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Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure at EMC World 2015

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At EMC World 2015, we handed out these “Cisco Go UCS” hats to attendees that stopped by the Cisco booth. I love to hear the stories of customers that are using our Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure based solutions to accelerate deployment of IT infrastructure and implement our latest innovations. This year our presence at EMC World focused on Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure, Application Centric Infrastructure, and SAN solutions.  We had numerous presentations, demos, and break out session on these areas.  We were very excited that our booth, mini-theater and breakout sessions were packed with attendees.

EMCW breakoutEMCW minitIn addition, attendees also experienced our demos and had one-one-one conversations with Cisco experts. The Cisco UCS Manager and UCS Director demos were popular. Many customers were interested in learning more about the infrastructure management and automation capabilities of UCS Director. This management conversation has evolved in the past couple of years from “What is UCS Director” to requests for demos, questions on capabilities, and licensing model.  The UCS Director snowball is rolling and the hill is getting steeper. Read More »

TechWiseTV: Cloud Agility through Smarter Automation

Agility is highly sought after in today’s business environment.   It allows your business to rapidly adapt to market changes or competitive pressures.  It enables your business to capture new opportunities and customers without expanding your staff or increasing costs.  To accomplish these objectives you need one thing:  automation.  Automation delivers the key element for business agility:  Speed.

Industry analyst Forrester states that the preferred on-ramp for automation is private cloud.  Why?  Because private cloud delivers more visibility and control while maintaining compliance and customer satisfaction.  In essence, private cloud allows business to reach new markets and buyers faster, empower employees and stay ahead of the competition.

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Are you ready for F5 Agility next week – Edinburgh gets ready to play host to this exciting event

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It is a back-back, double-header for me this weekend, as I head from an action-packed week in Orlando to exotic Edinburgh, Scotland for F5 Agility. F5 is Cisco’s premier partner and I can’t wait to be in the thick of action at the Edinburgh International Convention Centre next week. From “you are lucky to be there” to “WoWs”, I am fast becoming the envy of my friends at Cisco. For me personally, it is the second EMEA F5 Agility event, and last year I had a blast at the Bella Center, Copenhagen. These things aside, there is a lot for me to report about Cisco’s participation in this event.

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You probably know F5 recently announced a new CEO. F5’s incoming CEO Manny Rivelo in his keynote themed around “Innovate, Expand and Deliver”, will take you on a tour of current market trends, how F5 has grown in market momentum under John McAdam’s tenure, the evolution of the F5 Platform from simple load balancer to ADC to support Cloud based business models, the growing importance of enterprise security, recent F5 acquisitions, and last but not the least the growing eco-system of Partners. I recommend getting started with Manny’s keynote. Manny is also hosting invitation only roundtables to key verticals Retail and financial earlier in the morning, same day.  Following Manny, Dean Darwin, Marketing SVP of F5 will deliver F5’s forward looking vision.  Dean’s session aligns well with Manny’s keynote in that he will address how to Innovate and continue to be a thought leader, Expand business models (like As A Service) and Deliver customer satisfaction and financial excellence.

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There is plenty of excitement Cisco is bringing to this event centred around Cisco’s award winning SDN strategy, Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) .

Cisco Exec Shashi Kiran is joining F5 Exec Calvin Rowland and fellow Cisco Exec Patrick Schmidt in a panel session May 20. For those of you not familiar with ACI, this panel session is a great opportunity to learn how Cisco and F5 are expanding their partnership, how their combined thought leadership is advancing the SDN landscape, and customer successes and momentum experienced by Cisco ACI, F5’s BIG IP & BIG IQ in the marketplace. The panellists are seasoned industry experts and I promise it will be a treat to the attendees.

If you somehow missed the panel session, there is room to cheer. Shashi is hosting a breakout session the next day, May 21, 11.30 local time. What’s unique about this Breakout Session? Well, you will get to not only hear Shashi eloquently walk you through the role of Cisco ACI in today’s Application-Oriented Economy, but also see customers and partners join him on stage and share their success stories with ACI.  Shashi will discuss how emerging applications are placing huge demands on Data Center Infrastructure and how grossly unprepared they are to meet the same.  Shashi will then introduce Cisco ACI, an open, scalable, programmable SDN solution that helps address these infrastructure challenges. Shashi will illustrate how Cisco’s open architecture enables seamless integration of F5 into ACI’s policy framework and how the joint solution brings unprecedented agility and end-end L2-L7 accelerated application delivery. Shashi’s breakout as I said earlier, also features a unique Customer and Partner segment towards the end. Martin Lipka from Pulsant corporation and Stefaan Hinderyckx from Dimension Data will join Shashi on stage to share their ACI experiences. How often do you get this comprehensive experience in a breakout session, one that is devoid of a sales pitch.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?

