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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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Cisco UCS Leads the Industry in Server Performance and Productivity

On April 5th, 2011, Cisco participated in the Intel® Xeon® Processor E7 Product Family Announcement with NINE new world record performance benchmark results highlighting the Cisco Unified Computing System’s outstanding performance and IT productivity across key data center workloads. Cisco also announced the broadening of its server portfolio with the introduction of the Cisco UCS C260 enterprise server, an Intel Xeon processor E7 family based platform designed for most data demanding business critical IT challenges. The Cisco Unified Computing System’s outstanding performance benchmark results are highlighted in the Intel® Xeon® processor E7 Family-based Platform Performance Highlights (April 5, 2011) announcement.

Fundamentally, this record setting performance further reinforces the Cisco Unified Computing System’s ability to deliver next generation compute across bare-metal, high performance computing (HPC) and in the most complex virtualization and cloud computing environments in the data center. Check out the Performance Brief for additional information on the nine new Cisco UCS world record benchmarks. The detailed benchmark disclosure reports are available here.

So the momentum continues…In two short years, the Cisco UCS has captured over 40 world records for performance and IT productivity taking its place among the most trusted server vendors on the market. Check out the Cisco Unified Computing System™ Performance Leadership Presentation.  

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If SAP Applications are installed and run on the Cisco Unified Computing System server platform, but no one knows about it, do they really run?

The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) server platform was introduced 2 years ago.  The first SAP installation on this platform happened shortly after that.  Yet when CIO’s and Application Architects are asked if they plan on running their SAP instances on UCS, many times their initial response is, “huh”.

Companies who run their business on SAP, can take no chances.  If their application shuts down, so does their business, costing them, depending upon the size of the business, millions of dollars a day and in some cases millions of dollars an hour.  So why should they take a chance on running their application on a two year old Cisco server platform?

The reasons actually are very compelling:

  1. Cisco is a top tier server hardware partner with SAP
  2. Cisco is already a SAP hardware partner selected and certified for HANA
  3. Cisco is a SAP hardware partner selected and certified for Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA)
  4. The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Server Platform was designed from the ground up, for virtualization
  5. The unique design of the UCS motherboard allows for up to four times the memory slots per blade chassis; no expansion chassis required.  You can either increase the memory on your blade using 16GB DIMMS to satisfy software requirements or use more of the smaller 8GB DIMMS, utilizing the additional memory slots, satisfying your memory requirements and spending less.
  6. UCS blades are stateless and use software-based Service Profiles to manage the server.  This means that you set up a profile once and are able to attach or reassign that profile to any blade added or already in use.  In some cases this saves 2 to 3 days of configuration time and allows the blade to become active in as little as 30 minutes.
  7. Virtual Interface Cards are used in the Unified Computing System.  You can assign 128 VM’s to a VIC.  2 cards are allocated per server.  Instead of having 256 cables behind your server you now have 2.

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