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Cisco at Gartner Data Center Conference :Unleashing the Benefits of Virtualization

December 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

Difficult for Cisco not to be a key player in the Gartner 28th Annual Data Center Conference, as Gartner describes the mission of this event in the following terms  “See how to :   
-Reduce IT costs while improving the quality of IT services.
- Maximize productivity from existing applications systems and services
 -Align the data center culture with the business at large.
Let our analysts put you in the know with information-rich sessions on cloud computing, next-stage virtualization, vendor consolidation, cost-optimization best practices and much more. Your take-away: fresh insight on the key technology and market developments that drive today’s real-world solutions.”

Today at Gartner Data Center conference, Cisco invites several customers to talk about the benefit of virtualization and share their experience of deploying these technologies (including Unified Computing Systems , Nexus 1000V and VN link..)  during a special panel.

Over the past two years, Cisco has been incredibility busy in providing new data center solutions (Unified Fabric, Unified Computing , Service Oriented SAN)  to support the virtualization movement,  and to simplify, unify the data centers and amplify their role.   
The success of Unified Computing is now pretty well known. Cisco successful participation to VMworld09 (largest UCS deployment ), Oracle  certification , the Alliance with EMC and VMware, the Cisco UCS C-Series Rack-Mount servers , and the first customer success stories, are some of the proof points of the increasing  interest from the market.

 In this video, Ed Chapman, Cisco VP product Management at the Server Access and Virtualization BU, explains  the great level of acceptance of the unified fabric portfolio. Customers such as Salem Hospital, University of Arizona,  Coca-Cola Bottling company, NetApp, or St Joseph health System share  their satisfaction reporting significant CAPEX and OPEX  reductions, based on the deployment of the Cisco Nexus family (Nexus 7000, Nexus 5000, Nexus 2000 and Nexus 1000V)

The  Nexus data center switching family , the Unified Computing Systems are presented on the Cisco booth at Gartner, as well as the Application Networking Services  portfolio, the Cisco’s Services Oriented SAN, Cloud Computing , Cisco’s services and the Intelligent Automation Platform  from Tidal Software, which recently joined Cisco.

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Cloud applications want to move

The term “cloud computing” covers many topics. One hot area is infrastructure as a service (IaaS), where servers and other data center resources are provided on-demand over the web and through a programming interface.  The classic example is Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).  IaaS became popular at first as a way to deliver new applications, often from new companies.  Examples included software-as-a-service companies  like Animoto or Mashery, and bursty compute-intensive applications like those at Gigavox and UnivaUD.  More recently enterprises have been studying IaaS as part of their IT infrastructure, and some companies have begun pilots.  How do enterprises want to use IaaS?  Does it differ from the ways that new companies started the use of IaaS?   In this post, I’ll examine a few classic use cases for enterprises, and draw a few lessons.

In conversations with enterprises and in the trade press, three groups of applications are often cited as near-term uses of today’s IaaS.  I call them Disasters, Development, and Deadlines:

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Innovation and Standards Update

November 24, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

In my last blog post on standards and innovation (Why Standards Matter…And When They Don’t) I mentioned that Cisco’s VNTag, had been submitted to the IEEE for standardization. Last week, the IEEE authorized a project, 802.1Qbh: Bridged Port Extension, to amend the Ethernet switch standard to include capabilities like those provided by our VNTag technology.

Official Scope of Project:

Amendment specifies protocols, procedures, and managed objects to support Port Extension.  A Port Extender attaches to a MAC port of an 802.1Q bridge and provides additional MAC ports that are logically ports of the 802.1Q bridge to which it is attached (i.e. the “Controlling Bridge”).  The protocols, procedures, and managed objects specified in this amendment are expected to specify new behavior in bridges that support port extension as well as the behavior of Port Extenders themselves.  In addition, the protocols, procedures, and managed objects specified in this amendment support the cascading of Port Extenders.  To the extent technically reasonable, all frame filtering and relay functions remain in the Controlling Bridge. 

Use of a STag for Multichannel capability as being defined in Edge Virtual Bridging is envisaged to achieve this objective.  A new on-the-wire indication (e.g. a new tag) is envisioned to support remote replication for purposes including frame flooding and group address support.

As always, Cisco is committed to supporting 802.1Qbh in its products once it becomes a ratified standard.  More information about the proposed standard can be found at the following links:

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Cisco TechWiseTV Episode on Unified Fabric

November 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

I just wanted to give you a heads-up that we have an upcoming TechWiseTV on Unified Fabric.  If you have watched TWTV before, you know this Robb and Jimmy Ray are going to take a no-holds-barred look at unified fabric with equal parts humor and enlightenment.



In this latest episode…

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When Eight May Not Be Enough for Virtualization

Eight Is Enough was an American comedy / drama that ran from 1977 – 1981.  See if you are oddly curious.  You may not share my vintage or decided to be productive during those years, but the metaphor relates to interface requirements for VMware hypervisor implementations.   

The foundation for private or public clouds is virtualization.  This blog entry focuses on the network interfaces used to build a topology for VMware.  Specifically, VMware has the concept of port groups and vswitches ( [url reference if you want more detail]).  There are many reasons and combinations to choose from relative to this implementation.  I will comment on some of them next.

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