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Cisco and VCE: Infrastructure Will Always Matter

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Trey Leyton, VP & CTO for VCE, to discuss VCE’s momentum and how they use Cisco technologies to deliver a truly converged infrastructure and an incredible customer experience.

Last year, VCE achieved a $1 billion per year run rate with the VblockTM Systems portfolio. Customers have returned to purchase additional systems. Seventy percent of Vblock customers buy a 2nd and 3rd Vblock system. Why? VCE delivers a great customer experience. Vblock is a truly converged infrastructure, it is pre-integrated, factory built and tested, delivered as a single product with one phone number to call for support. A converged infrastructure such as Vblock requires a holistic management solution. Cisco UCS Director enables the automation and orchestration of converged infrastructures from a single-view portal improving IT efficiency.  These efficiency gains allow IT to spend much less time managing infrastructure.

Ninety nine percent of the time a Vblock system is operational within 48 hours of being delivered. A solution that is usable this quickly meets the requirements of both technical and business IT teams. The factory-integration and validation accelerates deployment, enabling IT technical staff to focus on driving innovation rather than installing infrastructure.  IT executives like that the infrastructure is operational faster to help drive the business forward.

Vblock Systems eliminate many of the challenges that consume today’s data center resources including planning, setting up and deploying infrastructure, and keeping infrastructure up to date. Basically, Vblock Systems can simplify every aspect of IT operations while boosting productivity and lowering costs.

Infrastructure will always matter if your goal is to deliver an elastic, automated cloud computing environment. The success and momentum of VCE with the Vblock Systems portfolio is proof that a truly converged infrastructure using  best-in-class technologies from Cisco (Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus Switches) and  EMC (EMC VNXe, VNX and Symmetrix VMAX) can help customers can get projects done faster, with better performance, higher availability and low total cost of ownership.

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Cisco at Hadoop Summit 2013

At this year’s Hadoop Summit 2013, I presented on the “The Data Center and Hadoop” which built upon the past two years of testing the effects of Hadoop on the data center infrastructure. What makes Hadoop an important framework to study in the data center is that it contains a distributed system that combines both a distributed file system (HDFS) along with an execution framework (Map/Reduce). Further it builds upon itself and can provide other real-time or key/value stores(HBASE) along with many other possibilities. Each comes with its own set of infrastructure requirements that include throughput sensitive components along with latency sensitive components. Further in the Data Center,  understanding how all these components work together is key to optimized deployments.

After studying many of these components and their effects, the very data we were alanyzing became a topic of a lot of our discussions. We combined application performance data, application logs, compute data AND network data to build a complete picture of what is happening in the data center.

With the advent of programmable networks (aka “Software Defined Networking”) it is not only important to make the network more application aware, but to also know where and how to analyze and make the right connections between the application and the network.

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Next wave of data center innovation …

From the outset, Cisco Unified Fabric has been ahead of the curve and ahead of the market in its innovation and the value that it brings to Cisco customers. Its introduction brought about a profound shift to data center fabric: unification of the IP and storage networks.  Today it is foundational – a primary building block for cloud-based, virtualized data centers, providing architectural flexibility and consistent networking across physical, virtual, and cloud environments.

Customers know this too, as evidenced by Cisco’s continuous leadership in this market maintaining the #1 market share for Data Center Ethernet Switching with over 70% of the market*, and #1 in FCoE SAN Switching with 77% of the market**.

Continuing to innovate …
During Cisco Live Orlando last week, Cisco unveiled a two additions to its Unified Fabric portfolio: Dynamic Fabric Automation, which automates network provisioning and simplifies fabric management, and new Nexus 7700 Series switches, providing 40G/100G scalability and comprehensive feature set with new F3 modules.

Cisco also announced the vision for our revolutionary networking architecture with Application Centric Infrastructure.  Yet again, we are evolving our infrastructure to help IT departments dramatically simplify how they provision their data center resources (networking, servers, storage and services) that are critical to the performance of their applications. As we heard from Padmasree Warrior, “the Application Centric Infrastructure will give our customers the agility to deliver applications to end-users where they want, when they want, and to any device they want  -- securely, rapidly, and at a lower cost.”

We continue to innovate as no other IT company does, providing the vision and technology to transform the data center. Tomorrow starts here.

 

*Source: Infonetics, Q1CY2013 DC Network Equipment Report  **Source: Dell’Oro, SAN Switching, Q2CY2013

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VSPEX on the Fast Track…Microsoft Fast Track

September 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm PST

Did you catch the announcement from EMC? 

EMC announced the new EMC VSPEX Private Cloud for Microsoft Windows Server 2012.  You can read the Press Release here

Cisco and EMC believe there are three distinct paths…or choices…on the journey to the cloud.  Build-your-own using best of breed products, a truly converged infrastructure product in Vblock from VCE, or VSPEX…a flexible reference architecture approach.  A picture says it all…see below.

 

VSPEX offers an unprecedented choice of industry-leading virtualization, server, network, storage, and data protection.  Accelerate your journey to the cloud with the EMC VSPEX proven infrastructure.

What was announced?  Microsoft Fast Track for VSPEX

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Complete the Cloud Journey – Handing the Keys to the Users

Every year, the IT industry makes some bold claims about “This is the Year of < insert technology>”. Buzz, hype, conferences, webinars and whitepapers ensue!! Sometimes they come true and sometimes they fall short of expectations. But once all the smoke clears, IT organizations tend to dust themselves off and ask, “So what actually works and what can I use TODAY?”

Amidst all the Cloud Computing technology hype that has been happening over the past couple years, Cisco’s IT organization was faced with a very real (and very common) business challenge -- how to deliver Better IT, Faster IT and More Flexible IT? All of those challenges were faced against the background of exponentially growing user-demands and almost no IT budget growth. Then throw in all those nagging side challenges of securing information, regulatory compliance, and facilities that were running out of space.

Do these problems sound familiar? We suspect that many IT organizations are reaching similar levels of stress from their business and are looking for answers.

If you’re interested in learning how Cisco is solving this problem internally, we highly recommend that you attend this webinar, hosted by Cisco IT. Ken Schroeder (Data Center Architect) will explain how Cisco evolved from a fragmented IT organization to one that is now able to deliver greater empowerment and flexibility back to the business.

Register and Attendent the Webinar: http://www.brighttalk.com/r/Vlv

Date: October 11, 2pm EST (11am PST)

Title: CITEIS – A Cisco on Cisco Private Cloud Case Study

Speaker: Ken Schroeder, Cisco IT

Background (overview):

Abstract: Join us to learn about Cisco’s CITEIS – Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services – project. Find out firsthand how Cisco deployed an agile, cost effective, flexible and secure private cloud using Cisco Intelligent Automation, Cisco UCS, and VMware technologies. Gain insights from Cisco IT for the planning and development of your own private cloud.

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