In one of my earlier blogs, -- “How to get more SAN mileage….” -- I had highlighted how one can deploy End-to-End FCoE using a converged Director-class platform, like Nexus 7000, connected directly from the converged access switch, like UCS FI, in order to get the utmost agility. Well, this is how ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC), a Cloud Service provider, deployed its network to get significantly higher mileage.
CTC provides a wide range of IT services for business customers in Japan. The company’s Cloud Platform Group recently launched its innovative ElasticCUVIC shared private cloud service, which helps customers reduce infrastructure cost and management complexity. With large numbers of VMs, CTC wanted to simplify its data center architecture and IT management while optimizing scalability. The challenge was to deliver high-performance, easy-to-manage cloud services at scale.
The company evaluated several storage networking solutions and turned to Cisco for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) solutions, which greatly simplify the infrastructure and management. CTC built its two newest data centers in Yokohama and Kobe with ultra-high performance and flexibility in mind. CTC implemented an End-to-End FCoE architecture using Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches, Cisco UCS servers, and FCoE connections between the switches, servers, and FCoE storage arrays.
With the converged FCoE architecture, ElasticCUVIC is enabling CTC customers to gain Read More »
Tags: cloud, convergence, FCoE, SAN, Storage, UCS, Unified Data Center
Power efficiency remains a top decision point for many customers looking to modernize their data center. Customers searching for an accurate way to compare server power among vendors are often directed to use power calculators without taking into account the many factors that drive power utilization. This notion preys on the simplistic nature of the power beast – lower number is better… but are we missing the (power) bus entirely?
The dirty little secret is that there is no industry standard for power calculators, and vendors can essentially publish a calculator around whatever workload they like (or no actual workload at all). Read More »
Tags: c7000, Cisco, dell, Flex System, HP, IBM, m1000e, power, power calculator, PureFlex, UCS
It goes without saying that to stay relevant in today’s global and ever-increasingly competitive economy, every company and organization needs to bring on their A-game. This means having a solid business strategy, the drive to beat the competition, real differentiation, a team that is willing to go the extra mile, as well as an innovative IT strategy with technologies that enable positive business outcomes.
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Like many IT organizations, Cisco’s internal IT department is deploying Big Data solutions to mine the ever-increasing data in-flow from a wide range of sources – and thus gain competitive advantage and insights.
The typical environment includes an ecosystem of different tools and data sources that looks something like this (image courtesy of @TorstenVolk):
Source: EMA Research
Cisco IT realized that as the demand for analysis of this data increased, the demands on their infrastructure and Day 2 operations management would likely grow exponentially. So they knew that they needed an enterprise-grade workload automation solution that could manage processes involving Hadoop, MapR, Cloudera, Informatica, Teradata, SAP HANA, BusinessObjects, Tableau as well as other analytics applications, data feeds and repositories.
Fortunately, we have a workload automation software solution – Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler – that meets those requirements and more:
Read More »
Tags: Big Data, Cisco IT, Cisco Unified Management, inside cisco it, software, Tidal Enterprise Scheduler, unified management, workload automation
Last week was a memorable one for me in more ways than one. First, the unveiling of Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) specifics by John Chambers and his Executive Management team via a public webcast on Nov 6. The announcement was a big success and received broad endorsement and support from a big eco-system of Partners, customers, Press and Analysts.
Second, personally it is special to me, as I became part of the ACI Marketing team two weeks ago, to join life in fast lane. In this blog I want to share my excitement with you, and focus on nuances of ACI that do not overlap with blogs already posted by Shashi Kiran and Harry Petty.
The excitement started with an ACI boot-camp, I attended last week. In 2 days, I got a good overview on the architectural advantages of Cisco ACI and the Datacenter pain-points it addresses. By now, many of you would have learnt that ACI is all about Datacenter agility and automation. Sounds easy, but you may be wondering how to attain this goal. I will give examples from my career as a software engineer in the 90’s, when I worked for Sun Microsystems. Those days, I wrote code for 2 –tier and three-tier enterprise software applications that required global deployment and access by users on the company-wide WAN.
My problem started as I went from the Application Development phase to Test/QA phase. I had to run from pillar to post coordinating my application deployment needs with security, network and database/storage admins to identify the best rollout strategy. There was no collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. The alpha and beta test phases required testing on multiple subnets, across geographies, via multiple protocols like to establish proper SLA/functioning of the application. If my application had to open say, a firewall port to allow a particular traffic type (non http) it was next to impossible to get security ops to agree. Opening non-http ports were considered a security risk. In addition, tight coupling of network constructs like subnets, VLAN, security, network services, IP addresses etc with one another, further impacted the network flexibility and application deployment process. (Refer to Figure-1 below for details)
With ACI architecture, tight coupling between network constructs can be eliminated. Figure-1 above, illustrates this approach via Abstraction.
Read More »
Tags: Cisco ACI, Nexus 9000, programmability, SDN, VXLAN