Many of us at Cisco who focus on the world of Microsoft are in Las Vegas, NV this week for Microsoft’s Management Summit 2012 (MMS 2012) event. Management has been a key focus area for our Cisco® Unified Computing System (UCS) family since the beginning and we have made extensive investments in management technologies.
Our Unified Management solutions afford seamless management and control of physical and virtual server environments and extend via integration into Microsoft’s System Center family. At MMS 2012 we will be showcasing our new infrastructure management tool offerings for Cisco UCS, UCS Manager, and System Center, specifically:
The Cisco UCS Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, enabling IT staff to monitor health status for 1-to-N Cisco UCS domains.
The Cisco UCS Integration Pack for Microsoft System Center Orchestrator, helping administrators automate and standardize UCS management.
Integration of Cisco UCS with Windows PowerShell through the Cisco UCS PowerTool, enabling administrators to manage infrastructure alongside operating systems and applications on UCS B-series, C-series, and stand-alone C-series servers by using a command line interface.
The UCS Manager XML API, providing a common programmatic means of managing Cisco UCS.
These new technologies can help IT staffs manage and orchestrate server and networking infrastructure and the Microsoft software stack holistically. Organizations can build on this foundation to achieve a data center that is integrated, with the network as the core foundation for innovation; highly available within and between data centers; and open, through support for standards and innovation for the best possible integration across systems.
The NC UCS User Group is a hit! The Users have spoken and with the help of some great speakers, we have successfully completed 2 NC User Group meetings for this quarter. We had very good turnout in both Greensboro and RTP.
You are probably thinking that CITEIS is a typo – but it’s not. In fact, CITEIS stands for Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services and it’s the name that Cisco’s IT department coined for our internal private cloud.
You can read more about CITEIS here, including an explanation of the two options: CITEIS “Express” for on-demand access to virtual compute resources from a shared pool of resources; and CITEIS “VDC” (Virtual Data Center) to provision your own virtual data center with a reserved pool of compute, storage, and network capacity.
We recently recorded a brief demo video of the Express version so you can see how it works:
Today, Cisco introduced the Third-Generation of Fabric computing. The power of unification can be seen in all aspects of the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). It unifies physical and virtual compute environments. It integrates the server and network access. It also unifies and simplifies the management of rack and blade servers. The choice between using blade and physical server is not obvious and usually sparks a heated debate. The Cisco UCS Manager with B-Series blades and C-Series Rack-mount servers makes this argument moot.
Without passing judgment on whether rack or blade servers are better, lets begin by listing the benefits of the two form factors. Blade server use is growing and there are many reasons for this:
Data center space / Power / Cooling constraints -- Data center space can get expensive depending on the location. In this CBS 60 minutes segment, proximity to the stock exchange is extolled. This fascinating video shows the collocation of data centers in urban nerve centers. I am sure data center space in these locations commands a premium. Energy efficiencies also become important in the overall cost structure. Power constraints may also favor the use of blades that consume less power than equally powerful rack mount servers.
What is the saying, two great tastes that taste great (better) together? This is in essence, the best way to describe the value of putting your Cisco Unified Communications on the Cisco Unified Computing Platform. While its certainly logical that we do something like this but and to the benefit of our customers, we have steadily increased the number of materials that help explain not just why this can be a huge cost and workflow savings, but also how one goes about doing it.
You can get a lot of written details but we of course suggest you watch one of our latest in the ‘Fundamentals’ series to get you ready.
Bonus points for the learners among you after the jump.