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Announcing Cisco UCS Performance Manager: Performance monitoring and capacity planning for UCS integrated infrastructures

Now get data center assurance for UCS integrated infrastructures and tie application performance to physical and virtual infrastructure performance.

You can achieve deep granular visibility into UCS components to optimize resources and deliver better service levels to customers without having to resort to multiple tools and “swivel-chair” management.




If you are going to be at VMworld next week stop by the Cisco booth. We will be on-hand with presentations and demos of UCS Performance Manager.  Get a first look on the show floor at the Cisco booth #1217. Here:

Moscone Convention Center-South Hall, San Francisco, CA
Sunday, August 24: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Opening Reception)
Monday, August 25: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 26: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 27: 10:00–5:00 p.m.

Fern Topology View1

Cisco UCS Performance Manager delivers capacity and performance management for Cisco UCS and integrated infrastructure network and storage devices. Just click on the device or the path and see the real-time performance metrics from the main dashboard.

Based on technology from Zenoss, this Cisco solution delivers granular device monitoring from a single customizable console. Cisco UCS Performance Manager uses Cisco UCS APIs and other native APIs and interfaces to collect data from UCS Manager and integrated infrastructure end points to display comprehensive information about all UCS infrastructure components.

Fern Application View dynamically Identifies Converged Infrastructure Components supporting the app

Using Dynamic Views you can view the integrated infrastructure elements that an application is using – right now. They’re kept up to date by configuration change events from VMware and UCS and accurately reflect the infrastructure resources used by each application.

You can easily spot where an error is affecting an application by examining the event rainbows of the components. With added benefits for VMware administrators: UCS Performance Manager gives you the ability to map virtual resources that include vSphere hosts, vSphere defined datacenters, vSphere VMs and endpoints. So, no matter how the application is defined (logical, physical or virtual), from the blade to the switch, you can dynamically see and drill down into affected components for one-stop troubleshooting.

We are also presenting an overview of UCS Performance Manager with a live Q&A at the Cisco booth. Some of the benefits we will be discussing:

  • We will show how UCS Performance Manager provides deep visibility for service profiles, chassis, fabric extenders, adapters, virtual interface cards, ports, and uplinks for granular data center monitoring.
  • How you can use UCS Performance Manager to maintain service-level agreements (SLAs) by managing optimal resource allocation to prevent under-provisioning and avoid performance degradation.
  • You can define component or application-centric views of critical resources; you can monitor SLA health and performance from a single console, eliminating the need for multiple tools.

For a deeper dive and links to a video demo of the solution in action, see Vishwanath Jakka’s blog here.

Mark your calendar for these VMworld speaking sessions:
“Performance and Capacity Management for Cisco Converged Infrastructures”
Tuesday August 26, 2:00pm

And, at 3:30pm on Tuesday, Mark Balch, Director Product Marketing and Raju Penmetsa, Principal Engineer at Cisco will highlight UCS Performance Manager in their breakout session: “Management and Automation for UCS Integrated Infrastructure”.

Session MGT3158.
Room: Moscone West, Room 3022.
See more here:

Hope to see you there!

For more information, or to schedule a demo reach out to Andrew Blaisdell or to Vishwanath Jakka

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Introducing TPCx-HS – first Industry Standard for Benchmarking Big Data Systems

Over the past quarter century, industry standard benchmarks have had a significant impact on the computing industry. Vendors use benchmark standards to illustrate performance competitiveness for their existing products, and to improve and monitor the performance of their products under development. Many buyers use the results as points of comparison when purchasing new computing systems.

Continuing on the Transaction Processing Performance Council’s commitment to bring relevant benchmarks to industry, it is my great pleasure to announce TPCx-HS – the first standard that provides verifiable performance, price/performance and energy consumption metrics for big data systems. TPCx-HS can be used to asses a broad range of system topologies and implementation methodologies for Hadoop, in a technically rigorous and directly comparable, vendor-neutral manner. And while modeling is  based on a simple application, the results are highly relevant to Big Data hardware and software systems.

Developing an industry standard benchmark for a new environment like Big Data has taken the dedicated efforts of experts across many companies. I would like to thank the contributions of  Andrew Bond (Red Hat), Andrew Masland (NEC), Avik Dey (Intel), Brian Caufield (IBM), Chaitanya Baru (SDSC), Da Qi Ren (Huawei), Dileep Kumar (Cloudera), Jamie Reding (Microsoft), John Fowler (Oracle), John Poelman (IBM), Karthik Kulkarni (Cisco), Meikel Poess (Oracle), Mike Brey (Oracle), Mike Crocker (SAP), Paul Cao (HP), Reza Taheri (VMware), Simon Harris (IBM), Tariq Magdon-Ismail (VMware), Wayne Smith (Intel), Yanpei Chen (Cloudera), Michael Majdalany (L&M), Forrest Carman (Owen Media) and Andreas Hotea (Hotea Solutions).

I envision that TPCx-HS will be a useful benchmark standard to buyers, as they evaluate new systems for Hadoop deployments in terms of performance, price/performance and energy efficiency. And for vendors in demonstrating competitiveness of their products.

