Everybody is resting and recovering from a week at Cisco Live. I’m recovering from a week at Microsoft Tech Ed in Orlando, Florida. I had the privilege of talking to customers at Microsoft Tech Ed about our new Cisco UCS E-Series x86 blades for the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR). The Cisco ISR is our branch office router line that comes in fixed configuration and modular configurations. The ISR is commonly used to consolidate branch office services. The Cisco UCS E-Series brings serious x86 power to the modular ISR models further consolidating branch devices into the router itself. The E-Series even supports VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V bringing virtualization goodness at the branch. A common configuration is to load a simple Windows Server Core onto the E-Series with read-only ADS in case you lose connectivity to the main office. But that’s just an easy example. The E-Series has many more uses, and our customers are discovering more every day. If you are unfamiliar with the Cisco ISR, check it out, it’s a great product for branch offices.
Getting back to some of the goodies announced at Cisco Live. With NX-OS 5.2(6), MDS customers get a new feature called Smart Zoning. In order to discuss what Smart Zoning is, we need to talk about zoning in general and today’s best practices in zoning.
Today when we set up a zone on our SAN, all devices within a given zone can talk to any other device in the zone. While this is all well can good, in large SAN environments it can lead to the depletion of a hardware memory resource known as ternary content addressable memory or TCAM. Every device in a zone takes up a TCAM entry and multiple large zones can use up TCAM. In order to get around this, today many large SAN administrators do 1 to 1 zoning. With 1 to 1 zoning two devices are both assigned to a single zone by themselves. This preserves TCAM resources by excluding all the other possible devices that could be in that zone. But this comes at a price. With so many zones it becomes onerous to keep track of them all and even simple storage changes may require yet another zone change. Storage administrators spend too much time maintaining and documenting zones with the 1 to 1 model.
With Smart Zoning, you can establish a one-to-many relationship between devices. Thus a single storage target with 20 servers connected get only the connection between the storage and the target, not the additional server to server SAN connections that happen with traditional zoning. This allows SAN managers to create larger zones, based on task without worrying about depleting TCAM resources. However the big savings comes in administrator time. Instead of creating multiple 1 to 1 zones, administrators can now use a smart zone and with a single command add a member. A more logical zone structure emerges as well, more closely aligned to the application/cluster.
These features are available in NX-OS 5.2(6) and can be enabled on a per-VSAN basis on the MDS product line. Check it out, it could save your company time and help simplify the SAN network.
Jon Ashley, the editor of the newish publication, Cisco Services Dynamics recently asked me if I’d be interested in providing an article on Cloud Computing. I gladly agreed and after a quick briefing from Jon was off and typing. While none of this is all that unusual, it turns out that Cisco Services Dynamics is a different sort of publication.
The first thing that sets Dynamics apart is the emphasis placed on having the articles be informative, concise and, focused on Services. Since I was planning a piece on Cloud it seemed this would be a bit of a “no brainer”. However, I found my first draft lacking in a couple of areas. For starters I was not all that concise; I was frankly a bit long winded. Secondly I missed the mark on being informative. Seems I, like many marketers, confused informative with selling. However with a bit of coaching from Jon I was able to re-work my piece and submit it for publication.
Recently I received an email letting me know Cisco Services Dynamics Edition 3 was officially available; and thanking me for my contribution. This is where another nice feature of the publication came to light. You can choose to receive the publication in a printed format, on-line, or both. I choose the on-line version and found that it takes advantage of its on-line format and provides much more than a pleasing interface that allows you to “turn the pages”, share via Twitter and LinkedIn, and integrated video and expanding text boxes.
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Tags: Cisco Services, cloud, news, services
At Cisco Live, I had the good fortune to sit down with Steve Kaplan of Presidio (@ROIdude), and Sreekanth Kannan of VMware, to discuss the current landscape of desktop virtualization as seen through the experiences of our customers, key enabling technologies we’re excited about, and some thoughts about what to expect looking forward. Watch the session
Desktop Virtualization Panel with VMware and Presidio at Cisco Live 2012
Clearly our friends had a lot to share, and were excited about the transformation happening in our customers’ desktop IT environments. Some highlights from our chat:
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Tags: desktop virtualization, presidio, vdi, VMware, vxi
For the most part, my last post was concerned about what Cisco ONE was, so explore a little more into the why. I am going to assume you read my last post, so let’s dig in. One of the fundamental concepts behind ONE is illustrated below–the idea of exposing the network in a highly granular way and emphasizing the ability to not only exert programmatic control over switch behavior, but the ability of the network to present interesting and useful information back up to the applications.
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Tags: Cisco ONE, Network programmability, onePK, OpenStack, SDN
Great news for SAP users! Cisco’s industry leading IT process automation software based upon the Cisco Process Orchestrator and our knowledge based automation solution will be sold by SAP.
This solution addresses market demand for IT process automation, helping IT staff standardize and unify operational processes across the enterprise to support maximum up-time and optimal resource usage. What a big deal for SAP customers who will now get the advantages of this automation to achieve their business goals. We have well over 300 out of the box automation workflows that drive operational excellence. Imagine being the person who used to do all of this manually. Sign me up for:
- automated health checks
- unified incident response
- predefined corrective actions
- advanced reporting
- the ability to create reusable workflows with your best practices through a drag and drop editor
In fact, the core software that drives this is the same software that orchestrates our Intelligent Automation for Cloud Solution. Very cool that we can solve such different problems (SAP IT Process Automation) and Cloud Orchestration (provisioning of resources for physical and virtual servers) with the same software product.
This automation product will be co-marketed and sold with SAP Landscape Visualization Management (LVM) solution as part of SAP’s virtualization and cloud solution offering.
I want to extend a shout out to Eric Robertson,
our Product Manager for our SAP solutions and stay tuned for even more exciting solutions based upon Cisco Intelligent Automation.
Tags: intelligent automation, operational excellence, orchestration, SAP