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.
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.
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 http://www.vmware.com/products/vmmark/results.html 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 http://www.chriswolf.com/?p=303.
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).
Steve Chambers embarked these days on a series of posts designed to open our eyes to a new approach to IT infrastructure. Sounds ambitious or arrogant? Well, Steve is a well known and respected blogger, who capitalizes on his deep knowledge of Unified Computing systems as a Cisco Data Center Architect. As Steve Kaplan another well respected IT blogger wrote on this blog “Excellent post Steve. I write and talk extensively about UCS, but didn’t really think about the benefits described in your Last Thought.”,
We have been talking extensively about the extended memory technology provided by the UCS. While Steve does not discuss in this blog, it’s definitely a key feature of the UCS that further increases the OS flexibility and ROI he describes.
In his post , Steve is bringing on another key differentiator of the UCS “This post explains how Cisco UCS offers IT infrastructure a new way of working with stateless computing. You could manage UCS the way you manage any other compute platform with the minimum of change, just like you can drive a Ferrari the same way you’d drive a pick up truck. But should you? No, you shouldn’t, you’d be wasting a fantastic opportunity”
“So how does UCS change how you drive your infrastructure?” To answer this question Steve startswith a brief description of four types of workloads (Oracle RAC database, IBM Websphere, Microsoft Windows 2008, VMware vSphere 4) and how these workloads can all run on the same blade type without any human having to reconfigure the compute, network or storage. He then reviews six UCS features (WOW-A, Unified Fabric, Over-commitment, Service Profile, Virtualized CNA and Stateless Computing) which contribute to what Steve describes is “about increasing ROI and reducing complexity, and therefore reducing OpEx”.
This first pass is just the beginning , as Steve will provide in six follow-on posts practical examples of each of these six UCS features