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Nimble Storage extends Adaptive Flash Platform with 16G FC, more deployment options

As customers continue to look for points of differentiation in their markets, the Storage Area Network (SAN) continues to play a vital role in enabling businesses to adopt new technologies and applications to help them grow.  To provide the highest reliability, scalability, and performance, organizations have traditionally deployed Fibre Channel (FC) storage networks and many will continue to do so.   FC is still a  preferred choice for enterprises (large and small), and the market transition from 4/8 G to 16 G is the best proof that the FC market is still strong.   Ethernet-based Storage solutions are also gaining mindshare and some of our customers desiring a unified data center fabric use Ethernet-based Storage protocols to reap the benefit of convergence.

We are sometimes asked about how Cisco MDS products will support the latest generation of storage technology on the market, namely flash.   Industry influencers have asked us if SAN technology will continue to be relevant as these newer memory technologies gain market share.  Can SAN technology cope with the increased performance and workload consolidation enabled by flash-based arrays?

Our answer is a resounding “Yes”: SAN solutions are here to stay.  No matter the underlying storage components, it is still very important for customers to be able to manage enterprise-level storage requirements centrally, and to optimize storage delivery.   Cisco is committed to working with third-parties to ensure that our MDS SAN technology interoperates with leading edge storage technology, and we have certification programs in place to ensure smooth deployments for customers.

The most recent example of this industry collaboration is with Nimble. To support varying storage requirements, Nimble on Nov 18th announced its support for FC SAN on their Adaptive Flash platform; now customers have the choice of  iSCSI Ethernet-based storage or FC. Unique application requirements lead to application specific infrastructure needs and Cisco, along with Nimble, provide over 450 joint customers with differentiated solutions tailored to address customer needs.

Highlights of  announcement

  1. Nimble CS300, CS500 and CS700 series arrays offer both iSCSI and FC protocol support
  2. Nimble completed a beta program with more than 40 enterprises; Customers have purchased and deployed FC arrays in production environments.
  3. Introduced  expanded capacity providing ability to scale non-disruptively up to 1.5 PB of raw capacity and up to 128TB of flash per cluster

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Take Out the Stress of Choosing the Right Cloud Provider

For many organizations, buying cloud services can be stressful. After all, as your business moves more and more into the cloud, you need to know your services and cloud provider are as reliable or better than if these services originated from within your own data center.

Buying cloud services can feel a lot like buying a car. How many of us really know what’s going on under the hood? We look at a few key stats like gas mileage and drive it around the block. Yeah, it accelerates and brakes. We know we’re safe and going to get relatively good gas efficiency. After all, cars have to meet certain standards. So in the end the decision comes down to price and comfort features such as how much we like the center console and cup holder.

But not all clouds are created equal. Low pricing and a fancy user portal are nice, but they aren’t what keep your business growing. Is best-effort service good enough for your operations? Can your organization afford to experience down time? Does your provider offer the flexibility you could get from other providers? Is your service truly enterprise-class?

The good news is that, just like there are standards in the car industry, there are standards for cloud. Services that are Cisco Powered, for example, have to meet strict requirements to carry the Cisco Powered logo. These requirements include certification and a third-party audit of every service to verify they deliver as promised.

You can learn more about what it takes to have confidence in your cloud provider from our partner, OneNeck. In their recent blog, “How to Reliably Offload IT Management to the Cloud,” they share a comprehensive list of factors to consider when choosing a cloud provider.
Selecting the right cloud provider and services doesn’t have to be frustrating and arbitrary. By understanding what comprises a reliable cloud, you can ask the right questions to ensure your provider is the best partner for your business.

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Discover the latest advances in Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) technology.

IT managers are finding it increasingly challenging to deliver the services end users demand while keeping operating costs under control.  A truly converged environment, using Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to combine LAN and SAN architectures, can substantially reduce operating costs and simplify management while providing increased performance now and in the future.

How do you migrate to a converged solution without disrupting your existing data center architecture and IT investmentsRegister for this Webinar to Learn more: Dec 2nd *8:00 PST

Register Now

This live, 60-minute webcast will explore the latest advances in FCoE technology, including multihop and dynamic FCoE. You will learn how these and other recent innovations make the benefits of migrating to a converged network more realistic and compelling than ever before.

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Going Native with OpenStack Centric Applications: Overview

November 16, 2014 at 10:08 pm PST

OpenStack ApplicationsCloud infrastructure is useless without applications running atop, providing business services and solving customer needs. So, as applications ascend to the throne as the rightful king of cloud, focus sharpens on their support within OpenStack-based Cisco Intercloud. With this focus, let’s walk through a survey of components and projects supporting applications in OpenStack, understanding what a day in the life of an application in OpenStack is like. We’ll start with an overview of the application ecosystem comprised of a number of supporting projects. In the ecosystem overview below, relevant OpenStack projects are presented in context of existing, similar technologies with which you may be familiar. These similar technologies both under and overlap functionality of the respective OpenStack project, but are shown to hasten your general understanding of which bucket these projects fall into by way of tech you may already know (so, add a pinch of salt when considering relevancy of suggested affiliated technologies). Read More »

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Cisco and Unidesk: How to Simplify and Scale VDI with Citrix, Microsoft, or VMware

Posted on behalf of  Ramesh Chitor, Cisco Systems and Tom Rose, Unidesk

It’s no secret that desktop virtualization has taken longer than everyone expected. As most enterprises will attest and as Gartner research confirms, the two main culprits are cost and complexity.

