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UCS at Collaborate 15: Simplify, Save, Increase Efficiency and Redefine the Word “Hardware”

I’m looking forward to Collaborate 15 where thousands of attendees travel to Las Vegas to learn, meet and improve their skills and understanding of Oracle databases and applications.   One of the main areas to see improvements in reliability, speed and cost of  Oracle database is the upgrading of server hardware.   Cisco UCS Servers and UCS Integrate Infrastructure offer Oracle customers’  a number of unique upgrade, benefits.  These hardware improvements are here today from Cisco, and its name is UCS.

#CiscoUCS takes the cake for performance in all Oracle environments. Learn about it at #Collaborate15

A video posted by Cisco Data Center & SDN (@ciscodc) on

Thousands of UCS Oracle customers around the world over have benefited as Cisco UCS has seen its server customer base increase from zero to over 41,000 in a little more than 5 years.   In fact, Cisco UCS servers have grown extremely fast in nearly every dimension.

Growth of UCS Servers

UCS Over Five years

Please stop by Cisco booth 1003 and see why customers are making the switch to UCS.  Learn why hardware really isn’t the correct word for a UCS server; a better description is software-abstracted hardware.  UCS will allow you and your organization to think differently about what the word hardware means and the differentiators it provides. Differentiators like:

  1. UCS SingleConnect Technology – save money with this dramatic simplification of your server connections.
Simplicity and Cleanliness of a Unified Cisco Approach

UCS SingleConnect Technology

  1. UCS Service profiles – fully automate provisioning and deployment of servers with this one-of-a-kind server abstraction, it abstracts server hardware in software. See why one historical analogy to UCS Service profiles is the assembly and its large productivity benefits:
Analogy to UCS Service Profile Benefits

Analogy to UCS Service Profile Benefits

  1. UCS Manager Programmability -unique ability to plug in and script into higher-levels tools like Oracle Enterprise Manager or Microsoft System Center.
  1. UCS World records: 37 in Oracle workloads and 100+ overall World Records

UCS architectures and these differentiators deliver significant benefits to your organization like:

  1. Save on Oracle licensing costs
  2. Increase server availability dramatically
  3. Decrease server deployment errors
  4. Automate at new, granular parts of your sever infrastructure
  5. Cloud-proof your future infrastructure needs

In addition, take these UCS Server benefits to the next level with UCS Integrated Infrastructure, combining UCS Servers, Nexus switches and UCS Director with your storage vendor of choice. UCS Integrated Infrastructure plus

  1. UCS Integrated Infrastructure + NetApp Storage = FlexPod
  2. UCS Integrated Infrastructure + EMC Storage = Cisco Solutions for EMC VSPEX or Vblock
  3. UCS Integrated Infrastructure + HDS Storage = UCP
  4. UCS Integrated Infrastructure + IBM Storage = Versatack
  5. UCS Integrated Infrastructure + Nimble Storage = SmartStack

UCS Integrated Infrastructure BDM_overall_slide_ 1_17_15_V2

UCS offers it all, less money, higher productivity, increased agility and integration with your storage vendor of choice.  Please stop by booth 1003 and learn how to save allot of money with just a few minutes of your time.

In addition, Cisco also offers other ways to share, learn and inform with Collaborate 15 attendees:

  1. Preconference boot camp on Oracle Virtualization and Licensing on April 12th. Dave Welch, CTO and Chief Evangelist with House of Brick Technologies will be joined by Cisco’s John McAbel for a 4 hour deep-dive to help you plan your Oracle deployments and lower licensing costs. Here’s a secret registration tip, send an email to to add the bootcamp to your schedule.
  1. Participation in the Women in Technology Cisco is proud to sponsor the Women in Tech Luncheon on April 13th. On April 15th, Cisco Distinguished Engineer, Judy Priest will be participating in an inspiring panel of women for an engaging conversation on their personal experiences and strategies for success.


Gartner’s Latest Point of View on BI, Analytics and Big Data

Over the past six weeks I participated in three Gartner BI and Analytic Summits in Sydney, London, and most recently Las Vegas.

