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Are You Going to EMC World? Some great VXI content awaits…

My $0.02: Skip the buffet, Celine, Cirque, and the slots, but don’t skip learning about Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) with EMC. Read More »

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Cloudy Thoughts about EMC World 2011

Next week is EMC World 2011 in Las Vegas, with Cloud Computing being one of the major themes. Cisco is an Elite-level sponsor of the event and will have a huge presence (see full schedule of activities) throughout the week. We’ll be showcasing Unified Computing (UCS), Unified Fabric, FCoE, Virtual Desktops (VDI), Virtual Experience Infrastructure (VXI), Unified Network Services, Data Center Network Manager (DCNM), Private Cloud, Application Mobility and of course deep integration between Cisco and EMC (VPLEX, Greenplum, VNX, etc.)

If you’re planning to be in attendance and would like to talk about Cloud, I’d enjoy meeting you. Here’s where I’ll be throughout the week, as well as attending sessions, meeting with customers, hanging out in the EMC Blogger’s Lounge and networking with colleagues from across the industry: Read More »

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Beyond Feeds and Speeds: Cisco Advantage for Storage Networks

A friend of mine told me the other day, “I have been working hard for 15 years and I deserve a sexy car.”  I asked him what he had in mind, does he want a fast, cool car to show off  or full-featured, cool utility vehicle he’ll use every day to make his life easier, taking his son to soccer practice, traveling with his family, and picking up office supplies for his business.  He quickly realized the fastest car will not support many of his needs and also is very expensive. Like all of us, he has a budget to work with and of course need to get approval from his real boss :).  What advice would you give him?

Your choice

Now let’s take this analogy into the data center world  – IT managers are moving in the direction of virtualization and cloud-based computing, and these moves have profound impact on how you design and manage your data center infrastructure. 

Convergence of SAN/LAN and 16G FC “Where and When”

Currently most of the SAN are either running 4/8G FC and your option is either 16G FC or 10G FCoE (soon to be 40G and later 100G FCoE).  Convergence of SAN and LAN enables network unification which in turn reduces cost and simplifies end to end management and operational tasks.

If you’re a SAN architect, the question is, are you looking into (slightly) faster ports now or are you looking to consolidate and reduce your infrastructure cost, future-proof your network, and accommodate much greater speeds in the future when you really need them?  Before you answer that question, let’s consider these data points:

  • None of the storage arrays (as of today) have 16G FC
  • ~70% of all storage ports are used for server connectivity
  • ~50% of servers in the data center are virtualized
  • ~90% of virtual servers are attached to network storage (NAS or SAN)
  • Virtual servers need to handle both file and block workloads and thus require multiprotocol adaptability
    • Higher speed ports (16G FC) may have limited applicability for ISLs – but  40G and 100 G  (with FCOE support) will easily scale and accommodate those requirements in the near future

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Register NOW! – Webcast Series on “Why Cisco UCS for your Microsoft Apps”

Guest Post by Rex Backman (Global Marketing Manager, Microsoft Solutions at Cisco)

Please join us for a four-part webcast series hosted by Cisco. During this webinar series Cisco and Microsoft experts will show you how to architect, deploy, and manage Microsoft applications on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) platform. Industry experts will also share their experiences on implementing Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) offerings. Throughout the series, we will discuss relevant architectural, technical, and operational benefits and best practices. This information will be available to you via Cisco Validated Design (CVD) reference architectures.

The first chapter kicks on May 10th – so please visit for registration information.

Here are the details of what will be covered in each webcast.

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Cisco and OpenStack

A few months back, Cisco announced our official support for the OpenStack open-source project. Led by Cisco’s office of the Cloud CTO (Lew Tucker), Cisco continues to expand our engagement in this community.

Our initial engagement was a “Network as a Service” (NaaS) submission, looking at ways to create a logical abstraction to automate pools (or containers) of network resources and allow developers to create systems that meet their application needs.

Last week we co-sponsored the OpenStack Design Conference in Santa Clara (all presentations). We also created this  resource page to highlight configurations for developers or systems integrators looking to setup OpenStack on the Cisco UCS platform. Recaps of the Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 events and activities.

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