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Why #FAIL isn’t Failure – Lessons from the Cloud

If you were paying attention to the Intertubes or Twitterverse today, you probably heard about an issue at one of the well-known Cloud Computing providers. Needless to say, fingers were being pointed left and right, and all the “experts” came out to explain their 20/20 hindsight into causes (still unknown) and avoidance.

I purposefully avoided any comments about these events because sometimes in life systems go down. If you’ve been in the technology industry long enough, and actually worked in support or operations, you know that even the best designs can have issues. And I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve been the cause of some (temporary) issues with large customer systems. When it happens, it’s not a good day for anyone involved -- the operators, their customers, the fat-finger typer or wrong-cable puller, etc.

What dawned on me throughout the day were all the people labeling this #FAIL. This is the Internet’s new meme anytime something goes slightly different than plan. Read More »

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How Cisco Services Helped EMC IT Get Plaudits from their End Users – Exploiting Cisco UCS for EMC’s Cloud Enabled Oracle Databases

April 20, 2011 at 10:51 am PST

As an IT manager or as a network designer, how often do your end users call you up and praise the improvements you’ve just delivered?  How often do they say “Wow, the system is screaming” and “this is such a productivity increase for us?  How often to you transform “go for a coffee break” type reporting tasks into “less than a minute” execution times?

Last year, Cisco Services, with our Unified Computing Services Application Migration specialists, engaged with EMC IT to help them transition from a legacy RISC platform to Cisco Unified Computing System, and the above user “rave reviews” and feedback were the result. In this blog, I’ll look at a different area of our services portfolio from my previous blogs , that of Cisco UCS Application Migration Services. Read on to find out more how our UCS Application Services helped drive success for EMC IT.  I’ll also point you to the upcoming May 3rd webinar on this topic and some white paper resources and a VoD…… EMC IT with Cisco Services transform Oracle Solution Performance with Cisco UCS

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Fearlessly Consume Tier-1 Enterprise Applications in “Clouds without Boundaries”

With an ever growing mobile and distributed workforce, application developers are being tasked to develop applications that can also be remotely accessed by this global workforce. Application developers, with a very basic understanding of networking, assume the network has no boundaries and applications perform optimally regardless of the mode of access. At the same time, cloud computing is enabling applications to be consolidated into centralized and virtualized data centers, further increasing the distance from where the applications are being accessed. Network architects are also being challenged with current network designs for this application deployment and delivery model. The available bandwidth is being taxed as the ever growing applications portfolio competes for network resources to provide a satisfying user experience across the network without boundaries. This application delivery model also demands capabilities for better visibility and control, WAN optimization, and agility of the network to rapidly deploy and manage enterprise applications.

The Cisco Application Velocity solution addresses all the challenges associated with the delivery and consumption of enterprise applications over the network without boundaries. It is one of the five services in Cisco’s Borderless Network Architecture and is composed of innovative Cisco technologies that help IT professionals meet or exceed business SLAs, maximize user experience, optimize resource utilization, and increase reliability and user expectations.

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Microsoft SharePoint 2010 on FlexPod for VMware

Today we are publishing a new Microsoft SharePoint 2010 on FlexPod for VMware Cisco Validated Design. This solution highlights the key value of partner end to end integrated solutions.  This SharePoint 2010 Enterprise deployment on FlexPod for VMware design guide demonstrates how enterprises can apply best practices for VMware vSphere, VMware vCenter, Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Nexus family switches, NetApp FAS. Through this single package, FlexPod for VMware allows every component of a traditional SharePoint 2010 Enterprise deployment to be consolidated. 

SharePoint 2010 on FlexPod for VMware

SharePoint 2010 on FlexPod for VMware

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OpenFlow: “Pulling networking into the application stack”

April 18, 2011 at 11:14 am PST

Recently, we announced our participation in the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).  As you may know, ONF is focused on defining a software interface enabling the programming of how packets are forwarded through a switched network as defined in the OpenFlow Switch Specification. Beyond this, ONF is also focused on developing an abstracted software interface that management tools can access.  At the end of the day, ONF is looking to advance OpenFlow and and make it easier for customers to fine-tune, manage and adapt their networks.  In addition to Cisco, the organization includes Broadcom, Brocade, Ciena, Citrix, Dell, Ericsson, Force10, HP, IBM, Juniper, Marvell, NEC, Netgear, Verizon, and VMware.

I sat down with Paul McNab, VP/CTO of the Data Center Switching and Services Group, who is leading this effort at Cisco, to get some answers on what this all means.

Omar Sultan: Paul, many industry pundits did not expect us to do this and their reactions were kinda entertaining. So, why did Cisco decide to do this?

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