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Update to Data Center Assurance Program

Just a quick update for everyone that we have updated one of my favorite DC technology programs, the Data Center Assurance Program. This is where we test and qualify all of our DC products at a systems level with multiple server and storage vendors in a real world environment with real world business and IT productivity applications running on top of the baseline architecture.We have expanded the DCAP testing methodology to include new products and capabilities, but also to include both Enterprise and Service Provider architectures- with a special focus on Video distribution architectures.what’s coming next? expect Nexus 7000 and 5000 testing, FCoE/Unified Fabric testing, and I think, of potentially more importance we are going to be posting all of our work on documenting Data Center best practices to something like WikiBooks. Then our DCAP tool will link in the WikiBook on Cisco Data Center Networking Best Practices and allow the almgamation of hundreds and thousands of network professionals real-world experience to create an authoritative tome of knowledge on how to design, operate, administer, and change a data center network.Like it? Anything else we should look at rolling into this capability?

Happy Friday

It’s been one of those long weeks -- lots of travel to see a myriad of customers, in many markets and many verticals, All of them with similar space, power, and cooling challenges in their data centers. I chose to fly this time rather than Telepresencing as I am becoming more and more apt to do (so many more meetings that can get done in a day with TP). Actually had a night without Internet access, that was hard. My email box filled up, mail started bouncing, and I am thinking of buying a new HDD to send to my email server as a holiday present.I guess this has me leaning forward in my chair hoping for the day when email boxes do become unlimited, store forever, fully indexed, linked with my conference calls, Webex sessions, and Telepresence sessions, sorted by project ID or department and attendee and natural language searchable too. But before that nirvana/utopian vision of information management becomes a reality I still need a larger inbox, badly. And that means our IT department would need a LOT more storage since if I got a larger inbox so would the other 60,000+ employees (I am not special… we are very egalitarian on email inbox sizing… equal suffering under the policy) But what it does tell me is that many of the technologies we have been developing are ‘right timed’, at least in that they solve real world problems allowing IT to run more efficiently so they can invest into areas like larger email inboxes without having the corresponding infrastructure and hardware explosion that is usually accompanied by such policy changes.To wit I am pretty excited about next week -- tune in on Tuesday as we announce some new capabilities in the data center, yes again! I told you it would be a ‘big year’ for us. It’s time to let a a few more cats out of the bag and bring new features, programs, products, and software to the market that can help IT departments face the challenges of power, cooling, and of course per today’s diatribe, the now rapidly more empowered end-user with a higher expectation of IT service delivery than many IT departments can feasibly sustain while maintaining governance, and regulatory compliance in the face of flat budgets and compressed EtoB ratios.Tune in on Tuesday for a peek into what we are doing to continue to enhance the next generation of data center in the future as well as for the day’s announcements!dg

Cisco Gaining Credibility in the Data Center Provisioning and Automation Market

I was interested to note that Denise Dubie, senior editor of Network World recently published an article in which she acknowledges Cisco’s VFrame provisioning appliance as a viable product offering in the emerging Data Center automation market. Read her article here.She compares Cisco’s network centric”stitch together” virtual infrastructure approach to other more traditional application and server centric offerings. From a network perspective Cisco sees orchestration across all three areas, specifically with API’s and policies that link application services, and server OS re-purposing and virtualized infrastructures. Cisco’s VFrame product offers a rich set of northbound and southbound XML interfaces in which this integration is possible. Several customers have already deployed VFrame in this manner. Further, VFrame has an extensive multi-vendor integration across server, network, and storage offerings. This is a new frontier that crosses boundaries in the data center. It will be interesting to see how the market develops.By Guest BloggerBill Erdman, Director, SVBU US Marketing

A Pretty Decent Ethernet Switch

With all the talk of the Nexus 5000 being the first FCoE switch on the market, we tend to forget that it is a pretty decent Ethernet switch as well. Mario Apicella is about to put the Nexus 5000 through its paces with a variety of tests that will show it to be a very high performance switch with over a terabit of switching capacity. More importantly, it does the little things well, too. For example, the ability to learn MAC addresses in hardware. This comes in handy in virtualized server environments where a switch has to quickly learn thousands of MAC addresses. Trust me, I remember the data center meltdowns caused by switches that performed MAC address learning in software.For a quick overview of all the features that make the Nexus 5000 a world-class Ethernet switch, please take a look at the data sheet. You’ll notice its ability to forward over 700 Mpps at latencies of around 3 microseconds. Again, a pretty decent Ethernet switch.

NXTcomm update- Cisco Nexus 7000 finalist for EOS award

Here at the NXTcomm08 tradeshow (June 16-19, Las Vegas) the Nexus 7000 has been awarded finalist status in the prestigious EOS Awards for Excellence in Technology innovation. Cisco would like to thank the NxtComm08 EOS selection committee, which has clearly recognized the innovation that the Nexus 7000 brings to the Data Center via support of transport flexibility, operational continuity, infrastructure scale and unified fabric, creating a new category -Data Center Class Switch- in the process. For details, please see the link below.Cisco Nexus 7000 finalist- EOS award at NXTcommand for the full award ceremony link below.Nexus 7000 award ceremony