Raghunath Nambiar
(Chair TPC Big Data Committee)

Additional information
TPCx-HS Portal
TPC Press Release
TPC takes the measure of big data systems by Joab Jackson
Can it be true? A BIG DATA benchmark? Yes, says TPC by Chris Mellor

TPCTC2014/VLDB2014 paper presentation: Introducing TPCx-HS: Industry’s First Standard for Benchmarking Big Data Systems Raghunath Nambiar (Cisco), Tariq Magdon-Ismail (VMware), Akon Dey (University of Sydney), Paul Cao (HP), Andrew Bond (Red Hat), Da Qi Ren (Huawei), Meikel Poess (Oracle), Hangzhou, China, 9/4/2014

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What’s Your Take on Enterprise Class Public Cloud (ECPC)?

There’s no doubt this question yields myriad of responses. Your input, thoughts, and perspectives are much appreciated. And here are few of my own recommended reads regarding the topic:

  • If you have not already read Xander Uyleman’s blog on “Finding the Perfect Cloud Service Provider”, I highly recommend you take a few minutes to read it.
  • Overcoming business risks in the cloud is a major concern for many. Read Robert Dimicco’s blog for steps on how to best approach and defeat these challenges.
  • The latest special edition of Unleashing IT, published in partnership with Intel®, focuses on customers who have put their trust in Cisco Powered partners to deliver an ECPC to support their business—and it seems to be working well for them.

One of the most promising ways to approach IT concerns is to see how others are addressing them. To that end, I hope you’ll take a moment to subscribe to Unleashing IT so you can stay informed of how other companies and organizations much like your own are strategizing to stay ahead of their competition.

I’ve personally had several interesting conversations with customers around data center strategies.

On one occasion, it was very clear that the customer was not interested the business of “babysitting” hardware. I can relate; the laptop I am using to write this blog can be as demanding as a newborn at times—not fun when you are trying to work productively. Bottom line: the customer was looking for a service provider to meet all their demanding IT needs, including security and compliance, so they could focus on aspects other than IT management. I’m convinced their needs have been met—perhaps even exceeded—by a Cisco-certified service provider.

On the flip side, I’ve heard an argument from a start-up company that because they had access to schematic diagrams of the hardware they needed to support their business, they could simply build their own white box using over-the-counter components.


I have access to schematic diagrams (and kits) so I can build my own aircraft. Sounds great—in theory. Realistically, though, it doesn’t mean that I would actually do it. Especially if I have access to a fleet of rentals that I can book and fly anytime, then leave in someone else’s expert care after completing my journey. I think you get my point—and so did they. My unsolicited advice: consider an ECPC.

Lastly, I’ve of course had the “I can’t afford it” conversation. This one took more time, a few lattes, and discussions around the source of the budgets (CapEx versus OpEx). By the end of our conversation, the customer agreed that if an ECPC that met their IT requirements could be funded using OpEx, it might very well be a good fit.


But I digress. To hone in on the actual question at hand, here’s my opinion: Absolutely. ECPCs do exist, and can be beneficial to your business, provided you make informed decisions and ask the right questions of your service provider. If you find the right fit, outsourcing will allow you to effectively move workloads to an ECPC with confidence. And if, after all of that, you are still not sure, consider kicking the tires with a DRaaS solution for some of those workloads and scale that environment once you have gained more confidence in your provider.


When your business is on the line, there’s more to it than just deciding to have a third party manage your IT assets. You need to select a service provider you can rely on and confide in to guarantee your business is in good hands. Cisco Powered™ Cloud and Managed Services brings together everything you may need, and Cisco Powered partners are trusted experts who can help you realize the benefits of an ECPC.

Learn more here.


Engineers Unplugged S6|Ep4: onePK

August 13, 2014 at 10:36 pm PST

In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, we welcome for the first time (and not the last) guest host Janel Kratky (follow her @jlkratky)! She’s hosting Jason Pfeifer and Glue Network’s Gregg Wyant as they discuss onePK and how to apply it to the real world. You don’t want to miss this one, it ends with a Glunicorn.

If you would like to become Internet Famous, and strut your unicorn talents, join us for our next filming session at VMworld 2014. Tweet me for details!

This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here:
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

Join the behind the scenes by liking Engineers Unplugged on Facebook.

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Straight Talk About Cloud: 20 Providers and What They Think You Want

There’s a lot of talk about cloud, and for good reason.  According to a new white paper from IDC, 68% of companies with more than 1,000 employees are using some form of cloud or plan to implement cloud within the next 12 months.  In addition, these companies adopting cloud expect to spend 54% of their IT budgets on cloud in two years.

For the white paper, IDC contacted 20 providers from among the more than 200 cloud providers offering Cisco Powered services.  What makes the white paper unique is that these providers were asked to share their perspective on how their customers perceive value.  These are the companies who are investing substantial resources into building out their infrastructure to be able to offer your organization cloud services as you need them.  They make their investments based on what they believe are your primary needs and key concerns.

Specifically, the white paper explores which perceived factors are the most important to cloud providers in reaching you, their customer.  It also reveals how these providers seek to differentiate themselves and where they see the best value in their cloud infrastructure investments.

You can watch the video and read the full IDC white paper for yourself.  The white paper was also reported on by Computerworld.

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