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Best Practices for Application Delivery in Virtualized Networks – Part II

As we start off this New Year, how about including a resolution to improve application delivery? In Best Practices for Application Delivery in Virtualized Networks – Part I , we covered key application delivery challenges that have come up due to the complexities of managing the many types of applications that enterprises use today, and further complicated by data center consolidation and virtualization. We then covered some best practices, courtesy of Dr. Jim Metzler’s 2011 Application Service Delivery Handbook, which recommended taking a lifecycle approach to planning and managing application performance.

A key step to the lifecycle approach is to implement network and application optimization tools, such as WAN Optimization solutions and Application Delivery Controllers, including server load balancers. Of course, these solutions are not new to the market and already address many of the needs that exist with delivering enterprise applications in virtualized data centers – namely, the need to ensure network reliability, availability and security for users accessing these applications. In this post, we will discuss a recent study by IDC, where IT decision makers across Europe and the US spoke out about their strategies for using server load balancers to deal with emerging challenges.



.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What important attributes do you look for in your server load balancers?

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Registering a Sense of FCoE Perspective: Sniffling, Scaling and Storage

When The Register published a conversation with Brocade on December 8 about the success of their 16Gb Fibre Channel vs. Cisco’s FCoE solutions, you just know that there were going to be several elements that were going to raise an eyebrow or two. Maybe three.

Personally, I found the comparison between Brocade’s 16G solutions and Cisco’s FCoE solutions as something of a red herring. That is, there are different reasons why a customer would want to use one tool in the toolbox versus another, but they were saying “our new jackhammer is better than their entire toolbox.”

Nevertheless, some people felt that the article was an unbalanced promotion of Brocade’s new toys. I was invited by The Register author Chris Mellor to write a response article, which I did, and then waited for it to be printed. Read More »

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Cisco Announces Industry-Leading TPC-C and TPC-H Benchmark Performance on Cisco UCS!

Cisco continues its performance leadership with the announcement of its inaugural  TPC-C and TPC-H benchmark results on the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS™) platform .  On December 7th 2011, Cisco published two industry standard benchmarks from Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) on the Cisco UCS platform.

Cisco’s leading TPC-H result demonstrates the enterprise performance for Cisco UCS Servers when combined with Microsoft SQL Server, and  Cisco’s leading TPC-C result demonstrates that Cisco UCS systems represent a high-performance, cost-effective enterprise platform for Oracle Database.

Cisco UCS Demonstrates TPC-C Performance and Price/Performance Leadership

Often referred to as the flagship server benchmark that measures online transaction processing performance, TPC-C simulates a complete compute environment where a population of users runs transactions against a database.

In its first TPC-C result, Cisco demonstrates industry leadership in partnership with Oracle, establishing the Cisco UCS as the fastest two-socket Intel Xeon processor-powered platform running Oracle Database. Cisco’s leading TPC-C result demonstrates that Cisco UCS servers, combined with Oracle Database, can deliver industry-leading enterprise capabilities. Cisco’s  industry-leading TPC-C result asserts both performance and price/performance leadership.  A Cisco UCS C250 M2 Extended- Memory Rack-Mount server achieved 1,053,100 transactions per minute (tpmC) in the standard TPC-C benchmark, with a price/performance ratio of $0.58 USD per tpmC, exceeding the HP two-socket TPC-C result using identical Intel® Xeon® processors and memory capacity by 2.8 percent in performance, at a 11 percent lower price/performance ratio.

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‘Tis the Season … for Giving Back ….

In many cultures across the world, this is a time for giving.  In a departure from my previous blogs discussing data center servicescloud adoption and IT architecture transformation, I’ve decided to end the year by discussing how we in Cisco give back our time and money to help others, something that Cisco most definitely encourages. Here I’ll discuss how a few colleagues and I have helped out in one of the computing degree courses at the University of Dundee in Scotland.

You can read this full blog entry here on our Corporate Social Responsibility blog.    And look out for more blogs from me in 2012!  Best wishes everyone!

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For your IT Wish List this Holiday Season: a Virtual Data Center

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through IT, not a creature was stirring, not even a sysadmin?

Well, not quite. To support the global operations for a Fortune 100 company, the IT staff are always stirring things up at Cisco. But they may be just a little less busy this holiday season. Why? Because Cisco IT deployed a private cloud earlier this year, with a self-service portal and automated provisioning for infrastructure-as-a-service.

This means that employees throughout Cisco can provision and manage the infrastructure resources they need on their own, anytime and anywhere – so our sysadmins can take a break this holiday season (or more likely, they can focus on other IT priorities).

You may have already heard about Cisco IT’s internal private cloud solution, called CITEIS: Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services. It’s what we call a “Cisco on Cisco” example, using Cisco’s own Unified Data Center solutions – including Unified Computing, Unified Fabric, and Unified Management with our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud software.

For a quick overview, here’s a short video about the Cisco IT private cloud:

And if you want more detail, watch this on-demand webinar here.

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