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Desert Fun: Interop and EMC World

What do you have when you combine over 20,000 IT professionals, the desert and gaming?  No, not 20,000 broke, sweaty nerds…you’ve got two great conferences!  Next week the city on the strip, Las Vegas Nevada, will be the host of Interop and EMC World.   Both events will provide attendees with plenty of updates on the future of networking, storage, compute and of course cloud.  Cisco will be present at both events here are some highlights: Read More »

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Unified Network Services Spotlight on NAM

Unified Network Services (UNS) is the portfolio of L4-7 network services and data center security products within the Data Center Business Advantage architecture. This week’s UNS spotlight is on Cisco’s Network Analysis Module (NAM), which provides network administrators deep visibility into network traffic and applications to help ensure consistent and cost-effective delivery of service to end users.

NAM is the foundation for establishing and verifying quality of service (QoS) policies, undertaking WAN optimization projects, and rolling out voice over IP (VoIP). It can also detect when configuration changes inadvertently degrade application performance, and provides clear insight towards rapid remediation. Consistent with many other UNS portfolio products, the NAM product family includes integrated service modules, virtual service blades and stand-alone appliances offering deployment flexibility and consistent performance visibility from the branch to the data center.

As a proof point of Cisco’s unified L4-7 service offerings, NAM offers end-to-end application performance visibility for Cisco Wide-Area Application Services (WAAS) deployments to help maximize your WAN acceleration efforts. NAM can help identify candidate sites and applications that will benefit the most with WAN optimization while quantifying and validating the impact of WAAS on application and network performance. The real-time visibility can also be used for ongoing optimization and troubleshooting performance degradation. The following graph shows the immediate impact of WAAS on transaction time for a particular application.

NAM WAAS graph

We are now offering a series of NAM Webinars to learn about Catalyst 6500 10G NAM-3 blade and new innovations in the latest Cisco Prime NAM software release 5.1. Register here. (Also, here is a short video on what’s new in the recent release of NAM software 5.1)

In addition, learn about the next-generation Catalyst 6500 NAM-3 blade to simplify operational manageability in Multi-Gigabit Ethernet deployments. Register Now – May 24 and May 25 We look forward to having you join us. 

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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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