Mario Apicella, senior analyst for the InfoWorld Test Center, recently posted the results of his comprehensive test of the Cisco Nexus 5020. The article provides good insight into the Nexus 5020 in particular and the Nexus family in general. Of particular interest are his experiences testing PFC and configuring NX-OS.
The trend to consolidate data centers is well in process, or even into the home stretch, for most companies and organizations. Nearly a year ago, a survey by Gartner in 2007 noted that 92% of respondents had a data center consolidation planned for, in progress or completed.So what about the software applications themselves? These have been much more distributed than data centers, having homes on the desktop, branch office, regional offices and data centers.New ResearchNemertes Research has published the results of a new research report on branch IT architectures that’s interesting, citing that branch office app centralization may also have reached close to its limit. The report cites that 67.7% of companies currently store their applications centrally, up from 56% one year ago. Also interesting is the 25% that also reported a “hybrid model” where most are centralized, while some are still hosted locally. The question there is how can you further optimize those applications that you must keep local (maybe retail transaction app, or even basic IT services like Windows Print)? Certainly virtualization can play a big role — either virtualizing the local server(s) you decide to keep in the branch, or even skipping them and virtualizing the branch platform to host the remaining local apps directly…a strategy Cisco is driving with the recent addition of virtualization to its WAAS platform.And then there’s software as a service (SaaS) options, which centralize applications even further — into the cloud of your SaaS provider like Salesforce.com, Google and others.What all these technologies and solutions really give you as IT leaders are a couple key benefits: flexibility, and business agility. Flexibility so you can choose *what* application goes *where*, based on cost, time management, resiliency requirements and other criteria. So you’re no longer bound by physical or cost limits. You also receive much better business agility, because the architectures and solutions you can build with these new application delivery models allows your business to deploy new apps, features and services much faster than before, from central (yours or a provider’s) infrastructure vs. distributed systems.While these trends towards application centralization, branch virtualization, and SaaS/cloud-based hosting are in their early years still, the directions seem pretty clear where the majority of architectures and deployments models will go. Your Thoughts?Where is your organization with its application deployment and delivery models? Centralizing (and if so, what apps are going home vs. staying out still)? What are you still keeping local for remote users? And as SaaS a part of your plans?
For those of you going to going to the Next Generation Data Center conference in San Francisco in a couple of weeks, be sure to check out Rajiv Ramaswami‘s keynote: “Data Center 3.0: How the Network is Transforming the Data Center” (Tuesday, Aug 5th, 1:30pm). Rajiv is VP/GM for Cisco’s Data Center Business Unit. As both an industry and Cisco veteran, Rajiv has some great insight into what is on the horizon in the data center and how the network will accelerate key trends such as virtualization, collaboration, and new service models.
We had an interesting thread unfold on an internal list, which I thought I would open up to our readership. Someone was foraging around the network and came across some impressive server uptime (all server names changed to keep infosec happy):
server-x% uptime7:13pm up 500 day(s), 3:17, 53 users, load average: 0.08, 0.11, 0.11
to which someone else countered with
server-y$ uptime23:45:15 up 700 days, 8:31, 3 users, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
The irony behind this server is that it has outlasted the business unit it apparently supported.
However, the winner so far is:
WS-C5000 Software, Version McpSW: 3.1(2) NmpSW: 3.1(2a)Copyright (c) 1995-1998 by Cisco SystemsNMP S/W compiled on Feb 20 1998, 18:56:57MCP S/W compiled on Feb 20 1998, 19:05:51System Bootstrap Version: 2.4(1)Hardware Version: 2.1 Model: WS-C5000 Serial #: 007584271…Uptime is 2618 days, 9 hours, 11 minutes
7+ years--guess there is something to that investment protection thing after all.
So what is the best system uptime in your data center? The response with the best uptime gets a Cisco fleece.
This week saw the reactive execution of something we have predicted for a while- the consolidation of corporate entities to bring together LAN and SAN and try to challenge our Unified Fabric and Data Center 3.0 Vision. First I wanted to express gratitude for a multi-billion dollar valuation and endorsement of our vision that we started execution on in 2002. 2002 was when we first brought out our MDS 9500 Storage Director. It was designed with several key common architectural points with the Catalyst 6500- same Fabric ASICs, common equipment designs, etc. Subsequent to that we have evolved both platforms and introduced the Nexus 7000 and 5000 bringing FCoE to the market and delivering next-generation convergence platforms purpose-built for the data center and most importantly have delivered a strategic operating system that enables the convergence of these areas into a common hardware, silicon, and now software model- the key abstraction to the administrator/operator. It’s years of work, and we’re fortunate to have it finished.I personally don’t so much see this weeks news as the emergence of a new and stronger competitor as much as I see it as the loss of a respected adversary in the LAN market who played the game well….dgP.S -- US Principles of War for Offensives: Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative or if I was to paraphrase -- lead, don’t follow.