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Workload mobility across data center at EMC World 2010

May 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

One of the  the latest innovations from VMWare, Cisco and EMC enables workload mobility among data centers for data center migration, disaster recovery and  business continuity purposes. This solution will be presented by Yousuf Hasan, Cisco Data Center Architecture & Systems Manager,  at EMC World 2010 in Boston  , on Tuesday May 11th at 3:30 pm.  Yousuf will share the solutions features and benefits  in the areas of LAN extensions, routing optimization, WAN optimization and storage extensions, and VMWare VMotion enhancements.

 

As an EMC World 2010 elite sponsor, Cisco will participate in a variety of onsite activities . To know more click here 

 

 

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How Do You Extend WAN Optimization to Reach 30,000 Mobile Users?

Let’s say you are an IT manager and you are tasked with extending WAN optimization out to your small office and mobile workers and you have upwards of 30,000 users to serve. You might be looking at Cisco WAAS Mobile, a software-based WAN Optimization solution that provides application acceleration capabilities for PCs and decreases application response times by 3 to 30 times by mitigating latency and increasing link throughput. 

Typically a deployment supporting 30,000 users would require several servers to host the mobile gateway, but it is likely that your mandate is to keep down the costs of the solution. A server that can scale to the required level and that offers the flexibility to use virtualization would make the best platform. Using virtualization is an ideal scenario for WAAS Mobile as it can be remotely installed on a virtual machine and remotely managed. 
Our customers have told us that they have both scaling requirements and budget constraints, so we looked for the right solution to meet these needs. The answer is to deploy WAAS Mobile on the Cisco Unified Computing System UCS C-Series platforms, which are powerful, virtualization-optimized computing platforms that can host resource-intensive networking applications such as Cisco WAAS Mobile, providing scalability and deployment flexibility. 
In validating this solution we found that a UCS C-200 M1 supports up to 10,000 concurrent WAAS Mobile users while enabling the Cisco WAAS Mobile gateways to be incrementally deployed on virtual machines as needed. The power of the Cisco UCS platform enables Cisco WAAS Mobile to scale to meet the demands of the world’s largest enterprises.  Since WAAS Mobile is based on a concurrent-user access system and in typical deployments one concurrent-user access can serve three to four actual end users, a single UCS C-200 M1 server can service a user-base of 30,000 to 40,000. 
For a detailed look at this solution please see this white paper “Cisco Wide Area Application Services Mobile and Cisco Unified Computing System: Extend Data Center Scalability and Flexibility for Mobile Users.Let’s say you are an IT manager and you are tasked with extending WAN optimization out to your small office and mobile workers and you have upwards of 30,000 users to serve. You might be looking at Cisco WAAS Mobile, a software-based WAN Optimization solution that provides application acceleration capabilities for PCs and decreases application response times by 3 to 30 times by mitigating latency and increasing link throughput. 

Typically a deployment supporting 30,000 users would require several servers to host the mobile gateway, but it is likely that your mandate is to keep down the costs of the solution. A server that can scale to the required level and that offers the flexibility to use virtualization would make the best platform. Using virtualization is an ideal scenario for WAAS Mobile as it can be remotely installed on a virtual machine and remotely managed. 

CPU Utilization on UCS

A UCS C-200 M1 runs 10,000 WAAS Mobile sessions averaging under 50% utilization. 

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Meet the Cisco Nexus 1010

April 10, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

 

One of the products that generated a fair number of questions with last week’s announcement was our Nexus 1010.  Since I got a number of very similar questions, let me answer them all here at once.

So, lets start with a quick recap.  The Nexus 1000 switch architecture is modeled after a modular switch such as our Catalyst 6500 or Nexus 7000--the N1K series does, in fact, run NX-OS like the rest of the Cisco Nexus and Cisco MDS families.  Like a modular switch, we have virtualized line cards we call Virtual Ethernet Modules (VEM) which is the software that replaces the vSwitch in a vSphere host.  We also have virtualized supervisor modules calledm strangely enough, Virtual Supervisor Modules that provide management and control plane functions (they don’t get involved in packet forwarding).  Prior to the Nexus 1010, the VSM software has run as a virtual appliance on a handy server in the data center.