That is not all. Cisco ACI brings you additional customer engagement opportunity in the solutions expo hall. We are featuring cool demos showcasing our joint solutions namely, ACI-BIG IP and ACI-BIG IQ on both May 20 and 21, during the entire duration of the expo hours. Stop by the Cisco demo booth to get a personal walk-through of our solution working. Our product experts are available to engage you in white-board type sessions and to compliment the demos, we also run short duration presentations in the Cisco theatre at periodic intervals. Should you desire, we are happy to meet you in 1-1 meetings, so let us know how we can enrich your experience at the event.

For all the hard work we all do at the event, there is plenty F5 offers to let us relax and enjoy. The evening event on May 20 allows attendees to step back to a time of knights and ladies, including one of Scotland’s most famous royals – Mary Queen of Scots.

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Agility attendees will have the ability to see all that the castle has to offer, from Mons Meg, one of the largest cannons in the world, to the huge collection of weapons and armoury in The Great Hall, the Stone of Destiny and the Royal Palace Crown Jewels. Network with your fellow attendees while enjoying tasty food and drink, entertaining music, knowledgeable guides, and more are awaiting you on Wednesday 20th May.

I am eager to see you all in Edinburgh next week. There are some useful links for you to check out before your visit on how Cisco ACI and F5 work together on the innovation front.

Visit www.cisco.com/go/acif5

 

 

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Open Networking with Cisco ACI and Open NX-OS

Over the last couple of years, Data Centers have become a key focus on networking innovations, particularly around the broad area of Software Defined Networking (SDN).  At Cisco, for nearly one year, we have been shipping our new way to build a Data Center with our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) solution. ACI relies on the vision of using a policy based methodology to enable network switches, services, and hypervisors to establish network connectivity among each other.

At the Open Networking User Group (ONUG), a survey reports that 3% of the networks run by ONUG members are built on open networking whereas 71% are not open at all.  The assessment of any system being declared “open” is a subjective term.  At Cisco we have built a foundational infrastructure in ACI, that relies on open protocols and programming constructs such as APIs, in order to provide a solution where the network becomes ‘invisible’ to the end user, and the network devices and services modules, such as firewalls, load balancers, physical and, virtual switches are automatically configured based on the end user intent. Read More »

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How Cisco ACI Stands out from other Network Virtualization Solutions – Part 1

[Note: This is part 1 in a three part series of blogs discussing how Cisco ACI stands alone in the market. Part 2 | Part 3]

Customers are bombarded by network virtualization and SDN technologies. In many cases, they are conflicted by vendor claims and marketing hype. Rob Lloyd, president of Cisco Systems highlighted some of that in his blog ACI or NSX.

In this blog and subsequent blogs, we’ll expand on Rob’s blog and provide more color on ACI differentiators compared to competing network virtualization solutions.

1)  ACI Simplifies Diagnosis of Slow email AccessIn this episode, Joe Onisick highlights a scenario where IT received complaints from users experiencing slow email access and timeouts sending email with large attachments. As a network admin, going about debugging this type of complaint to determine the root cause can be time consuming and cumbersome especially in a mixed environment of physical and virtual applications.

With ACI, the debugging process can be simple and quick with real-time visibility into the fabric. By examining the healthscore dashboard and email app profile from a central managed location, APIC, a corrective action can be taken quickly.

In this case, they can easily see that a new tenant is introducing data into a Hadoop cluster running on the same infrastructure neighboring racks, which has created a hotspot on the fabric that is impacting the email platform. The vAdmin can modify the fabric policy to enforce a QoS setting that quickly fixes the problem.

Correlating the problem would have been difficult with competing network virtualization solutions because the physical network admin would have not found an easy way to identify the email traffic vs. other types of traffic, nor to spot the place of hotspot or reason.

Joe Onisick shows us this all in detail in this whiteboarding video

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