Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Data Center

Play Ball!

One of the annual joys and rites of summer for millions of Americans is cheering for their favorite baseball teams. Fans continue to have more options than ever for following their favorite teams on-the-go with always-on access to MLB.com’s news and streaming video anywhere, anytime, on any device, supported by Cisco networking and data center infrastructure. Press coming to Cisco Live are in for a baseball treat today, with a tour of Petco park, followed by a behind the scenes look at the MLB IT infrastructure from Joe Choti, CTO and Sr. VP, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and Steve Reese, VP of Technology, Petco Park.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Third-Party Virtual Services on the Cisco Nexus 1010-X Appliance Start with Imperva WAF

Nexus 1010-X services imageIn a blog post earlier this year, I highlighted the Nexus 1010-X virtual services appliance announced at Cisco Live! in London, and why virtual services can be best deployed on a separate UCS-based appliance running NX-OS. The Nexus 1010 and 1010-X are dedicated platforms for hosting virtual service nodes, like the Nexus 1000V virtual supervisor module (VSM), virtual firewalls, and our virtual network analysis module (NAM). All these services run in virtual machines on the Nexus 1010, rather than taking up valuable resources on application servers, and allow for easier manageability by the networking and security teams (rather than the server team).

Continuing on the same theme, this week at Cisco live! San Diego (my how time flies between these shows!), web application firewall (WAF) manufacturer, Imperva, announced that their SecureSphere WAF would soon be available on the Cisco Nexus 1010-X virtual services appliance (Q4 CY 2012). This is the first third-party virtual service announced on either the Nexus 1010 or 1010-X appliance, and provides additional security capabilities on top of Cisco’s virtualization infrastructure for cloud applications.  Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cisco UCS Serial # 0001: Saving $80,000/month in Operating Costs and with Improved Software Licensing Compliance

You meet the most interesting people at trade shows! This morning at Microsoft’s Tech Ed event here in Orlando the Cisco booth was humming with activity as the exhibit hall opened for the attendees. One early visitor to our booth turned out to have a very interesting – and quite fun – Cisco UCS story. 

 Jeff Stahl of Kindred Healthcare was the early visitor with the unique story. I started off my conversation with Jeff commenting on the complementary “Got Servers?” Cisco t-shirt he had just picked up. Jeff quickly mentioned he was a Cisco UCS customer and in fact was ‘our first’ customer as he has UCS serial # …0001 in his datacenter. What followed over the next few minutes was a fun conversation with Jeff and a few Cisco Engineers hearing about Kindred Healthcare’s UCS experience.

 The Kindred Healthcare case study is available online here – and the benefits they accrued in moving to Cisco’s UCS server platform make a great read:

 For instance, their comments on UCS and management are timely as our UCS Manager solution is up for a “Best of Show” award here at Tech Ed 2012 – “In addition to these savings, the Kindred team was also impressed by the centralized management that UCS offered, including service profiles that ensure consistent configurations. “We evaluated a number of different server solutions, but Cisco UCS really came out on top,” says King. “We didn’t consider the decision a mere hardware upgrade. Rather, UCS presented us the opportunity to truly transform the way we deliver services.”

 Also great to hear and read up on was the savings in overall operating costs and improved licensing compliance for their Microsoft solutions such as SQL Server and SharePoint – “The elastic characteristics of the UCS-based infrastructure have allowed Kindred to temporarily extend its virtualization services … As a result, the company reduced its operational costs by more than $80,000 a month. Kindred also saw Microsoft licensing savings. “We are now able to leverage our existing investment in Microsoft infrastructure service licenses by landing their services on our shared infrastructure, giving us immediate concurrency and the ability to upgrade as desired.”

 To learn more on Cisco’s UCS and Nexus capabilities for Microsoft software, please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

 

Tags: , , , ,

Cisco Live 2012 Short Take: Techtorials, FCoE, and Customers

I’m here at Cisco Live 2012 in San Diego, and coming off of a high of being able to talk to about 60 CCIE networking rock stars about the next generation Data Center.

In case you aren’t familiar, a Techtorial is an 8-hour continuous spray from the firehose (yes, 8 hours!), on top of the normal Cisco Live fare, that goes into the ultra deep technical weeds. These guys are the ones who are planning, designing, and implementing the data centers that we at Cisco only talk about. Truly stellar group of people who know what they’re talking about.

