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VSPEX: Our Continuing Exploits with EMC

This week has been a busy week for integrated infrastructure solutions.  Of course, this isn’t a complete surprise around here—we have been preaching the gospel of simplified infrastructure and integrated solution stacks for some time; however, it is gratifying to see the concept continue to evolve and gain customer traction.

One of the developments we are particularly pleased with is the announcement today from EMC regarding their EMC VSPEX program. Cisco and EMC have a long history of partnering together for the benefit of our mutual customers, from storage solutions to the original Vblock to VSPEX.  For those of you who missed the announcement, VSPEX is a reference design program to help guide customers as they build out their next generation of infrastructure.  With our own success with the Cisco Validated Design program, we know this is an effective tool for customers as they look for trusted resources to guide infrastructure investment decisions.

We are a big fan of giving customers choice and giving them options and letting them decide on a path that best suits their needs.  EMC’s VSPEX program is another great example of this.  Its complimentary to our existing offerings in this space, so VSPEX gives customers yet another option and may appeal to customers that did not see the existing options as a good fit or might not have otherwise considered this approach.

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Fast Data: A Brief Analysis of Trends

Data is one of your most important assets. Fast Data implies real-time analytics – the ability to analyze your business and marketplace in real-time.  Fast Data can give you significant competitive advantage by helping you to predict and respond to situations instantaneously. Today we announced [1] that the combination of Cisco UCS and Actian Vectorwise Analytical Database can provide such capability at much lower cost of ownership than traditional solutions. Demonstrated by industry standard TPC-H publications, the extreme performance is coming from the ability of Vectorwise to scale extremely well in multi-core environments and effective caching of large data sets enabled by Cisco UCS extended memory technology eliminating IO bottlenecks.

These two benchmark results achieved the best performance and price-performance for 2-socket servers in 100GB [2] and 300GB [3] scale factors, new additions to our 60+ world record performance records on Cisco UCS since its introduction just three years ago.

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Scaling out Horizontally, Not Just Vertically.

Here we are in an age of automation, consolidation, virtualization, optimization and the proliferation of a dozen other terms and technologies that are enabling IT organizations and users to do more with less and from just about any location.  We’re building clouds and service catalogs, virtual desktops and creating IT service providers.   The skills required by IT organizations continue to grow in leaps and bounds.  No more can you just be “the router engineer” or “the backup engineer”, you’re faced with learning other technologies.  Not so much learning, but cross training.  Read More »

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The Latest Release of Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler – Workload Automation for Global Organizations

Workload Automation is the triggered or scheduled activities that drive batch and real-time business process automation moving data across an ecosystem of applications and compute environments.  This is mission critical “back office” IT business data process capability.    I introduced Workload Automation in a previous blog,   http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/workload-automation-job-scheduling-applications-and-the-move-to-cloud/.  We have customers who use the Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler to perform the most critical activities in their enterprise.  Many of the health care providers, insurance companies, manufacturing giants, and financial service outfits rely on these technologies to drive their business.

We recently made generally available our workhorse release of the Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler for the next few years.

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Cloud Owner Manifesto: 12 Habits of Successful Cloud Builders

People of IT:

A powerful global change has begun. Through cloud services and automation, people are discovering and inventing new ways to deliver IT services with blinding speed. As a direct result, IT Operations are changing — and those that adopt a pragmatic cloud are creating competitive differentiation for their business faster than most companies.

But there are many stones on the road to Damascus on which to stub you toes.

Some IT shops moving to a cloud are not yet ready to take ownership of that Private or Hybrid Cloud deployment or to change their operations. These shops will not be successful.

Some expect their vendor to build it and own it.  Other shops are relying on third parties. This will work at first but it will quickly get too expensive.

Finally, some of the visionaries want to own it themselves but don’t know where to start.  These organizations need to build a maturity roadmap that gets them started quickly and easily so they can learn what works and what needs improvement.

We have worked with a large number of organizations. This has given us perspective on the 12 habits of successful cloud implementations.  Here they are.

12 Habits of Successful Cloud Builders:

1.    They invest in training from their cloud automation software provider so that they can take ownership of and drive the technical work.
2.    Cloud builders are indeed that, their goal is to build:  over time they rely less on vendors and third party services to build their cloud; they have a plan for that transition.
3.    Moving to cloud requires new roles.  Builders define new roles in their organizations to take into account the new skills and competencies needed.  They think through career implications and pathways.
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