I love going to these events, as they are a great opportunity to:

  • Stay abreast of the latest trends through the lenses of the Gartner analysts who cover BI, analytics, data management and integration, and big data.
  • Evaluate how Cisco’s Data and Connected Analytics Portfolio addresses market needs today and how we need to evolve our portfolio to meet tomorrow’s requirements.
  • Catch up with many friends including Gartner analysts, industry peers and most importantly, our customers.

Let me share my takeaways. Read More »

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Cisco UCS Mini – Powering Microsoft Applications

Since Cisco UCS Mini launched last September, Cisco and our partners (Citrix, EMC, Microsoft, NetApp, Nimble Storage, Oracle, SAP, and VMware) have been hard at work putting together a wide variety of solutions.

On the way to tradeshow week (May 4th), I’ll be doing a brief blog series on UCS Mini tied to these shows.

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The Power of the ACI Toolkit: The “Snapback” App

I recently wrote in my blog about a partner, WWT, that quickly developed a network replication solution across dual DC using the programming interface on the APIC.  Our own development team, just published a complete management rollback mechanism for the APIC using the ACI toolkit’s high level APIs and the APIC’s RESTful APIs.  It took them just a few short days to accomplish this.  This is a testament to the fantastic capability our customers and partners have for rapid feature development on this open programmable platform, the APIC and ACI fabric.

Cisco Insieme engineering team has introduced a new ACI toolkit feature to automate the snapshot and rollback of ACI fabric configuration. Why Snapshots and Rollback for Virtual Networks?  Virtualization introduced a powerful debugging and management capability when file based snapshots of state, data, and configuration of a virtual machine could be made at a specific point in time.  You could restore a previous state, restore lost data, and restart applications from a point in time using snapshots.  With network virtualization, you can store the state of the network, restore a previous configuration, and restart the network with its applications from a point in time.  There are tremendous applications for this capability for DevOps teams testing and debugging distributed applications to optimize performance at scale or to recover from some introduced error or failure.

Snapshot Feature: The tool called “snapback” allows administrators to take live snapshots of a running ACI Fabric configuration either immediately or at some predetermined time in the future.  It allows the snapshots to be performed as a one-time occurrence or on an ongoing schedule.  All snapshots are stored in a version control system that allows full viewing of any version of the configuration and the differences between versions.  Policies can be specified in version control to meet compliance requirements.


Rollback Feature: Rollback is allowed to any previous configuration version and can be done as a full configuration rollback or as granular as per tenant. This enables certain tenants to be rolled back to previous configs, while certain others get to keep their current configs. All config files are readable and open JSON formatted text files. The Open interfaces of ACI enables easy integration of this “snapback” tool with third-party systems to develop integrated operations-focused solutions as it can be imported as a library, run from the OS command shell, or run as a web application.


The source code of the toolkit with examples in GitHub, is available for you now to access and start building your own customized solutions using the APIC and ACI.

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Designing a SAN for the Next Decade

In the era of digitalization, mobile, social and the Internet of Everything, Data Center and Cloud infrastructure are more and more representing a strategic business asset for organizations of all kind.  Companies are looking into how to best design, scale and integrate the various components in order to leverage synergies and simplify management. Application uptime of 24×7 is now the norm and Fast IT is not just a marketing message but rather a desire for everyone.

According to a IDC study, worldwide data will grow from 4.4 zettabytes today to a whopping 44 zettabytes by 2020.  How do you create a SAN that can efficiently handle a 10-fold increase in data in just 5 years without breaking your IT budget?

Learn best practices for designing a converged SAN that will meet your critical business needs tomorrow as well as today at this live, 60-minute webcast.       REGISTER NOW April 7, 2015,  8:00 AM PST


Like a tsunami, the proliferation of data threatens to overwhelm the capacity of the average storage area network (SAN). The latest Cisco  solutions can help you define and create a much more efficient network that reduces operating costs, simplifies management, and increases flexibility while scaling easily to meet your future requirements. Cisco’s latest offering benefits from the latest and greatest innovations in hardware, software, ASIC design and architectural approach, leading to improved performance, higher availability, unmatched scalability and simplified operations.

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