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FlexPod Introduces Latest Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure and NetApp Innovations

FlexPod had a great 2014 and continues to be a leader in the integrated infrastructure market.  The collaboration and execution between the Cisco and NetApp teams have delivered the following results:

  • Greater than 5,000 customers across 100 countries
  • More than $3B in revenue
  • 80+ validated designs
  • 1100+ Partners

Customer needs continue to change, Cisco and NetApp are addressing those needs by introducing new solutions, technologies, and offerings to accelerate and manage applications in the data center and at the edge. We will also enhance and validate existing solutions with our latest products and technologies. We are excited to be introducing the following new offerings, technologies, and solutions to the FlexPod portfolio:

Offering:
• FlexPod with UCS Mini

Products/Technologies:
• Cisco UCS B200 M4 Servers
• Cisco UCS Manager 2.2
• Cisco UCS Director
• Cisco Nexus 9000
• NetApp Data ONTAP 8.2

Solutions:
FlexPod Data Center with Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and Cisco ACI
FlexPod Datacenter with Microsoft Exchange 2013 and Cisco ACI
FlexPod Data Center with Microsoft Private Cloud 4.0

FlexPod with UCS Mini
An increasing amount of computing is being done outside the data center at the edge. FlexPod with UCS Mini is a simple, easy to manage, and expandable solution that brings the performance and power of Cisco UCS integration in an all-in-one, small footprint optimized for non-datacenter environments, such as remote sites, branch offices, and any location where data is generated and compute resources are  needed. The UCS Management portfolio enables remote operation, automation and policy enforcement across massive multi-site footprints, enabling customers who have invested in FlexPod in their core data centers to leverage that investment at their smaller remote and branch offices.

We are looking forward to an exciting 2015 with FlexPod. These new solutions and technologies will enable FlexPod to meet a wide range of IT needs and run the most business-critical applications whether they are located in the data center or at the edge.  To learn more about our FlexPod portfolio visit our website and to see all our validated designs check out the DesignZone for FlexPod.

Your Design Engineers Need Support and ‘Expertise on Tap’ Too!

If you are involved in designing, supporting or managing a data center, you will undoubtedly rely on technical support services from one or more vendors.  Running your data center, there is always the risk of a hardware failure or being impacted by a software defect.  While relatively rare, hardware does occasionally fail unfortunately.  However you undoubtedly have technical support in place to deal with such problems.  You may have invested in a few extra switches as backup, you may also have failover mechanisms in place.  Almost certainly you will have a support contract in place with your Cisco partner or with Cisco, so you have break/fix expertise on tap for when something goes wrong.   This is critical support for your business, no debate from me.

Engineer Under Stress!

Engineer Under Stress!

Now, arguably the most important resource you have in your data center is not so much individual switches, routers or servers.  It’s your engineers, those who design and support your data center.  If they have a problem, where and how do they get help?  Who helps them when they are stretched?  When business pressures are telling?  Of course, their colleagues and managers can and will help.  Where, however, can they tap into additional sources of expertise so that they can become even more productive for you?  This is where Cisco Optimization Services come in – including our award-winning Cisco Network Optimization Service (or “NOS” for short), Collaboration Optimization Service, and the one I’m involved with, Cisco Data Center Optimization Services.

 

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Vblock Management Featuring Cisco UCS Director

At Cisco Live Milan, Jim McHugh, Vice President, Cisco UCS and Data Center Solutions Marketing and John Lockyer, Chief Technology Officer at VCE, give an overview of Vblock Systems management featuring VCE Vision and Cisco UCS Director.  Watch the video and learn how managing converged infrastructure holistically can accelerate innovation through automation and orchestration resulting in faster ROI.

Evolving Your Organization with Software Defined Networking

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is an exciting evolution in IT.  Today, connections throughout a network are made by directly connecting to routers to control them.  This is a process that can be time-consuming and prone to error, depending upon the size of the network being managed.  Furthermore, the effort involved in making changes across large networks can slow the pace of innovation within an organization.

SDN moves control to the application layer.  This provides numerous benefits to IT:

  • Unified point of automation and management
  • Consistent deployment of policies throughout the network
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Rapid deployment of new features like security and QoS
  • Simplified network management overall

Many people think SDN is the future of data center networking.  Cloud provider OneNeck, for example, is investing in developing the expertise to lead the market in transitioning its customers to SDN.  In their blog, Leading the Market with Software Defined Networking (SDN), OneNeck describes how they are working with Cisco to bring SDN to market.

OneNeck’s SDN lab, for example, is a great example of how our partners add value to Cisco technology.  SDN introduces a whole new management framework for networking.  By working with real-world SDN applications in their lab, OneNeck is developing the skill sets and expertise required to enables its customers to evolve with confidence.

Learn more about Cisco’s SDN solutions, including the Cisco Nexus 9000 series switches, Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Cisco Intercloud Fabric.

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Announcing Cisco Nexus 1000V for VMware vSphere 6 Release

The Cisco Nexus 1000V has been supported in VMware vSphere hypervisor since 4.0 release (August 2009) up to the current vSphere release 5.5 update 2.  We are happy to announce that the Nexus 1000V will continue to be supported in the latest vSphere 6 release which VMware recently announced. Customers who are currently running Nexus 1000V will be able to upgrade to the vSphere 6 release and the new vSphere 6 customers will have the Nexus 1000V as part of their choices for virtual networking.

Cisco is fully committed to support the Nexus 1000V product for our 10,000+ Advanced Edition customers and the thousands more using the Essential Edition software in all future releases of VMware vSphere. Cisco has a significant virtual switching R&D investment with hundreds of engineers dedicated to the Nexus 1000V platform.  The Nexus 1000V has been the industry’s leading virtual switching platform with innovations on VXLAN (industry’s first shipping VXLAN platform), and distributed zone firewall (via Virtual Security Gateway released in Jan 2011).

The Nexus 1000V also continues to be the industry’s only multi-hypervisor virtual switching solution that delivers enterprise class functionality and features across vSphere, Hyper-V and KVM.

In the last major release of the Nexus 1000V for vSphere, version 3.1 (August 2014) we added significant scaling and security features and we continue to provide subsequent updates (December 2014) with the next release planned for March 2015. The recently released capabilities include:

  • Increased scale per Nexus 1000V:
    • 250 hosts
    • 10,000 virtual ports
    • 1,000 virtual ports per host
    • 6,000 VXLAN segments with ability to scale out via BGP
  • Increased security and visibility
    • Seamless security policy from campus and WAN to datacenter with Cisco TrustSec tagging/enforcement capabilities
    • Distributed port-security for scalable anti-spoofing deployment
    • Enhanced L2 security and loop prevention with BPDU Guard
    • Protection against broadcast storms and or attacks with Storm control
    • Scalable flow accounting and statistics with Distributed Netflow
  • Ease of management via Virtual Switch Update Manager (VSUM) – a vSphere web-client plug-in

One of the common questions coming from our customers is whether VMware is still re-selling and supporting the Nexus 1000V via VMware support?

VMware has decided to no longer offer Nexus 1000V through VMware sales or sell support for the Nexus 1000V through the VMware support organization as of Feb 2nd 2015.  We want to reiterate that this has NO IMPACT on the availability and associated support from Cisco for the Nexus 1000V running in a vSphere environment.  Cisco will continue to sell Nexus 1000V and offer support contracts. Cisco encourages customers who are currently using VMware support for the Nexus 1000V to migrate their support contracts to Cisco by contacting their local Cisco Sales team to aide in this transition.

For questions or help, please reach out nexus1000vinfo@cisco.com

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