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Lack sufficient I/O infrastructure..of time to provision servers?Think UCS

May 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

The IT department had already begun adopting server virtualization, using VMware ESX software on rack-optimized servers. But the new clinical data warehousing applications would require 16 additional VMware ESX servers, and the data center lacked sufficient I/O infrastructure and cabling. In addition, provisioning this quantity of physical servers would be difficult in the few weeks available”
Sounds familiar ? As I was talking with customers at EMCWorld in Boston, but also at SAPPHIRE in Orlando over the two weeks, listening to  customers from Chicago, New York, Frankfurt, London , Paris , or visiting UCS customers such as Pacific Coast Building Products Inc. , this concern seems to be all over the place.
The challenge of Moses Cone Health System, a large healthcare provider based in North Carolina is not unique, but nevertheless it is critical for the success of the IT organization’s mission.

“We needed a cost-effective computing system that would enable us to expand our use of Electronic Medical Records quickly over the next year, minimize network infrastructure build-out, and reduce time to rack and configure servers,” explained also   Michael Heil, manager of technology infrastructure, Moses Cone Health System. 

Amongst the numerous benefits provided by the acquisition of the Cisco UCS , Michael Heil was keen to highlight  :

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Learning from the First Private Cloud

May 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

 

So, this should be a good Friday post--its short and there are cash prizes involved. 

Well, actually, its the first part of a post.  I have a question for you readers.  I have my own thoughts on the answer, but I wanted to see what other folks thought first, before I taint the discussion.  I have been spending a fair number of cycles on a working group pulling together our company perspectives on cloud computing and where we fit in.  While I was reading something on private clouds, something seemed oddly familiar, which leads me to the question:

Were mainframes the first private clouds?

Bear with me--there are a lot of similarities: based on virtualization, pooled resources, reallocation of resources via policy.  Also, as someone pointed out to me the other day, some of the potential downsides like vendor lock-in, lack of portability, etc. 

So what do you think?  I have a Amazon or iTunes gift card for the best (or most entertaining) argument for and against.  While you are making your argument, tell me what you think we can we learn from mainframe days that can help us today as we look a cloud models?  For example, the mainframe folks certainly had the billing and accounting thing nailed.

So, what do you think?

 

PS For my next post, I am going to explore if the DEC VT100 was the first instance of VDI? :)

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SAP and VCE partner to accelerate customers virtualization and cloud deployment

May 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

This morning  SAP CTO Visha Sikka,  VMWare CEO Paul Maritz, and Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior announced to the SAPPHIRENOW crowd in Orlando and Frankfurt an unprecedented partnership between the Virtual Computing Coalition (VCE) and SAP designed to accelerate the customers virtualization and/or the  potential adoption of cloud computing model 
This major announcement reinforced the message delivered yesterday by the SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe at SAPPHIRENOW –“ SAP is definitely committed to a software and hardware stack approach” , and “decided to work with leaders such as Cisco, EMC and VMware …companies that are at the best at what they do”

This announcement was also immediately detailed by a panel of senior executives who discussed based on a real customer case studie, how VCE Vblock infrastructure Packages helps the SAP virtualization delivering huge benefits in terms of performances, speed of deployment and TCO. Member of the panel were 
-Tom Peck  CIO at Levi Strauss & Co.
-Pat Gelsinger President and COO  EMC information  infrastructure Products
-Andre Hughes Global Managing Director of Accenture Cisco Business Group  
-Kevin Ichhpurani, SVP Global Software and Technologies SAP

At SAPPHIRENOW in Orlando, I met Manjula Talreja, Cisco VP Virtual Computing Environment coalition to better understand what this partnership between VCE and SAP  means for our customers

The addition of SAP in the partner ecosystem is an additional proof of the huge interest of the customers for the unified computing approach and more specifically the Vblock concept -
I met also at  SAPPHIRENOW the team in charge of the SAP NetWeaver Adaptive Computing Controller , one of the major force inside SAP , in charge of helping the customer to move to virtualization- There is no doubt in my mind that this partnership represents a great opportunity  for SAP customers to facilitate the virtualization journey envisioned by SAP technological leaders, and already embraced by early adopters Cisco SAP customers, such as Pacific Coast Building Products

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UCS, VCE, Acadia, Vblocks and the Journey to the Cloud

On the heels of numerous VCE related announcementsdiscussions/discussions and demos/demos/demos/demos/demos at EMC World 2010, and the beginning of many announcements/announcements coming from SAP Sapphire this week, I thought it might be useful to put a few concepts in perspective. Specifically -- Cisco UCS, VCE Coalition, Vblocks, Acadia and the Journey to the Cloud. When new products and concepts are introduced to the market, there is often a period of time before they are fully understood. 

Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)

I’m not going to elaborate on the Cisco UCS in this section. Our partners and customers do a very good job of driving conversations about the solution on a daily basis in both public forums and Cisco communities. In the context of VCE and Vblock, I do want to clarify one point about UCS. While UCS is part of the Vblock Bill-of-Materials (BOM), it is not in any way restricted to only be sold in a VCE or Vblock configuration. While UCS does have design characteristics and integration points (hereherehere) that optimize it for virtualized Data Center environments, Cisco realizes that customers have a variety of computing needs (physical and virtual) and vendor preferences (applications, hypervisor, storage, management, etc.) and is fully committed to delivering the value of UCS to those environments. 

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Pacific Coast Building Products Inc. runs SAP on Cisco UCS

May 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

One of the distinctive traits of the founder of Pacific Coast Building Products Inc. was his keen sense of timing . Fred Anderson “has an uncanny ability to make the right move at the right time” announces the company’s website.

This sense of timing obviously is still very present, as the IT organization recently moved some of the SAP applications to the Cisco Unified Computing System

As Cisco is developing a strong partnership with SAP, and SAP’s partners including Accenture, Cap Gemini, CSC, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro .., I went to Pacific Coast Building Products headquarters, close to Sacramento, to meet the Senior SAP Architect , Randy Subryan, and the Data Center Architect Matt Okuma.

Pacific Coast Building Products, Inc. sells building products for residential, commercial, and industrial construction to builders and contractors in the western United States and Canada, and also provides installation and transportation services. The family of companies includes Basalite Concrete Products, Pabco Building Products, Pacific Coast Building Services, Pacific Coast Supply,Pacific Coast Jet Charter, and Pacific Coast Transportation Services.

After evaluating several computing platform, the team selected the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)  last December -  “With our previous platform, cabling and configuring a new VMware ESX server took a week or two. With the Cisco UCS, we can provision a new server for SAP applications within 30 minutes” Matt was sharing with enthusiasm. Randy, a SAP veteran architect , was not less shy to list the benefits of this move  “We have a relatively small IT team, and the Cisco UCS Manager helps us operate our SAP application environment efficiently by managing all blades from one interface.”

To know more about Pacific Coast Building Products UCS deployment with SAP read as well the case studie 

If you are in Orlando at SAPPHIRE it’s the right time to meet our experts by visiting the Cisco booth (#1211) and attending one of the following speaking sessions

 

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