We developed the N1010 in response to a couple of specific customer requests.  

 

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A new look at SAN Fabric Switching: Performance, Flexibility and VALUE

 In the past, SAN Fabric switches filled a particular niche, offering stripped-down functionality to serve basic connectivity needs, while only director-class products offered greater performance and flexibility. Pure connectivity solutions, without scalability and performance options, are not acceptable in those environments any more. 

“Performance and flexibility are two key aspects we look for in a SAN switch as we consolidate our storage infrastructure.   Full fabric features as well as high 8 Gbps per port performance of the MDS 9148 are ideal to accommodate our bandwidth intensive virtualized server environment.”  - Samnang In, IT Analyst, City of St Paul, MN

 With the introduction of Cisco MDS 9148 Fabric Switch, we’ve raised the bar for SAN Fabric solutions by providing a feature-rich, high performance (8-Gbps line rate) switch which scales non-disruptively in eight-port increments from 16 to 48 ports, all at an entry-level price point.  

The MDS 9148 offers similar value to director-class switches with enterprise features including VSANs, security, non-disruptive firmware updates, and NPV, providing mid-market customers with the versatility and capability needed to grow their businesses. 

Most importantly, not only does the “pay-as-you-grow” model reduce the initial investment, all advanced features continue to be delivered as part of Cisco’s standard SAN package, not as upgrades or separate licenses which add significant incremental costs to competitive solutions. 

To clarify, this Cisco solution is not only for mid-market customers.  Due to its redundancy (including dual power and dual fans), scalability and line rate performance, the MDS 9148 switch is an ideal candidate for deployment in top-of-rack architectures and departmental SANs at larger organizations as well.  The MDS 9148 is powered by NX-OS, a common OS that spans the MDS, Nexus and UCS 6100 families of products. Having a common OS among both storage and Ethernet switches decreases IT’s learning curve and enables greater staff flexibility in large IT organizations.

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Intel and Cisco collaboration in data center goes deeper

April 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

Over the past two weeks, related to the Intel launches of Xeon Series 5600 and Xeon series 7500 processors, we announced new UCS platforms. Omar Sultan and Harris Sussman blogged recently on these announcements bringing up front amazing benchmark results (Making the Jump to Light Speed).

These results were obviously the fruit of a very intense collaboration between Intel and Cisco, reflecting again the partnership spirit which drives the innovation at Cisco
As a quick footnote to this statement, one of the strong features of the UCS platform is definitely the openess of the management tool -On April 6th , we announced the  full integration of UCS Manager with all the major provisioning tools in use today such as BMC, CA, EMC, HP, IBM Microsoft, Symantec, VMware - This collaboration with a broad partner eco-system around UCS, is again a great source of innovation for the market - Stay tuned for more information from Omar and I on this topic in the following weeks-

 I had recently the opportunity to videotape some of the key stakeholders from Intel and Cisco, starting with Intel VP Kirk Skaugen and Cisco VP David Lawler, talking about the benefits for the customers of this collaboration

In this short video, David Lawler explains how Intel new processors and Cisco breakthrough innovations (ie Lossless fabric, extended memory, virtual interface card..) allow the company coming from a clean slate, to deliver a complete  portfolio of 2 and 4 sockets servers, blade servers and rack mount servers type, ready to address virtually all the applications deployment needs.

The same day David Lawler met Shubho Nag, Xeon 7500 Product development Team manager at Intel, to talk more and with the passion of engineers about the collaboration between the two companies, and get some insights on some of the developments and the choices made  to achieve the current results produced by the Cisco UCS B440 M1 and UCS C460 M1

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