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What You Missed at OpenStack Summit, Paris

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Global Participation. A few weeks ago, the OpenStack community gathered came in Paris for the Juno release of the OpenStack platform.  The Foundation reported record attendance of 4600, many attending a Summit for the first time.  Of those visiting Cisco’s booth: 68% came from Europe/Middle East/Africa/Russia; 18% from the Americas, 12% from Asia Pacific/Japan and 1% from Greater China.

Cisco Presenters. In his premiere breakout, “A World of Many OpenStack Clouds,” Lew Tucker, VP and CTO for Cisco Cloud Computing and Vice-Chair of the OpenStack Foundation, spoke about the future of cloud and how past experience building the Internet might be applied to building the Intercloud—the universe of clouds. Additional comments can be viewed in eWeek’s interview with Lew Tucker, where he discusses Cisco’s expanding support for OpenStack.

Cisco was a Gold Sponsor of the Summit and delivered eight technical presentations. If you missed the Summit, check out these links to video recordings of the Cisco sessions:

Hot Topics. Four years in, OpenStack has growing global support, a strong ecosystem of vendors, end-users running in production, and leading-edge companies willing to talk about their experience scaling OpenStack in their organizations. The number of new OpenStack core projects being initiated has tapered off and the Foundation reports that ten times as many bug fixes were contributed as new features in this most recent cycle, producing a stronger focus on stability.

Other topics trending up at the Paris Summit were:

  • Software defined ‘X’ (with X equaling a wide variety of technologies and services)
  • Federated clouds
  • Docker/ Linux containers

Juno Release Highlights

  • Formation of the new Sahara data processing project, which allows users to run Hadoop big data clusters in an OpenStack cloud
  • Full integration of Swift cloud storage project, which allows users to define and apply different cloud storage policies
  • Key improvements to the Neutron networking project to support Distributed Virtual Routing and IPv6 protocols, increasingly important in large scale deployments
  • Enhancement to the Nova compute project to simplify recovery after a server failure
  • Extension of the Keystone access and identity project to accommodate federated multi-cloud environments.

Keynote Speakers. Matt Haines, VP Cloud Engineering and Operations for Time Warner Cable (TWC), reviewed the work he oversaw in 2014 to deploy OpenStack infrastructure at scale to support the company’s strategy of delivering “any content, on any device, anywhere.” At TWC, an OpenStack cloud provides self-service IT infrastructure for devops activity. Haines consulted with Cisco in the planning phase when he was determining which IT services would be offered, the number of data centers that would be involved, how to design the provider networks, and how to stabilize the environment. His infrastructure is currently operating with what Matt called “enterprise stability at service provider scale.”

Other keynotes included Dr. Stefan Lenz, Manager of Data Center IT Infrastructure for BMW, who spoke about how BMW’s internally built private cloud had failed to provide the stability required across all of the projects that OpenStack covers, and Jose Maria San Jose Juarez, Chief of Innovation in Technology for BBVA Bank, who shared how a programmatic (software driven) approach to delivering IT infrastructure was critical for achieving the agility, speed, and reliability required to deliver industry-leading customer applications.

In addition to the customer keynotes, technical leaders from CERN, Comcast, Ericsson, Expedia, Intel, and Tapjoy delivered presentations on their OpenStack deployments.

Cisco Contributions. Cisco continues to lead contributions to the OpenStack Neutron networking project, summarized in the blog Cisco and OpenStack Juno Release, Part 1. Enhancements included improvements to Neutron plugin and driver integration and metering of key network services through OpenStack Ceilometer in order to support service level agreements and monitor performance. Cisco also contributed to other core OpenStack projects, summarized in the blog Cisco and OpenStack Juno Release, Part 2, which includes enabling configuration of IPv6 through OpenStack Horizon and increasing flexibility and security of SAN access through OpenStack Cinder. In addition to core work, Cisco also contributes code to incubation projects via GitHub/Stackforge. A high visibility project this cycle has been the effort to enable programmability of network infrastructure and services through group based policy. This approach is the basis of Cisco’s implementation of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), which delivers new levels of agility, speed and control for IT.

In addition to direct code contributions, Cisco provides plugins that ensure OpenStack distributions run smoothly on Cisco UCS servers and Cisco Nexus physical and virtual switches. The recent acquisition of Metacloud also allows Cisco to deliver OpenStack clouds-as-a-service, onsite at the customer, providing customers an alternative to building and managing private clouds themselves. In another step forward, Cisco is also building a global Intercloud ecosystem, in which clouds built on diverse hardware platforms can be easily connected to form highly-secure and efficient hybrid clouds.

For more information on OpenStack at Cisco, visit www.cisco.com/go/openstack and mark your calendars for the next OpenStack Summit May 18-20 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Cisco Keynote – End-to-End Optimization for Today’s Modern Datacenters

December 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm PST

Have a bit of free time this Wednesday morning? If so please feel free to sit in on a Cisco keynote delivered by Mark Balch, Director of Cisco UCS Product Management, as he outlines the challenges faced and the discoveries made with the UCS family and how it has driven revolutionary change and business benefits for today’s modern datacenter.