Our session (I was one of 5 speakers during the day) was a non-stop barrage of some of the most technical networking material you can imagine. We covered everything from Hadoop to VPCs to FabricPath to QoS to VM-FEX, and of course storage.

More and more often, questions from the networking teams are looking at storage requirements as they are planning to accommodate consolidated IO. Not just FCoE, but also iSCSI, NAS, and even Hadoop environments, and they need to know what could come and bite them when they weren’t looking.

When I asked how many of them were already having conversations with the storage teams about converging the networks, about 90% of them raised their hands. As a result, we got into the nitties and the gritties about ingress and egress buffering, COS Virtual Lanes, and QoS bandwidth allocations. Like I said, deep stuff.

As I’ve said before, in my world I have a rather skewed perspective. Since I live, eat, breathe, drink storage – particularly FCoE – I see the adoption at all levels in the data center.

And now you can too. I’m going to be giving specific examples of customer deployments at the Expo World of Solutions in Intel’s booth today (Monday, June 11) at 5 p.m., and again in NetApp’s booth on Wednesday, June 13, at 3:00 p.m.

Of course, you can come here it straight from the customer’s mouth, at “Voice of the Customer: FCoE”, where Bart Falzarano, Chief Information Security Officer from Walz Group, will be talking about how his company has deployed FCoE with great success. That session is WoS5030, at the Cisco Main Theatre on Tuesday, June 12 at 12:15 p.m.

These sessions are short – only 10-15 minutes, so it may not be a good idea to dawdle.

Tags: , , ,

With VPLEX and OTV, Cisco, EMC and VCE change the Mobility and Disaster Recovery Game (Part2)

Today, Cisco Live “World of Solutions ” (the show floor) opens at 4:30 pm PDT  in San Diego Convention Center.  One of the marquis demos has been shown at EMC World with a lot of interest.

This blog is the second part of a two part blog dedicated to this Mobility and Business Continuance demo, created by Cisco, EMC and VCE.  In part 1 (read blog here) I invited EMC Colin Durocher (@OtherColin) to share with us his perspective on the demo.  As promised,  I come back today with more details on the demo,  including a video interview conducted by Cisco Daniel Bogda (@dabogda) with EMC Craig Chapman (@VirtualChappy)  and VCE Tom Chatham (@tchatham).  I asked also Tom, who already wrote here, to bring  his  perspective on the demo.

Tom Chatham is a Principal vArchitect with VCE Corporate Engineering responsible for delivering VCE solutions, customer solution testing, technical marketing events and evangelizing private cloud. 16 years of experience in the industry, most of that time spent focused on storage, virtualization and unified computing. Including extensive network infrastructure, systems architecture and business continuity.

“VCE is excited to kick things off this week at CiscoLive! Between our big booth, speaking sessions, and demos we’ve got a ton to talk about (www.vce.com/events/cisco-live).
Like we did at EMC World,  for this year’s  CiscoLive! show VCE wanted to kick it up a notch with LIVE demonstrations of all the cool technologies we have at our fingertips.

Daniel Bogda, Craig Chapman, Tom Chatham

We have a number of VblockTM Systems going to Cisco Live! (and VMworld in August) so it made perfect sense to show off our Workload Mobility Solution. Besides, isn’t cloud all about the ability to offer services from anywhere?

We have three Vblock 300 systems located in the VCE, EMC and Cisco booths. An additional network aggregation rack has been added to each Vblock system to house Nexus 7010 switches, EMC RecoverPoint appliances and EMC VPLEX engines. Panduit provided 1000 feet of fiber trunk cable containing 6 pair of fiber, which has been hung from the ceiling between booths.

The Nexus 7010 switches are providing our core network services, making each booth it’s own data center. RecoverPoint and VMware Site Recovery Manager are handling traditional long haul disaster recovery. VPLEX Metro is providing Active-Active storage clustering capabilities. This is the ability to stretch a VMware vSphere cluster between two sites today, and up to four in the future.  VPLEX Metro provides storage array block level LUN consistency and data availability while OTV on the Nexus 7000 series switches provide layer 2 network services.

Diagram: VCE Vblock WLM plan for CiscoLive!

Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at what makes this “cool”. Traditionally, migrating data and applications in or between data centers involves manual steps and data copies, where IT would either make physical backups or use data replication services to handle getting the data from side A to side B.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,