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Ready, Set…Cloud! Vblock, VxBlock and Cisco ACI usher in operational simplicity and software defined innovation for the cloud era

Complexity is easy. Simplicity is hard. Solving operational complexity has been one of the hardest challenges in data center and cloud build-outs. For customers, the challenge of interfacing with different infrastructure vendors and driving integration has been a significant hurdle in the past, slowing application rollouts. The success of the integrated Infrastructure approach has largely been due to focused efforts on behalf of multiple vendors to come together to solve this challenge, resulting in a new hyper-growth market category being created. According to IDC’s Q3CY2014 integrated infrastructure tracker, the integrated infrastructure market has grown to ~$5.5B annually and most analysts have this market growing at 30+ percent YoY.

A shining example of solving this huge challenge has been VCE’s Vblock offerings that have been on a stellar growth path. Nothing speaks better of this than customer success and market traction it enjoys –

  • VCE surpassed a $2 billion annualized demand run-rate for Vblock and Vblock-related products and services exiting Q3 2014.
  • Its sixth consecutive quarter of greater than 50% year-over-year demand growth.
  • Clear leader in integrated infrastructure systems according to Gartner and IDC
  • A leader in the Gartner, Inc. Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems, based on an evaluation of VCE’s completeness of vision and ability to execute.

With its UCS Integrated Infrastructure solution approach Cisco has been literally in the midst of all of this action. Cisco UCS, Nexus and MDS switches have been key components of the integrated offering along with innovations from the other companies.  Customers have loved the operational benefits as they scale their cloud build outs. Last October next-generation “ACI-ready” Vblocks were introduced allowing customers to further accelerate their journey to SDN and cloud.

And now it is time to raise the bar even further. As VCE introduces VxBlocks in addition to the flagship Vblock offering, as well as vScale architectures and VCE Vision 3.0, Cisco and VCE are together committed to build on the past success as we align our sights to the future –

  • VCE and Cisco are committed to drive open, future proof converged infrastructure solutions through the GA shipments of ACI-Ready Nexus 9K enabled Vblocks and Cisco UCS. We already have 100+ joint customers in production.
  • VxBlocks will be featuring Nexus 9K as their default networking platform to support all their different flavors of SDN within their integrated infrastructure, even as Cisco UCS will continue to be their default compute platform. As of Cisco’s last fiscal quarter, there were over 1700+ Nexus 9000 and Cisco ACI customers, making the Nexus 9000 one of the highest growth products within the company even as new Cisco APIC customers shot up to over 300+ within two quarters. Cisco UCS has been on a tear in terms of market share worldwide and has continued to set world record benchmarks.
  • The Vscale Fabric is ACI enabled and includes the Nexus 9000s as the networking component of the fabric.  This  allows customers to choose ACI and get the added benefits of such.  If a customer chooses to deploy ACI in the fabric then the APIC would be a deployed as an add-on.   The Vscale architecture also uses MDS as the SAN fabric enhancing the convergence capabilities.

 What Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Brings to Vblocks and VxBlocks:

Cisco ACI is all about operational flexibility and choice. For example, customers can enjoy the  benefits of the Nexus 9396 in a standalone mode, or deploy it as an ACI leaf configuration. This is called “ACI-ready”. They can also be “ACI-enabled”, which means the Nexus 9396s are ACI leafs connected to spines and APIC clusters all part (provisioned and supported) of a Vblock or VxBlock.

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#CiscoChampion Radio S2|Ep 8. ACI with @Malhoit

CiscoChampion2015200PX#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’ll be talking about ACI with Cisco Technology Evangelist Lauren Malhoit and Cisco Technical Marketing Engineer Carly Stoughton.

Listen to the Podcast.

Learn about the Cisco Champions Program HERE.
See a list of all #CiscoChampion Radio podcasts HERE.

Cisco SMEs
Lauren Malhoit, @malhoit, Cisco Technology Evangelist
Carly Stoughton, _vCarly, Cisco Technical Marketing Engineer

Cisco Champion Guest Hosts
Michael Aossey, @aossey, Solutions Architect
Chris Nickl, @ck_nic, Cloud Infrastructure Architect Read More »

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Flipping the 70-30 IT OPEX Model On Its Head

In today’s always on and connected, Internet of Things environments, IT is taking center stage to optimize business operations.

