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There are many like it, but this one is mine!

Welcome to my blog. 

My name is David Antkowiak and I have recently joined Cisco as a Solution Architect in the Systems Architecture and Strategy Unit (SASU). Our team is focused on partner application architecture designs involving Microsoft, VMware, Oracle, and SAP. These designs focus on application deployments across different network, compute and storage platforms to illustrate the many benefits of Cisco technology and its partner focus. 

I plan to regularly post “How To” videos involving our current Cisco Validated Design efforts. I will also be doing some vCloud posts for our external facing partner lab implementation. 

Please stay tuned for a UCS LDAP integration video. 

Cisco is a great place to work, but don’t take my word for it. Check out the Fortune list for “Best Companies to Work For AllStars” 


These employers have been on the Best Companies to Work For list every year since it launched in 1998.

EMC Unified Storage Compliments Cisco Unified Fabric to Provide Customers Flexibility and Choice for End to End Convergence

Storage continues to offer challenges to IT professionals: according to IDC, storage growth continues at about 30% y/y with the continued consolidation of servers, storage, and network assets becoming a new imperative through the use of technologies such as virtualization and Unified Networks based on 10G Ethernet.

To alleviate the challenges faced by its customers, EMC today announces its “Mega-Launch” providing major proof points for the convergence trend in multi-protocol SAN environments and providing unparalleled flexibility and choice to its customers.

One of the highlights of EMC’s Mega-Launch is the introduction of VMAX, the next gen flagship storage line, and the VNX Unified Storage family, which converges the best elements of EMC’s venerable CLARiiON and Celerra product lines into one unified platform offering both block and file storage.  EMC also announced the industry’s fastest deduplication storage systems from its Data Domain acquisition for backup and archive challenges.

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Another award for Cisco’s MDS 9148 Fabric Switch!

More good news about Cisco’s fabric switches:  the MDS 9148 was chosen as one of six finalists in the storage networking equipment category in Storage magazine/’s 2010 Products of the Year competition.

Cisco MDS 9148 was chosen as one of six finalists

From nearly 200 entries, the judges of Storage magazine’s and’s 2010 Products of the Year awards selected 43 products as finalists. All products are distinguished by their innovation, value and capabilities.”

 This is the third finalist award for MDS this fiscal year alone, including two Storage Networking World best practices awards for TSF and King County (Seattle, WA).

We introduced the MDS 9148 last year and in just the few months since then, the newest member of the MDS storage networking family has became a hit among our customers (especially in the commercial space) and partners.   Read More »

Live Webcasts: FlexPod for VMware

Cisco, NetApp and VMware will be hosting live webcasts on Jan 20th and Feb 17th 2011 to discuss the new FlexPod™ for VMware solution jointly developed by the three companies.

For those of you not familiar with FlexPod, it is a unified, pretested, and validated solution to simplify your data center transformation and journey to the private cloud. It is built on a flexible, jointly supported infrastructure that can be easily scaled and optimized for mixed application workloads in virtualized, and secure multi-tenant cloud environments.

Industry leading Cisco Unified Computing System, and Nexus Unified Fabric, along with NetApp Unified Storage and VMware vSphere are the essential components of the FlexPod solution.

Detailed information on FlexPod for VMware can be found here, here, and here.

Click here to register for the live webcasts. Experts from the three companies will be supporting the webcast to answer your tough questions via live chat.

In a follow on blog, we will discuss the FlexPod solution in detail and what it means for your plans around moving applications to cloud.

Monitoring UCS with SolarWinds

As a follow-on to my post on Tuesday, over the next several weeks I’ll be spotlighting various UCS management partners to give you a better sense for what we’re doing with whom.

Today, let’s take a look at Austin-based SolarWinds.  SolarWinds recently released v10.1 of their Orion Network Performance Monitor product, which includes dedicated support for UCS I/O.  Why use Orion NPM in conjunction with UCS Manager?  UCS Manager exists to configure and manage service profiles within a UCS domain (which can span across many chassis). As part of that ongoing management, it collects statistics on system health in order to support system tuning, ensure availability, etc. What SolarWinds brings to the game is the ability to do higher-level aggregation and analytics, across not only multiple UCS domains, but also putting UCS and also Nexus1000v activity into context with upstream network devices.

SolarWinds has a really nice live demo here.  My SolarWinds colleague Brandon Shopp has also written  a blog to help put some context around the UCS elements you can see in the demo.