On the way to tradeshow week (May 4th), I decided to do a brief blog series on UCS Mini tied to these shows. Last week was Microsoft Ignite.
When we launched UCS Mini back in September, it pushed us into new territory with an exciting offering that bundles servers, storage and networking into a single solution — much like the traditional UCS — but in a smaller form factor. It also allowed Cisco to effectively target branch or remote offices and the mid-market with UCS.
This exciting new venture has been validated by a growing number of customers and we’ve just received another validation today: we’re excited to announce that UCS Mini has been nominated as a finalist for the 2015 Best of Interop Awards!
We will be in Dallas, London, New York, Paris, San Jose, and Toronto the next two months. If you are in the area, register and come learn more about transforming your data centers to take advantage of the newest Cisco infrastructure solutions along with Microsoft’s Cloud OS and workloads.
Yesterday’s data centers cannot keep up with the speed of today’s innovation, and being able to keep up with that innovation is key to your company’s success and survival in today’s competitive environment. Leveraging large volumes of data and highly elastic compute resources to deliver better insight and a superior product/user experience has become more and more important. Data centers are no longer just a place to store data, they are now the center of engagement and information exchange for your company.
Leadership teams from Cisco, Microsoft, and industry analysts IDC (International Data Corporation) invite you to attend this exclusive event. We will discuss how our companies have joined forces to deliver integrated solutions that enable tomorrow’s business strategies. This information will help you assess the near and long term opportunities and challenges that organizations face as they seek to capitalize on the changes in scale, speed and scope. Read More »
With Interop less than three weeks away, we are excited to learn that Cisco APIC, the SDN controller for our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric, has been selected as Best of Interop 2015 Finalists in Software Defined Networking (SDN) category. As you may recall, when we announced ACI back in Nov 2013, we mentioned that APIC would be the software controller for the application-centric policy model, and would be available in Q3, CY 2014. In a short span of less than a year, APIC has gained broad industry adoption with more than 300 Customers either deploying or in production already.
Interop Vegas, is a great venue to unveil more aspects of the ACI fabric, the policy model, and key APIC features. If you aren’t going to be in Las Vegas the last week of April, now may be the time to start making plans as we gear up for some exciting ACI news and events, and hopefully bringing home this Best of Interop award.
But wait, there’s more…
If you are not familiar with ACI or APIC yet, let me take the opportunity to tell you about APIC and why I think it is a finalist for the Best of Interop.
The Cisco APIC is the unified point of automation and management for the ACI fabric and health monitoring. The Cisco APIC is built with open APIs and an open application-centric policy model designed to simplify the provisioning, monitoring, and management of applications across the data center. Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is a fabric architecture with centralized automation and policy-driven application profiles designed to make the infrastructure highly responsive to the needs of applications, while significantly simplifying the data center and cloud operational model.
The Cisco APIC is built on the SDN principles of an extensible/programmable centralized controller, standardized north-bound API’s, a protocol for communicating with and orchestrating data center devices and network nodes, and features and agents within the network infrastructure to support the controller’s policy model and respond appropriately.
The Cisco APIC uses an application-centric policy model rather than network-centric SDN policies that do not adequately reflect business requirements. Cisco ACI is an open ecosystem of management, services, and security partners that incorporate best-of-breed solutions across physical and virtual infrastructures. Customers have a choice of flexible workflow automation and orchestration solutions on top of APIC and the ACI fabric, including OpenStack, VMware cloud automation solutions, Microsoft System Center, Cisco UCS Director, and more, rather than being locked into a specific automation model.
The APIC software is delivered on turn-key UCS C-Series server appliances, so the user out-of-box experience is simple.
Apparently these stellar traits weren’t lost on the Best of Interop judges as it made it to Finalist status. We sincerely hope this bad boy brings home the prize too – stay tuned for more excitement to come.
FlexPod Datacenter with Microsoft Private Cloud — A Premier Integrated Platform for Mission Critical Microsoft SQL Server Implementations
This guest blog was authored by Frank Cicalese and contains summarized content from various articles that can be found on Cisco and NetApp’s sites.
Frank Cicalese is a Technical Solutions Architect with Cisco’s Data Center Architecture Team helping customers globally with their Microsoft solutions on Cisco UCS. Frank also worked at Microsoft for over 10 years in several positions that required deep technical knowledge such as Services Consultant, Platform Architect, Database Technology Specialist, Virtualization Technology Specialist and Datacenter Technology Specialist. Frank has in-depth technical knowledge and proficiency with database design, optimization, replication and clustering and has extensive virtualization, identity and access management and application development skills. He is also a writer member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers with published musical works that have aired on well-known cable and news networks.
Cisco and NetApp have been teaming for several years developing the FlexPod solution portfolio. This portfolio includes architectures that combine NetApp storage systems, Cisco Unified Computing System servers, and Cisco Nexus fabric into an architecture that provides a highly efficient operational model for workload deployments. This architecture is capable of hosting mission critical SQL Server implementations and is capable of providing them with the required throughput and availability for even the most demanding business requirements.
Recently, Cisco and NetApp contracted Scalability Experts to implement a performance and load test that proves my claims in the above paragraph beyond any doubt in my mind.
Scalability Experts, for readers who may not be familiar with them, is a triple Gold Microsoft Partner, and highly awarded consulting company specializing in Data Platforms, Business Intelligence and Infrastructure Solutions. Scalability Experts conducted the performance and load testing over several months using real world workloads. More information on Scalability Experts can be found at http://www.scalabilityexperts.com/
The purpose of this performance and load test was to validate that FlexPod is a premiere platform for the most demanding applications. This performance and load test implements a real world gaming workload on Microsoft SQL Server 2014. Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate Edition was used to generate and run the performance and load tests. For more information about Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate Edition see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd831853.aspx. More information about Microsoft SQL Server 2014 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/sql-server/.