’s Facebook data center page; you can do that by clicking “Like” at the top of the Facebook page.

From there you should be able to click on the photo of your favorite and then click on the “Like” button.

Voting will end on Sunday, March 27 at midnight 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.

The 3 photos with the most votes will be announced on Monday, March 28 on both Cisco’s data center Facebook page and on Cisco’s Data Center Networks blog.

The first place winner will receive a brand new Flip Mino HD 120 camera and an Amazon gift card worth $200.00 USD. Second and third place winners will also receive a Flip Mino and Amazon gift cards worth $100.00 and $50.00 USD.

For the complete official rules and information, please visit: Cisco’s ‘Crazy Cabling Contest’ Complete Official Rules.

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Extend flexibility in Your Data Center Architecture with the Data Center Fabric.

March 22, 2011 at 3:00 am PST

“Fabric computing is a fixture on the radar screen of many IT groups, driven by the increased penetration of virtualization and prospects for cloud computing.As virtualization penetration increases, IT organizations will deploy virtual machine (VM) mobility, which will demand more attention to a fabric-based infrastructure that better integrates server, storage and networking for greater agility and faster time to deploy.”  Based on this observation, Gartner George J Reiss and Andrew Butler organized recently a survey to evaluate which vendors are the most credible and ready to address the challenges of virtualization and cloud computing.

Cisco pioneered the vision of Ethernet-based “Unified Fabric” for the data center and has been shipping products to support that vision for over three years. Subsequently it introduced Unified Computing and Unified Network Services, all of which have formed the building blocks for Cisco’s Data Center Fabric.  Competitors have validated Cisco’s vision by scrambling to deliver their own versions of the Fabric.

On March 30th starting at 9:00 am PST, Cisco executives and experts , partners and customers  will supplement this Fabric vision and showcase its evolution, while bringing multiple proof points to bear. And in a pure Cisco spirit, to enrich a very open conversation, we invited the Senior Analyst Andre Kindnesss from Forrester Research who wrote recently about “The Dark Horse In The Datacenter Fabric Race?” and the Program VP Data Center Network Services Cindy Borovick from IDC to share their vision.

If you want to be among (or amongst) the first to know what’s cooking at Cisco, this is your chance ! This event will be live and we hope to hear from you.

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