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New Nexus 2348TQ Joins Nexus 2300 Series Fabric Extender Family

There is no doubt that the word transformation is being used to describe pretty much anything to do with the data center, but in all of this, it’s good to remember that little things can make a BIG difference in making day to day data center operations easier.

With simplicity as one of the key tenants, the Nexus 2300 Series Fabric Extenders continues on the same trajectory as previous Fabric Extenders by delivering a solution that, when coupled with Cisco Nexus parent switches, makes adding performance, scale, and operational simplicity to the network access simple.

Today, we add a new member to this 3rd generation fabric extender family – the Nexus 2348TQ, which together with the Nexus 2348UPQ, offers more connectivity options for data centers of different sizes with varying performance and application needs.

The Nexus 2348TQ is a compact, 1RU Fabric Extender that offers:

- 48 x  10G BASE-T host port interfaces

- 6 x 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports for parent switch connectivity

This makes the Nexus 2348TQ an ideal solution for data centers looking to upgrade their server access deployment from 1GBASE-T to 10Gbps speeds and from 10Gbps to 40Gbps connectivity.

 

 

As outlined in my previous blog, all members for of the Nexus 2300 Series Fabric Extenders support:

  • Larger buffers to absorb bursts of traffic for a wide variety of workloads such as multicast feeds, voice traffic, video traffic, and healthcare applications
  • Unified Ports support enabling a flexible LAN and SAN deployment through support for Ethernet, Fiber Channel and Fiber Channel over Ethernet connectivity
  • Support for Cisco’s 40G BiDi optics simplifying migration 10 to 40 Gigabit Ethernet speeds while reusing existing 10G cabling
  • Additional versatile TCAM which can be used for:
    • Advanced features such as ACL classifications and QOS
    • Hardware-capable local flow redirect for architectures that require intra-rack traffic to reduce bandwidth

Bringing Together Nexus 2300 Fabric Extenders and Cisco Nexus Parent Switches

The Nexus 2300 Fabric Extenders can be perfectly paired with Nexus 5600 and 6000s as well as Nexus 7000* and 9000* (*future) to provide a network access solution that combines the flexibility and simplified cabling of a top-of-rack (ToR) designs with simplified management and efficient utilization of an end-of-row (EoR) design. This flexible architecture where the parent switch manages all fabric extender configuration lets you deploy and re-deploy fabric extenders throughout your data center with minimal reconfiguration needed, not only helping reduce operational and capital expenditures, but also allowing your data center network to quickly adapt to application, traffic,  or business needs.

I invite you to learn more about the Nexus 2348TQ and other Nexus 2300s at www.cisco.com/go/nexus2000.

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Cisco at AWS re:Invent

As a Gold Sponsor of AWS re:Invent this year, Cisco will be showcasing hybrid cloud solutions that enable you to combine the control, security, and performance of private clouds with the scale, economics, and speed that public clouds can offer.

reinvent14_header (1)

Cisco cloud portfolio, including Intercloud Fabric, ApplicationCentric Infrastructure, Cloud Services Routers, and Adaptive Security Appliances, gives you the power of choice and agility. 

Booth Demonstrations:

Learn more about how your business can unleash hybrid IT, and be sure not to miss the following Cisco solution demos at re:Invent 2014. We will be raffling many exciting prizes on all days during the event. You’re automatically entered when you visit the Cisco booth and have your badge scanned.

Intercloud Fabric

Cisco Intercloud Fabric is a highly secure, open, and flexible solution that provides complete freedom in workload placement. It is hypervisor and cloud provider independent, giving you the desired flexibility. All the traffic between your data center and cloud provider as well as traffic inside the public cloud is cryptographically encrypted. Your network and security policies are migrated consistently and transparently over Layer 2 extension. A unified management portal gives you a single interface for workload management and automation across heterogeneous cloud environments.

Get a free 90 days evaluation license for Cisco Intercloud Fabric when you visit Cisco Intercloud Fabric booth.

Application Centric Infrastructure

Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), the Cisco software-defined networking (SDN) architecture, brings agility, reduces TCO, automates IT tasks, and accelerates data center application deployments.

It supports a business-relevant application policy language, greater scalability through a distributed enforcement system, and greater network visibility through the integration of physical and virtual environments across networks, servers, storage, security, and services. For more details, check out a special edition of Unleashing IT.

Cloud Services Router

Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR1000V) sets the standard for enterprise-class networking and security services in a virtual form factor. The CSR1000V is the first platform to deliver multigigabit IPSec performance in Amazon Web Services cloud.