Top Issues That Limit VDI Deployments

Top Issues Limit VDI Deployments

Source: Is the Hosted Virtual Desktop Market Struggling to Grow?
(Gartner, April 2014, Research ID G00259186)

Yet there are so many good reasons to move forward with VDI – security, compliance, mobility, and the potential for simpler management, to name a few. The demand now is greater than ever for a simple, scalable VDI solution.

Fortunately, innovative new technologies are solving the VDI cost and complexity issues at scale. Also, more importantly, new and exciting partnerships are forming to bring these innovative technologies together into joint solutions. That’s why Cisco and Unidesk are joining forces – to help customers like the ones profiled at the end of this blog achieve desktop virtualization success.

Cisco UCS: The Optimal Infrastructure Foundation for Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon, and Microsoft RDS

According to a recent report by IDC, Cisco has achieved the ranking of No. 1 provider of x86 blade servers in the Americas, measured by revenue market share. How did Cisco demonstrate the highest industry growth in the total worldwide server market when other vendors in the top five posted flat or declining results?

The Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) with a proven and innovative technology delivers breakthrough levels of operational efficiency for cloud service providers and enterprise customers who increasingly rely on scale-out architectures for workloads like VDI. The recent introduction of Cisco UCS Mini brings these same compute scale and performance innovations to remote sites, branch offices, and small IT environments. More on UCS Mini here!

Whether you’re implementing VDI with Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RDS, or VMware Horizon, Cisco UCS can reduce infrastructure cost and complexity.

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Unidesk: The Single Pane of Glass Management Foundation for Citrix XenDesktop, VMware Horizon, and Microsoft RDS

With a game-changing invention called “layering,” Unidesk has transformed the management of Windows desktops in private clouds. Unidesk virtualizes everything above the hypervisor – Windows OS, Applications, and Personalization – as modular, reusable building blocks, or “layers.” OS and App layers are created once and stored as read-only virtual disks that can be attached to and shared by many VMs. The Personalization layer is a writable virtual disk that is unique to each VM.

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IT administrators use Unidesk to assign layers in any combination to create desktops. Unidesk file system and registry virtualization technology merges the assigned layers into a composite C: drive for each VM. Once Unidesk has provisioned the layered desktops on VMware vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V and added them to Citrix XenDesktop catalogs, Microsoft RDS collections, or VMware Horizon View pools, end users can access the desktops through any device supported by the brokers.

Layering makes desktop provisioningapplication delivery, image patchingpersonalizationdisk space reduction, and desktop repair remarkably simple and efficient. All capabilities are delivered through Unidesk’s single pane of glass management console that can be easily mastered by Tier 1 IT administrators.

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Unidesk’s single pane of glass console makes everyone on your IT staff application delivery and desktop management experts

Whether you’re implementing VDI with Citrix XenDesktopMicrosoft RDS, or VMware Horizon, Unidesk can reduce the cost and complexity of desktop deployment and management.

Customer Proof Points!

When it comes to VDI, reference architectures and white papers are everywhere. Cisco and Unidesk believe that the best proof points are our joint customer successes:

  • Mercer University is one of Americaʼs oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning. Cisco UCS, Unidesk, and VMware View are the foundation for the university’s successful “Borderless Classroom” VDI initiative. With more than 1,000 virtual desktops in production, Mercer is realizing its goal of providing a better client computing experience for students, faculty, and staff.Read the case study and watch the customer video.
  • Belfast Health and Social Care Trust is one of the largest trusts in the UK. The healthcare organization has deployed over 1,700 virtual desktops with Citrix XenDesktop, Cisco UCS, and Unidesk for 3,000+ workers. The project has been so successful they are now doubling their VDI environment. Read the customer blog.
  • Bernstein Shur is one of New England’s largest law firms. Now 100% virtualized with Cisco UCS, Cisco Invicta flash storage, Unidesk, and VMware, the firm’s attorneys are enjoying a more consistent and stable desktop experience as they move between offices, courts, client appointments, and home. Read the case study and watch the customer’s deployment webinar.
  • County of Tulare, California is geographically dispersed across 4,863 square miles. When a PC problem arose, IT technicians faced the daunting prospect of spending hours on the road. Due to the wide range of departments and job functions, every desktop configuration is different, making updates and break/fix even more of a challenge. Cisco UCS and Unidesk have VDI on track to solve these problems.Read the case study and watch their deployment webinar.
  • USF Health clinicians needed faster, more secure access to Allscripts EMR and other key apps. IT needed to reduce the effort and expense of keeping Windows and apps up to date. With 800 virtual desktops created and managed by Unidesk on Cisco UCS, everyone is getting what they need. WatchUSF Health’s deployment webinar.

How to Get Started

Desktop virtualization shouldn’t be costly or complex.; It shouldn’t require Tier 2 and 3 administrators for day-to-day management. It shouldn’t compromise the end user experience or limit use cases. With Cisco and Unidesk, it won’t.

Get started now. Check out the great resources at www.cisco.com/go/vdi. Download your free trial copy of Unidesk for vSphere at get.unidesk.com/trial. Or, be one of the first to try the new Unidesk for Hyper-V at www.unidesk.com/hyper-v. And see how easy it can be to scale your VDI deployment.

FREE EBOOK – Top 10 Reasons VDI Projects Fail

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