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Roles Based Access on the CIsco Unified Computing System

While we are getting a great deal of traction on the vision behind the Cisco Unified Computing System and the idea of an integrated system that combines network, compute, and virtualization in a single platform, folks sometimes wonder if they will have to play “Mother, May I?” with the network team to access the system. So, before we bust that particular myth, let’s step back a bit. One of our design goals is to be operationally non-distuptive. What that means is our goal is to not mess with you existing operational practices and procedures–our ideal is to allow you to manage your new infrastructure the same way your existing infrastructure. The most recent example of this is the Cisco Nexus 1000V. While it delivers an immense amount of new functionality, server admins still use vCenter to manage their virtual machines and network admins manage the Nexus 1000V exactly like their other Cisco switches. This is also one of the reasons we see FCoE continuing to gain traction in the enterprise–when all is said and done, its still Fibre Channel. The other design goal, which I covered in my last post, is that we see the data center staff of the future being loosely coupled–working collaboratively and as peers, but still maintaining distinct responsibilities. Which brings us to the Cisco UCS.In this video, Brian Schwarz, from the UCS team, takes us through the roles based access control features on the platform. One of the cooler aspects of this is the granularity of the controls–to the point that privileges are not just tied to to your log-in, but also to the profile running on a particular server. The other aspect of this, which I think is cool is how flexible the approach is–Brian talks about how our access control model does not force you to adapt to a certain framework, but rather is design to adapt to you how you currently assign roles in you company.

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Are You Getting the WAN Advantage to Your Branch Office?

Are your WAN services, including WAN Optimization, delivered as a part of a comprehensive plan? These days with the need to reduce costs it’s a good time to rethink how you are serving your branch office IT needs. With advances in technology you can do things in new ways. You might find that you can reduce your branch office infrastructure and deliver better services to your branch office workers. There are a few things to consider. Are your branch office routers capable of delivering a suite of services including security? Are you taking advantage of unified communications? Are you supporting increasing use of Video? Are you able to ensure application performance? There are plenty of reasons to rethink your WAN strategy. If your organization is global then your people need to collaborate across greater distances but if you are consolidating branch office servers and data centers they are further than ever from the applications that they use, especially if you have increasing numbers of mobile and home workers. Security is an increasing concern with so many new applications and services being used bringing increasing numbers of exploits. Service delivery can be impacted by inconsistent WAN topologies that were developed over time and don’t take increasing end user traffic in to account. All of these challenges mean that productivity can be impacted unless a consistent plan is executed on.

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Is your WAN Optimization Solution Meeting the Application Acceleration Challenge?

The economy is in a downturn and your IT budget is cut and now management is asking you to come up with ideas on how to save money and increase the business’s productivity. There a number of proven initiatives you can undertake and there are some newer ones you might be looking at to get the most benefit, but they all impact performance of applications over the WAN and that means that you need a WAN Optimization solution that can meet the challenge. Many organizations are consolidating file servers from the branch offices to the data center to reduce the number of underutilized servers and take advantage of server virtualization to get the most out of newer higher performing servers. Organizations are increasingly moving to Web-based applications to eliminate the need to install client software on the PC and to simplify application administration. A WAN Optimization solution helps in these cases by providing caching and compression to speed file transfers and acceleration for HTTP and SSL, but is that enough?

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What’s Top of Mind for Australian CIOs Focused on the Data Centre?

Dylan Morison, Cisco’s Data Centre Lead for Australia and New Zealand, participated in a series of CIO Roundtables with Dimension Data, EMC and VMware last week and in this video shares some of the common themes discussed.At a special roundtable for media hosted by Dimension Data, Paul Young the CIO of Ausenco joined and addressed how increased business agility was a key driver for virtualisation. Read More »

Load Balancers Don’t Die–They Get Virtualized for Optimal Application Delivery!

First of all let me introduce myself….English native now Americanized who has been in the valley for 15 years, having worked with likes of Cisco, Bay, Sun , Brocade, Neterion, and now Cisco again, with firm roots in server, storage, networking, and I/O virtualization. Due to how social media and Web 2.0, changes how we work, play and interact daily, I have decided to take up blogging, especially around Data Center Virtualization, which has now become a #1 priority for I.T. It has been proven that virtualization of key data center assets increases efficiency by harnessing the power of underutilized resources, which in turn lowers CAPEX and OPEX, leading to better scalability and overall IT agility. To date, server, storage and network infrastructure products have been virtualized in the data center but virtualization of the server load balancer has been missing from this picture (in my humble opinion). Yes, those devices that sit peacefully in your virtualized data center don’t complain much and get the job done. They’re often thought of as distant cousins to those beefed up servers with their silky hypervisors… Why am I hot under the collar, you ask? Simply put: Why has the deployment of server load balancers with virtualized architectures for efficient and optimal application delivery not been on the data center manager’s radar? After all, they understand the benefits of server, storage, and network virtualization, correct?. Maybe it is because they are unfamiliar with the value of a virtualized server load balancer or merely unaware of any load balancer with a virtualized architecture!

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