It helps enterprises transparently extend their private networks to the public cloud using the familiar Cisco IOS XE Software CLI and RESTful API, which make sure of easy deployment, monitoring, troubleshooting, and service orchestration.

ASAv

Security continues to be a top concern for organizations looking to expand their network into the cloud. It needs to be a transparent extension of local network and data center policies, allowing data to move securely between those environments. To address this need, Cisco has engineered new versions of our market-leading Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance Next-Generation Firewall (ASA NGFW) and FirePOWER NGIPS solutions specifically for AWS environments.

Now you can create dynamically encrypted tunnels between your local or distributed networks and the cloud; apply consistent security for physical, virtual, and cloud environments; make sure local policies are understood and enforced in the cloud; and deploy a single security strategy across traditional, NFV, SDN, ACI, and cloud architectures.

See you in Vegas! 

Stop by Cisco Booth #112 to have 1:1 meetings with Cisco product experts and discuss your use cases. We look forward to seeing you at re:Invent.

 

 

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Cisco UCS: The Optimal Platform for Microsoft SQL Server 2014

November 2, 2014 at 9:54 am PST

The world of data is changing. Businesses face growth in the volume of information and the types of data they encounter. There are new landscapes of vast and dynamic information that must be processed, managed and analyzed to achieve business insight. It is no surprise, therefore, that legacy infrastructures are failing to meet I.T.’s expectations.

For many of you this is why you are in Seattle this week – to attend PASS Summit 2014, the SQL PASS organization’s annual conference on SQL Server.  You want to learn this week from your peers, from Microsoft, and from vendor’s ways to successfully harness SQL Server and drive solutions that do meet your business and user’s expectations.

Read More »

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UCS Integrated Infrastructure: Best of Breed Building Blocks in the EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution

Clouds come in various flavors, but a common scenario is IT shops who have many applications on-premises (private clouds) and other workloads off-premise (public clouds).  This combination of private and public clouds is often called a hybrid cloud.  Integrating, customizing and securely delivering services based on hundreds of applications from dozens of vendors in public and private clouds are becoming part of a new wave of IT.  In addition, moving workloads between clouds is becoming a bigger part of IT every day.

Earlier this week, EMC unveiled its Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution that addresses this hybrid scenario.   The EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution is a fully engineered solution that integrates hardware, software and services from EMC to unite the strengths of private and public cloud.  The EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution allows choice among hypervisors and public clouds providers.  The solution can be built on VCE Vblocks or VSPEX solution portfolio.

Both VCE Vblocks and EMC VSPEX with Cisco technology build on vital technology building blocks of Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure.    Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure consists of the following, cloud-friendly technologies:

  • A standard, highly-secure, automated infrastructure based on
    • Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) servers
    • Cisco Nexus datacenter switches
    • Cisco UCS Director  and UCS Manager management software
    • Additional capabilities for Application Centric Infrastructure, InterCloud Fabric, and Cisco security.

Why is UCS Integrated Infrastructure a building block cornerstone cloud technology?  The answer lies in the flexibility that UCS Integrated Infrastructure delivers.

Workloads move quickly between clouds and the underlying server and networking infrastructure must adapt to these movements.  Traditional servers are slow to adapt to these changes as their deployment times are measured in days or hours—in extreme cases, weeks.  However, UCS Integrated Infrastructure addresses this issue by abstracting all hardware in software.  Since the UCS Integrated Infrastructure cloud hardware is now all abstracted in software, the day-long waits for server changes are reduced to minutes. In other words, UCS servers can be provisioned and deployed in minutes, not days or hours like traditional serves.  The ability for UCS server to be provisioned and re-provisioned quickly, accurately and in a timely fashion is a huge advantage that is perfectly suited to both changing business conditions and movement of workloads from private to public clouds and vice versa.  Underlying UCS server infrastructure can scale up in nodes or down or change servers in minutes.  Now, with UCS Integrated Infrastructure as your cloud and business changes quickly, so can your underlying server and switching infrastructure.

UCS Integrated Infrastructure adapts to quick changes with a few pieces of revolutionary Cisco software:

1)      UCS Servers offer a unique capability through the UCS Manager of software abstraction of hardware that enable automatic, deployment and provisioning of servers.  Hardware is provisioned in software, offering numerous downstream benefits.

