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Data Center Day Shines in the Lone Star State

The third annual Cisco IT Data Center Day put a spotlight on the Internet of Everything (IoE) market transition and gains of deploying an Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Over 300 attendees, including 124 customers representing 85 different companies, attended the event held at our state-of-the-art data center in Allen, Texas.

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F5 Agility 2015: Next Stop Down Under

In a few weeks Spring season will set in, and it’ll be a Ripper Down Under. For the Data Center technology geeks there is plenty of action in store to celebrate the onset of Aussie spring. I am talking about F5 Agility that is getting ready to rock Melbourne (Aug 18) and Sydney (Aug 20)


Just last week, I was at F5 Agility, Washington DC. It was an electrifying experience meeting customers and partners of Cisco and F5 and culminating in a powerful guest keynote by Colin Powell, the legendary American statesman and retired four-star general. Colin’s passion to help youth and transform the globe is totally extra-ordinary and most of us attendees were privileged to listen to him that day. That speech has super charged me to last for a long time, and in that mindset, let me switch context to F5 Agility, Melbourne Aug 18, and Sydney Aug 20. The agenda for both these events are identical. We have a packed set of activities from early morning till late evening. We are going to hear F5’s leaders, customers, and partners share how the latest solutions from F5 are transforming what’s possible for today’s organizations. In about a year’s time Cisco ACI and F5 partnership has demonstrated significant success in our joint solution momentum and customer adoption. I am pleased to invite you all to attend this premier industry event and get insights on how F5 and Cisco are bringing the power of cloud, data centers, converged systems, and as-a-Service together to enable fast, efficient, and secure application delivery in today’s challenging hybrid environments.


The keynote by Julian Eames, F5 EVP of Business Operations, centers on “Innovate, Expand and Deliver” and lays the foundation for your business to innovate new paths to success, expand through barriers to growth, and deliver the applications your customers need to succeed. Julian will take you a tour of current market trends, how F5 has grown 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 Julian’s keynote.


Following the keynote, Cisco Exec Shashi Kiran is hosting the Plenary, Platinum Sponsor session titled “Deliver Application Agility with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)”, 10.30 am local time. What’s unique about this Breakout Session? You will get the opportunity to hear Shashi eloquently walk you through the role of Cisco ACI in today’s Application-Oriented Economy, also see a key partner 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 is also doing the Plenary Panel Session in the evening jointly with F5 Execs and the Guest Customer speaker. The topic centers around global trends and themes around Cloud adoption and drivers, SDN, Security etc. This session will be invigorating and sets the stage for a lively evening solutions expo tour.

For the technically oriented among you, we also have a number of technical breakout sessions hosted by F5 and its Partners. These sessions cover Security, Cloud in detail along-with other emerging Data center topics.

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 -F5 BIG-IP and ACI – BIG-IQ on both Aug 18 and 20, during the expo hours. Stop by the Cisco booth where product experts are available to engage in white-board 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 networking event at the solutions expo in the evening (5 – 7 PM) provides drinks and prize draws in addition to an exciting showcase of state of art technology innovations and demos. Network with your fellow attendees while enjoying tasty food and drink, knowledgeable guides, and more are awaiting you.

I am eager to see you all in Australia 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.

For more information, Visit

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A Tour of Cisco’s Allen Data Center

As a consultant I have seen many different ‘Data Centers’, from Co-location facilities, to in house and well thought out, to a dirty closet that no one was using. Douglas Alger gave us a tour of Cisco’s Data Center in Allen, TX about a month ago. I was expecting to be impressed and I was not disappointed. Cisco has made a commitment to all of their Data Centers at least Leeds Silver certified. The Data Center in Allen, TX is Leeds Gold certified. Also, Cisco tried to use as much off the shelf components as possible so that this model can be replicated to every Data Center.

Outside of the Data Center building

When driving up to the Data Center it was not the usual look of a Data Center. You really have to know where you are going to find it. The building is surrounded by berms 15-20 feet tall. This is doubles as a camouflage for the building, but it’s primary purpose is to deflect tornados from hitting the building directly. If a tornado is heading for the building, the base would have to climb the berms which in turn would cause the tornado to ‘jump’ over the building.

The roof of the Data Center has a high level of wind tolerance, but the building is constructed in several layers. A tornado could take off several of these layers and the Data Center could continue to operate.

There are the typical barriers expected in a secure facility such as fencing, vehicle barriers, cameras, and a bicycle rack. Yeah, a bicycle rack. Part of the Leeds certificate is the ability for alternate modes of transportation to the office. Installing a bicycle rack and shower inside was an easy way to get additional points for the Leeds certification. 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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#EngineersUnplugged S7|E3 The IOPS Don’t Lie!

In this episode, Matt Brender (@mjbrender) and Rick Vanover (@RickVanover) give us an overview of why you should let your IOPS tell the truth!  Ever wonder if your expectations for the modern Data Center match the reality?  Matt and Rick go through the math and thinking for what your storage systems can and cannot do!

Special Note: For fun we’ve got a poll on your favorite unicorn… after the jump!

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