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Multiprotocol Storage

Spring has come again for the storage industry, bringing with it new options in both storage and server hardware itself and the networks that connect them together. The rise of SSD (solid state disk), rising connectivity speeds for Ethernet and Fibre Channel, and a new awareness of the importance of storage from a virtualization standpoint mean that storage is experiencing growth and change. For years, the stand-by for storage networking was Fibre Channel.  Today, Fibre Channel (FC) is still the stand-by for storage networking, but there are more options.  Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI, and the traditional file protocols of SMB and NFS are all viable enterprise-grade options to think about.

Its important to understand that despite sudden array of choices in the storage networking market, it is not necessary to simply pick a proverbial winner and run with it.  Every business has its own business needs and I.T. design goals for the data center and the storage environment contained therein.  Most large data centers today are primarily Fibre Channel environments, with a heavy investment in FC and FC-based storage arrays.  The principles of consolidation and network simplification would state that these large data centers should be converting over to FCoE, based on the management, cable, and capital reductions.  But the reality is far from that easy.

With a large investment in FC, companies simply cannot rip and replace the storage network and replace it with FCoE. Setting aside the huge disruption that would cause to operations, the waste of the existing investment in recently purchased FC equipment simply isn’t bearable.  Then there are technical challenges, older equipment such as main frames that require FICON connectivity, and the testing process that has to happen when a new technology is introduced into a data center environment.

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Intelligent Automation for Cloud at EMC World this week

It’s time for EMC fans to gather from across the globe for this great event: EMC World in Las Vegas started today!

It’s also an opportunity to learn about Cisco’s cloud management solutions, designed to deliver end-to-end unified management and an intelligent approach to IT automation — complementing intelligent infrastructure such as UCS, Nexus, EMC storage, and the Vblock platform.

You may have heard that we recently introduced the new Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition. Here’s a brief overview and demo featured on TechWise TV:

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SDN Goings On at CiscoLive 2012

So, apparently, a few of you are interested about what we will have to say at around OpenFlow and software defined networking (SDN).  If you are lucky enough to heading off to CiscoLive! in San Diego, then there are a couple of things that you should definitely put on your to-do list.

We have three sessions you should check out:

  • From the Trenches: Delivering Real Software Defined Networking Solutions (PNLRST-4007):  A panel discussion with Cisco folks, a couple of customer that have some real-world experience with SDN and OpenFlow and perhaps an analyst or two.  The session will focus on what we see folks currently doing, lessons learned and what direction the panel sees the technology evolving
  • Software Defined Networks and OpenFlow (BRKRST-205): Fari warning–this session will make your brain bleed, but in a good way.  Its a deep technical exploration into SDN and some of the design implications of deploying said technology.
  • And, as always, Padma’s keynote will offer insight into our thinking in this are Read More »

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Cisco at EMC World: Joint Solutions and Unified Data Center

Elvis may have left the building, but Cisco is just arriving to Booth 402 at EMC World. There’s a lot to learn and see, here are some highlights from the Unified Data Center point of view.

Session Title: Transforming Data Center Storage Networks to the Cloud
Speaker: Dr. J Michel Metz, Product Manager, Cisco and Josh Mello, Solutions Technical Marketing, EMC
Date/Time: Monday, May 21, 2012, 4:00p.m. – 5:00p.m.

Hint: Scan the conference for Dr. J Metz

Hint: Scan the conference for Dr. J Metz

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Public Cloud with Confidence

The benefits of public cloud are so tempting that many organizations have been quick to adopt; only to find out of the downsides and risks the hard way—being confronted by them!  The list of potential risks can get long and include alarming items like lackluster performance, costs considerably higher than expected, and the ever looming security violations.

So how does one move to adopt public cloud services, gaining the benefits while minimizing the risk?  Caveat emptor, buyer beware, is a good start place.  Cloud promises come fast and furiously.  You need to make the time and devote the effort to understanding and documenting your needs and expectations.  Then compare these to the array of promises and develop a guiding roadmap for public cloud adopting. Read More »

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