  • Without the flexibility of the UCS Manager software, cloud building becomes much more difficult, because the underlying hardware is inflexible.  However, UCS Manager abstracts server hardware to give stateless flexibility to provisioning servers and deploying workloads.

2)      Cisco UCS Director unifies and automates end-to-end IT converged infrastructure management processes by abstracting the complexity of individual devices, hypervisors, and virtual machines.

  • Cisco and non-Cisco switches and servers managed; physical, virtual, and multivendor management
  • Enhancements for VMware, VCE, and EMC solution components
  • Supports Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure-based and Cisco Virtual Application Container Services automated network solutions
  • Integration of third-party solutions into the Cisco UCS Director management platform with a publicly available software development kit

3)      UCS Integrated Infrastructure is also optimized for most popular infrastructure cloud and other use cases, applications and technology transition points in the industry: private and hybrid cloud, desktop virtualization, enterprise and vertical applications, in-memory databases, analytics and Big Data.  Workload optimization is another attribute of the architectural benefits of UCS servers and their policy-based service profiles.  In addition, UCS Integrated Infrastructure is a record-breaking platform for the both current and future cloud workloads.

It is clear that Cisco’s UCS Integrated Infrastructures when paired with EMC’s storage technology in the Vblock and VSPEX portfolio delivers an important and uniquely flexible building block of the cloud. Through Cisco partnerships with cloud providers and our delivery of industry-leading solutions, IT departments will get even more flexibility in how they choose to map their applications to the best cloud model.

Introducing the ACI Toolkit

Cisco, in its quest to embrace programmability, has created what is called the ACI Toolkit, which is basically a combination of an NX-OS like CLI and some custom python scripts. Although this toolkit doesn’t allow you to do all configurations within ACI, it can be used to create and show the common configuration and administrative actions that may be used daily. It’s also great for someone who is just starting to migrate to a more programmatic way of doing things, as it’s easily understandable to folks used to common networking commands.

If you’re not familiar with ACI, check out this short video to get a brief understanding of some of the basic constructs used and for a deeper dive go to www.cisco.com/go/aci. These concepts will help you to understand some of the configuration options available with the ACI Toolkit.

ACI - Toolkit

The toolkit’s python libraries are all available on GitHub.com and it’s fairly simple to access. All you need to do is open a terminal window on your computer and enter the following command:

git clone https://github.com/datacenter/Simple-ACI-Toolkit

This command will download the necessary libraries to use the ACI Toolkit syntax. Then to run CLI commands from your APIC type:

python acitoolkitcli.py -l admin -p password -u https://APIC_IP

This will connect you to your APIC so you may run commands that will help you build your application network profiles as shown in the three tier application in the picture above. We can do things such as switching tenants, creating contexts, creating bridge domains, and creating end point groups (EPGs).

Here are some examples of the common commands we might use to create these logical objects.

Switch to a tenant configuration mode:

  • fabric# switchto tenant <tenant-name>
  • fabric-tenant# switchback

Create a Context and don’t enforce contracts on it:

  • fabric-tenant(config)# [no] context <context-name>
  • fabric-tenant(config-ctx)# [no] allow-all

Create a bridge domain and assign it to a context:

  • fabric-tenant(config)# [no] bridgedomain <bd-name>
  • fabric-tenant(config-bd)# [no] context <context-name>

Create a subnet under the bridge domain:

  • fabric-tenant(config-bd)# [no] ip address <ip-address>/<masklength> [name <subnet-name>]

 

As you can see from these examples the syntax will be very familiar to network engineers. We can also use the ACI Toolkit combined with the Python SDK to actually script these things. It makes scripting a little easier because we’re again using simpler syntax. Below is an example of configuring a tenant using Python in conjunction with the toolkit:

from acitoolkit import *

from credentials import *

tenant = Tenant (‘Customer1’)

context = Context (‘customer1-router’, tenant)

bd = BridgeDomain(‘BD1’, tenant)

bd.add_context(context)

bd.add_subnet(‘10.0.0.1/24’)

app = AppProfile(‘web-and-ordering’, tenant)

vlan10 = EPG(‘VLAN10’, app )

vlan10.add_bd(bd)

vlan20 = EPG(‘VLAN20’, app )

vlan20.add_bd(bd)

Currently the ACI Toolkit may not be used to create service graphs, VMM Domains, SPAN, Atomic Counters, and or to see most telemetry and health score information. However, the toolkit still gives us a lot to work with and automate as far as basic configurations go. For more information please see the guide found here (http://datacenter.github.io/acitoolkit/).

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