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Optimizing Delivery of Applications from the Cloud

The adoption of cloud-based computing promises to improve the agility, efficiency, and cost effectiveness of IT operations required to provision, scale, and deliver applications to the enterprise. As with other technology trends, delivering applications from the cloud, to remote sites, creates challenges with application performance, availability, and security.

Enterprise IT departments are continuing to invest in technologies that generate cost savings while making their business applications more agile and available. These initiatives, such as consolidation of branch-office servers and virtualization of data center servers, are increasingly being adopted by the enterprise; however, they have not been without consequences. For example, branch-office server consolidation projects, while reducing the server footprint, can result in a poor end-user experience and increased bandwidth utilization because applications traverse a WAN link with higher latency and packet loss and lower bandwidth than they traverse a LAN link. WAN optimization solutions, such as Cisco® Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), are implemented to deliver LAN-like application response times for end users and to defer a WAN bandwidth upgrade.

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Nexus 1000V Seminar Series

February 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

We have seen some incredible uptake on the Cisco Nexus 1000V as customers deploy the switch to help them scale their sever virtualization efforts.  In support of that, starting next week, we are rolling out a seminar series to help customers better understand the solution and the applicability in their own environments.  The sessions are free and are delivered by folks that are experts in their areas--OK, disclaimer, I am leading one session, but that’s as a host for a customer panel, so I think I shouldn’t screw that up too much.  There is a business track and a technical track and include topics like ROI and business impact, basic and advanced design and configuration topics, and broader architectural considerations.

Anyway, check out the complete list of sessions and and register here.  BTW, if there is a topic you’d like to see us address, let me know in the comments section.

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VMware’sVMMark Benchmark: Number One Position for UCS on Intel Xeon for 8 Core 2 Socket Systems

February 4, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

The importance of reviewing data for Virtualization 
by Harris Sussman,  Cisco Data Center Solutions -- Unified Computing System


When buying a car, you have a choice to do research, ranging from perusing the mfg’s brochure, Consumer Report or actually driving a vehicle. Choosing a server vendor is similar, in that an IT Mgr. needs to assure the server meets the criteria for their business objectives.

 For most IT buyers, purchasing decisions are not trivial, and each organization applies their own philosophies. As IT staffs embark on new virtualization projects, the aim is to reduce cost, increase business agility, and reduce complexity. There are a plethora of tools and industry benchmarks available, but when it comes to virtualized environments, it’s critical organizations get this decision right.

While most Hypervisor vendors have adequate benchmarks for their respective products, VMware’s VMmark is still perceived as the gold standard, The which combines 6 of the most common DC workloads running within a unit of work referred to as a tile. This methodology is still the most sought after.

VMware’s VMMark benchmark is one of the most active benchmark sites where vendors are constantly trying to improve their results. Just recently, Cisco published their latest UCS results to regain the number one position using the latest Intel Xeon processor for 8 core 2 socket systems. While bragging rights are important for the vendor, customers rely in this info for buying decisions.

Performance benchmarks are an important data point, but in the absence of a standard virtualization benchmark businesses must do the due diligence necessary to ensure they  choose the right Hypervisor. Chris Wolf, A Burton Group analyst posted a nice blog about the need for SPECvirt  now


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Managing the Cisco UCS C-Series Rack Servers

February 3, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

Here is another of my continuing series of UCS walkthoughs with Brian Schwarz.  This time, we are taking a look at the Cisco Integrated Management Controller for our Cisco UCS C-Series rack servers (you can click though to our Facebook page to see a bigger version of the video).


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Choices in the Data Center

February 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST


I just wrapped up with a couple of customer briefings this morning that reinforced a trend I have been seeing over the last few months.  For the last couple of years, most of the customers I talked to were in sponge mode--they were absorbing info and trying to wrap their minds around things like unified fabric and virtualization--all while battling things like immediate challenges such as regulatory compliance and infrastructure sprawl.


These days, I find our customers much more opinionated--they are asking very pointed questions, pushing back, and generally expressing a more fully formed vision of where they want to go with their data centers.  To be honest, this makes for much more interesting conversations and is generally a positive development.



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