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Cisco & BMC enable breakthrough efficiency yields at Monsanto

Having just returned from VMWorld in Copenhagen, I stopped for a few minutes over a cup of hot tea to reflect on how dramatically the issues and priorities have changed from just a few years ago.  From just a few years ago, the focus has changed from “getting to virtualization” to “managing virtualization”.

With each Data Center event I’ve participated in this year, I’ve heard the cry from CIOs and IT Leaders everywhere for help in simplifying the management of their increasingly complex, virtualized environments.    IT systems management has emerged as the foremost area of concern (and top spending priority) among enterprise and mid-market businesses.

Increasingly, customers are asking for a single unified and integrated systems management solutions, that would simplify operations and provide agility. This is not surprising given that IT spend on server operations management (OpEx) now exceeds that of server purchases (CapEx). To compound the situation, rapid growth in virtual servers, has made this scenario even more complex.

My conversations with several impacted customers at VMWorld, Europe, yielded a consistent response; The solutions proffered by most incumbent server vendors were not meeting their needs.   Most incumbent vendors add software management layers for every piece of component added to the server infrastructure. This has led to a house of cards situation, difficult to scale, sustain and make changes. Many customers have benefited from the Unified Management capability offered by the UCS platform and are looking for a similar unified management solution that would extend to full stack server provisioning and configuration automation

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Consumerization of Enterprise IT Drives Demand for Unified Virtualization Architecture, New Security Standards

The global enterprise is being subjected to an explosion of consumer Internet applications, web services, smartphones, mobile applications and other consumer on-line services, based on the principle that the corporate IT experience should be as cool and easy to work or play with as the home entertainment and consumer device experience.  PC desktop browser access to web-based data is increasingly less significant in terms of resource demands and connectivity stress being forced on the corporate network.

The computing cycles required to support these consumer on-line services, however, will take network demand way beyond the PC desktop browser standard and require enterprises and service providers to allocate up to 10 times the conventional compute power, according to research by Morgan Stanley.  Internet application and web access devices like smartphones will potentially reach 10 billion units worldwide in the next few years, but it’s important to understand the new standards for network availability resource demand, and usability attitudes, will come from more than smartphones alone.[1]

Additionally, in terms of mobile computing, growth projections in 3G/4G networks will create new, rigorous demands on enterprise wireless network infrastructures (devices enabled with GPS, WiFi/WiMax, Bluetooth, and/or 3G/4G).

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Cisco Customers Named Best Practice Finalists at Storage Networking World

Selected from hundreds of entries from around the world, Cisco customers King County and Almaviva TSF met the stringent criteria defined by Computerworld, the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), and Storage Networking World (SNW) for awards in the following categories:
 

1)  Best Practices in Energy Efficiency, Green Computing and the Data Center:

King County -- Office of Information Resource Management (OIRM) -- Seattle, Washington

2) Best Practices in Virtualization and Cloud Computing

Almaviva Tele Sistemi Ferroviari (TSF) -- Rome, Italy

 About our customers:
King County, the 14th largest county in the United States, used the Nexus platform and MDS switches to build a highly efficient data center shared by all departments. To learn more about how they achieved a green environment, read here.

 Almaviva Tele Sistemi Ferroviari (TSF) is one of the leading providers of ICT services to the transport and logistics industries in Italy.  Alberto Giaccone, head of network operations at TSF, was present for the awards ceremony.  To learn t how TSF transformed its business model deploying Cisco data center best practices, read here.                                                 

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Cloud Computing and the Big Pipes myth

I suppose that I could have titled this blog post as, “The Value of the Network for Cloud Computing”, but I wanted to focus on the viewpoints that I often hear from end-users or application owners. They tend to look at the network as a conduit to their information, and the bigger the pipe the better. The “bandwidth is more important than oxygen” theory. While I can obviously understand this viewpoint from groups that consume the network from the perspective of bandwidth, it’s important to remember that the network is the fundamental element that allows Cloud Computing (Public, Private or Hybrid) to exist in the first place.

So let’s talk about some of the myths and misunderstandings around Cloud and the network… Read More »

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UCS and UCS Express

I’ve been watching with some interest how reporting on UCS Express has played out in the wake of our latest Borderless Networks initiative.  The original Integrated Services Router launch was the first I participated in when I joined Cisco back in 2004, so it’s fun to have things come full circle.

Because I think history is a great way to get a perspective on the present, here’s a quick look at how we introduced the ISR in 2004:

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