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The Perils of Equipment Testing, Revisited


Based on a deluge of questions in my inbox, I guess its time to re-visit the perilous topic of equipment testing again.  As I recently noted, you can have rigorously designed tests executed in a conscientious manner that may still only provide an incomplete picture at best.  And sometimes you get tests that reveal more about the tester than the actual product that was purportedly being tested.

In case you missed it, a competitor recently released a report they commissioned that shows that their blade system offered better throughput than the Cisco UCS because of what they proposed was an inherent design flaw—over-subscription of the blade uplinks from each server.  Unfortunately for them, it was their test plan that was flawed, not our UCS architecture or blade server innovation.

The fundamental fault with the test was it was conducted with a mis-configured Cisco UCS.  Essentially, the testing firm matched a normally running system from our competitor against a Cisco UCS in its failover state.



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Vblock: Accelerating the Journey to Private Cloud

In the continuing quest for a fully virtualized data center, IT professionals have a new tool that promises to dramatically simplify the journey: the Vblock from the Virtual Computing Environment Coalition (VCE)

Our favorite geeks are coming back ! Discover how Vblock delivers pre-engineered, integrated, and tested IT infrastructure that combines storage, compute, hypervisor, management, and security into a single, highly virtualized and standardized platform.
This 60-minute TechWiseTV episode on air tomorrow Thursday March 4  explores this latest advancement in unified computing  and shows how it will make it easier for organizations to build out data centers, based on Cisco innovative systems such as our blade server

For registration and agenda visit here

For a quick overview of VBlock and VCE efforts


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Playing Well Together in the Data Center

So I love being an evangelist, which is probably why its good that I am doing what I am. Back when we initially launched Data Center 3.0 we spent a lot of time preaching the virtues of “consolidation, virtualization and automation” and there are times I was certainly felt like I was wandering in the wilderness, but regardless, it was a lot of fun.

Fast forward a couple of years…I was working on an AR/PR deck and I was stuck by how much of what we talked about has turned into shipping product and implementable solutions.  While that is cool, what I find even cooler is that  that these solutions are not just Cisco-only efforts, but encompass technologies from a broad cross-section of partners.  Here are a couple of examples of the kinds of things we are doing with folks that are probably already in your data center.  First off, here is a recap of  what we are dong with VMware and NetApp on workload mobility–for a more in-depth look, check out this post by Brian Gracely.


Similarly, here is another doc on Integrating Cisco UCS with vSphere Distributed Power Management.

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Application Managed Services Differentiation: Cable & Wireless

Organizations are changing how they use the network to access applications and managed service providers are changing their network services to meet the challenge. As they centralize applications and access them across the WAN organizations need a network that delivers their applications with high performance and they need to see how their applications are performing. Managed service providers are meeting customer’s requirements by moving away from offering standard low feature WAN links and creating new innovative application performance management (APM) services that accelerate applications and provide customers with real-time information on the results that are being delivered.

In this video Steve Horwath, Product Manager at Cable & Wireless, talks with Stephen Makayi, Marketing Manager at Cisco, about the growing demand for application performance and the Cable & Wireless managed WAN optimization service, which provides customers with optimized application performance with advanced reporting, which in turn give customers information they can use to drive their business. Steve discusses how APM enables managed service providers to deliver an application-aware network with uptime guarantees for applications that changes the conversation MSPs can have with customers, from selling plain WAN links to providing application performance assurances, and putting the MSP in the role of a trusted advisor.

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Interested in Visiting a State-of-the-Art Cisco Data Center Based on UCS and Nexus platforms ?

“Transparency” is definitely one of these words which describe very well  the Cisco culture. This is pretty obvious for a Cisco employee, but  I got many times positive feedbacks from customers on the willingness of the company to share with customers and partners, so that they  can benefit from the  experience of a large and innovative community. This is not different in the data center.
Some other companies on the market may have a different understanding of the communication around their data centers in maintaining a great secret about  strategy, architecture and operations, but at Cisco we strongly believe in the power of sharing knowledge.
I guess also that we are not afraid of the competition learning about our choices,  as we see ourselves as leaders and we do support actively and constantly standardization.

When at Cisco Live Barcelona at the end of January, I met Donald de Witte, Cisco IT Program Manager  and Rich Gore, Cisco IT Member of Technical Staff, who were present on the booth to talk to the visitors about the Richardson Data Center and the opportunity to visit immediately the facility.

As a  global and dynamic company, Cisco like most of the leading companies embarked on a consolidation and virtualization path several years ago, with a plan to move  from 50 data centers to 3 pairs of data centers. The Richardson Data Center is one of these brand new data centers, where Cisco IT has been able to take advantage of the new networking and computing solutions provided by Cisco engineers and partners, such as Unified Computing  and Unified Fabric.

So are you ready to meet the Cisco It team and visit the Richardson Data Center ?


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