Many IT organizations allocate 70% or more of their budgets to simply keeping their operations up and running. It’s been like this for a long time, and there are many good arguments for this approach. After all, when IT stops working, business grinds to a halt.  The penalty for failing to keeping things moving is often swift and unpleasant.

ScottClarkDCBlogMarch2015quoteAt the same time, most CIOs will admit that they are increasingly being pulled in several directions at once.  In addition to keeping the uptime ball in the air, as a CIO you must juggle an accelerating onslaught of new demands.  Like the push towards video, mobile, data analytics, and cloud.  Plus the exponential increase in Internet traffic that means your networks never seem to be fast enough.  And no IT executive wants to see their organization on the evening news in connection with the latest data security breach.

As a CIO, you should be asking your IT vendors how they can help reverse the 70-30 ratio in your shop without downgrading its performance.  How do you transition to spending less on day-to-day operations?  And, what’s the best way to direct a bigger share of IT resources toward addressing the expanding needs of the internal lines of business with more innovative solutions? Read More »

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New Analytics Solutions Drive Better Business Outcomes

In the Internet of Everything Era (IoE), analytics will occur throughout the network—from the edge, to the core, in the cloud, and everywhere in between. Cisco is uniquely positioned to deliver intelligent networking infrastructure that acts as a flexible data plumbing footprint and control plane, giving our customers the flexibility to send analytics to the data source for IoT use cases that require real-time insights—as well as data to the analytics for use cases that require historical data.

The most powerful analytics solutions apply the combined power of an innovative infrastructure and analytics software solutions that are uniquely designed to optimize one another. Cisco’s analytics-ready infrastructure has been proven to provide a high-performance, flexible, and efficient foundation for leading data management, data integration, and analytics software.

  • Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data is an industry-leading platform widely adopted in the industry that helps organizations deploy and scale Big Data applications faster to drive the revenue side of the business while significantly reducing risk and TCO.
  • Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data is the first and only platform to post certified results for the new TPC Express Benchmark HS (TPCx-HS), which was developed to provide enterprises with a vendor-neutral way to evaluate the performance and price-to-performance of big data implementations. Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data demonstrated outstanding performance and scalability at 1TB, 3TB, and 10TB scale factors.
  • Cisco UCS Mini, ideal for processing analytics at the edge and branch offices, has earned industry recognition for innovation in furthering the development of the data center industry with the InfoTECH Spotlight Data Center Excellence Award for 2014. InfoTech Award
  • And, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and the Nexus 9000 also took home an InfoTECH excellence award adding additional proof of the strength of Cisco’s analytics-ready infrastructure. As analytics workloads increase in number, the network plays a critical role in ensuring that workloads are completed and insights are delivered on time, securely, and cost-effectively. Cisco ACI lets customers dynamically optimize cluster performance in the network, redeploy resources automatically for new workloads to improve utilization and lower TCO, and ensure isolation of users and data as resource deployments change.

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Making it easy to deploy Cisco’s Intelligent WAN

We continue to see great interest and momentum around our Intelligent WAN solution but there is one thing we are hearing loud and clear from our customers; the need for better tools to configure and manage branch sites and associated WAN connections. For those of you familiar with Cisco’s Intelligent WAN there are four main business outcomes that the solution promises to deliver:

  • Better Application Experience for Users
  • Robust Secure Access for Applications and Users
  • Lower IT Costs
  • IT Simplicity for Increased Agility

Management falls into the IT Simplicity bucket and many times while presenting our Intelligent WAN solution customers are already thinking about how they are going to reconfigure their network into an Intelligent WAN. One of the main concerns is that the more sites you have the larger the task. Quite often there are limited or no IT resources at the branch and the thought of sending someone onsite (truck rolls) to change or reconfigure the branch router can be an expensive proposition. So what can you do to take advantage of the cost savings provided by an Intelligent WAN?

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