The Cisco keynote starts WindowsITPro’s “virtual trade show” on Optimizing Your Virtual Infrastructure.  The event brings top industry Microsoft experts together in an online forum affording attendees the opportunity to learn about key datacenter optimization topics and trends.

Our UCS family has been a leader in Data Center optimization since it’s initial release to market five years ago.  Having been designed for virtualization from the beginning, UCS is an integrated system that is configured through unified, model-based management to simplify deployment of enterprise-class applications and services running in bare-metal, virtualized, and cloud-computing environments.

UCSPoster

Download the UCS Family poster

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The Journey to Becoming an Enterprise Cloud Service Brokerage: From Shadow IT to Hybrid IT

As enterprise cloud use extends to public, private, and hybrid clouds, CIOs and IT leaders are realizing the need to evolve their IT business model to become enterprise cloud service brokerage (CSBs).

Cisco’s Scott Clark recently discussed the value of this new business approach for IT and highlighted that by adopting this approach IT can “provide the right private, hybrid or public cloud service, at the right time, and at the right cost.”

Most organizations are lagging behind in overhaul their business model and evolve into a CSB. Ovum came out with a report citing that only 50% of organizations participating had a cloud strategy in place and “only one-third or less of respondents said they have [cloud] governance, integration, or compliance strategies.” Read More »

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Cisco Storage Networking market share #1 (FC+FCoE), #1 FC Modular

Dell’Oro just released the Q3 CY2014 SAN Switching Market Share results, and for the second quarter in a row, Cisco came out at #1 in combined FC + FCoE revenue. Only this time, we widened the gap by 9 points! We also took #1 in FC Modular share, with an impressive 11.6% Q/Q share gain. Our FC Fixed share has been growing too, up 8% from a year ago. In all, Cisco has really stepped up its game in SAN Switching.

Cisco market share gains are primarily due to customer acceptance of the MDS product portfolio, ramp up of FCoE-capable products, along with substantial 16G FC demand.  FCoE is supported on MDS, Nexus and UCS providing an end to end architecture enabling customers to reduce cost and simplify operations.  In the recent quarters, customer buying trends also shifted from buying point products to acquiring pre-packaged solutions. NX-OS a single operating system, and DCNM as single management platform to manage across LAN and SAN, resonated well with customers. Cisco‘s architectural approach of combining storage, network, compute and management helps to reduce cost and increase efficiency.

Cisco Storage Networking – Performance, Flexibility and Availability

Cisco Storage Innovation: Over the last year, Cisco has made significant investments in both FC and FCoE on the MDS and Nexus product lines, and we are starting to see those investments pay off.  Last year Cisco introduced a 16G Director (MDS 9710), offering 3x the performance of our competitors’ and also a new Multi Service Platform (MDS 9250i), which we like to refer to as “the Swiss Army Knife” of SAN switching, due to its multi-protocol (16G FC, 10G FCoE, and 10G FCIP ports) and multi-service (SAN Extension, IO Acceleration, and Data Mobility Migration) capabilities. Three months ago we introduced a new compact director (MDS 9706) and a 16G Fabric Switch (MDS 9148S), along with new FCoE enhancements providing customers with deployment choices.

MDS 9000 Family

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VersaStack Solution: A Foundation for Innovation

The growth of cloud, mobility, and Internet of Things is accelerating change in the data center. The challenge is to have IT infrastructure that can keep pace with this change. IT leaders want infrastructure that is easy to deploy, increases operational efficiency, and offers the versatility to meet the dynamic requirements of the business.

In order to address these challenges, Cisco and IBM are joining forces to introduce the VersaStack solution, a new integrated system that combines the performance and innovation of Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure—which includes the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), ACI-Ready Cisco 9000 Nexus switches, Cisco MDS switches, and Cisco UCS Director—with the versatility and efficiency of the IBM Storwize V7000 storage.

Why now?
It’s actually quite simple: market momentum and customer demand. Cisco is the leader in the integrated systems segment based on the tremendous success of Cisco UCS. Integrated systems help customers accelerate the time it takes to deploy IT infrastructure and integrate new technologies while reducing risk. Our mutual customers and channel partners have been asking for an integrated system that combined Cisco UCS with IBM Storewize.

What is available today?
The first reference architecture (or Cisco Validate Design) is targeted at virtualized infrastructure by combining Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure and IBM Storwize V7000 storage with VMware vSphere hypervisor. The solution connects Cisco UCS and networking in a redundant, high available configuration with IBM Storwize V7000 storage delivering real-time compression and data analytics capabilities that increases storage utilization and performance.

What can we expect in the future?
One of the exciting things about VersaStack is that it provides a foundation for innovation between Cisco and IBM. The VersaStack solution will provide a platform to bring our unique capabilities together. Obviously, Cisco and IBM both bring more to the table than network, compute and storage technologies. For instance, Cisco will provide innovative technologies such as Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Intercloud Fabric (ICF). IBM will contribute software tools for network and information management, big data and analytics, and mobility. Essentially we have the opportunity to innovate together beyond the hardware stack. The goal of the VersaStack solution is to deliver an integrated system that will simplify cloud, big data and mobility deployments.

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