Capital cost savings with infrastructure consolidation
Lower operating costs with automation
Speed of implementation and infrastructure deployment
Better SLAs with faster recovery or migrations
Let’s dig a bit deeper and start by looking at the difference between a FBI server and a run of the mill server. FBI essentially lets us define the profile of a server in software. The profile here refers to as many as 120 attributes of a physical server stored as meta data in a profile. These attributes include BIOS version, LAN connection parameters, SAN connection parameters, UUID, MAC Address etc.
In the case of run of the mill servers some of these attributes remain the same throughout the life of the physical server. You may be able to alter other attributes with manual operations through proprietary user interfaces. As shown in the figure above, the server identity (service profile) of a FBI server is abstracted from the physical server.
Tune in to the webcast, this Thursday, Nov 8, which specifically addresses large-scale fabric computing to find out more. Research firm, Gartner, defines fabric computing as “A set of computing, storage, memory and I/O components joined through a fabric interconnect, and the software to configure and manage them”. In a study on fabric computing adopters earlier this year, Gartner researchers called out the following three major impacts:
External service providers justify fabric-based infrastructure (FBI) based on operating cost savings and density (for greater revenue per square foot), while enterprises base their FBI acquisitions primarily on capital cost savings.
Gartner clients found that FBI’s use of templates and profiles improves resiliency because, in the event of infrastructure failure, they can recreate servers in minutes.
Virtually all clients with FBI in production found a reduction in time to provision from two to three months to a few hours to three days.
Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) is leading this industry transition to fabric computing, and with Cisco UCS Central, catapulting it to an unprecedented scale. In his blog, Todd Brannon, Unified Computing Product Marketing Senior Manager, explains UCS Central in a nutshell. Cisco UCS Central lays the foundation for disaster recovery by providing the ability to recreate the infrastructure environment in a different data center. With Cisco UCS Central, customers can manage dynamic environments efficiently without higher-level software and complex setups. With an open API, UCS Central allows users to retain existing data center processes and tools. It also provides role-based administration to support collaboration across disciplines and to accommodate necessary organizational changes.
Cisco Live in San Diego with a record breaking 17000 attendees was a blast, as you can tell from the video montage below. I unwittingly ended up in the video for a brief second.
The tag line “What you make possible” was prominently displayed at the conference. For me it was a great opportunity to talk to Cisco UCS users and partners who make a whole lot possible in their respective organizations. The keynote by Cisco CEO, John Chambers featured moving a computation workload from a Cisco UCS server in the data center to an E-Series server in a branch office and it created a buzz.
In a customer appreciation event, I got to talk to a prominent service provider and Cisco customer who had been a user of the Cisco UCS when it was just introduced in the market three years ago. We talked at length about how they wanted to set up a common server Read More »
When we really try and boil down the appeal of Cloud Computing, the ability for a person or business to move from “great idea” to “implementing the concept” almost always moves to the top of the list. The true value of Cloud Computing is fundamentally about “now”. You want resources now. At times you’ll want to expand those resources now, as the business grows. You might also need to reduce those resources now, as projects end or priorities changes.
The concept of “now” was the focus of Cisco’s participation in the Intel “Day in the Clouds” event last week at their campus in Oregon. The event allowed all of the Intel Cloud Builder partners to come together and collaborate around the technologies evolving the Cloud Computing market. This was a follow-up to the initial Reference Architecture that we had submitted to the program, which focused on a modular implementation of Virtualized Multi-Tenant Data Centers.
ChipChat podcast with Intel’s Allyson Klein and Brian Gracely -- “Enabling the Unified Data Center with Cisco”