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IT – The rapid pace of changes we can expect in 2014

We are almost at the end of January in 2014 and Cisco Live is underway in Europe.   The IT landscape is changing rapidly, and we all need to adapt to it.  In a previous blog I had listed some of the high priority issues for IT in 2014, and in this blog I will emphasize the rate of change needed to keep pace.

Cyber threats are growing in all forms and shapes.

From retail giants like Target to local school districts, all have been targets of attacks last year. This 2014 Cisco security report is an eye opener.  The use of cloud computing and mobile devices is only increasing the complexity of security. Vulnerabilities are increasing because data centers have thus far adopted “bolt on” security measures i.e disparate technologies with multiple control points that were never meant to work together. Malicious actors are working faster to exploit gaps. IT must adapt quickly to this new normal.

IT must now deliver services not technology

Business expects IT to deliver consistent high quality services.  Projects will not be one off, siloed, custom solutions.  This is akin to moving away from a job shop model to a highly industrialized continuous flow model in the world of manufacturing. Projects will get more complex due to the use of shared resources and the resulting interrelationships. All this calls for a high degree of automation and service assurance mechanisms, resulting in more changes to the IT department. At Cisco, we are working hard to provide IT the necessary tools to adapt to these changes. UCS Manager is still the gold standard in automating converged infrastructure setup and maintenance.  This is made possible with the service profile innovation shown in the video below.  To find out more about UCS Manager attend this meetup in Santa Clara on the 27th of Feb.

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UCS Manager vs. HP OneView

HP introduced the world to their OneView management appliance by comparing it to Cisco UCS Manager through a series of YouTube video attacks this past fall. I can almost hear the meetings… ‘Forget stealth, forget the high road – let’s attack the leader in converged systems management directly – let’s attack Cisco UCS Manager!‘ While we can’t help but respect HP’s gumption in attempting to pick on their #1 competitor, our flattery turned to dismay that HP continues to miss the boat on how UCS management truly works. Rather than respond with feigned outrage, we patiently waited for HP to release OneView for our own test drive. Read More »

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Cisco UCS – Year End TCO Wrap-up

As the year comes to a close, I wanted to revisit the economics of Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).

Cisco UCS has fantastic technology. Technology that technical decision makers are demanding. But what about business decision makers? The question for them is how will UCS save them money? Read More »

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Speak With Our Experts

Delivering unified management for converged infrastructure solutions, Cisco UCS Director is an award-winning choice for managing your vBlock, FlexPod or other converged infrastructure solution.  In previous blogs, I have mentioned the benefits of Cisco UCS Director:

  • How it abstracts the virtualization, compute, network and storage layers into a single pane of glass that reduces the complexity of managing your data center infrastructure
  • Speaking fluently to Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus and EMC or NetApp storage, how your organization receives the full functionality and benefits of the compute, network and storage layers.  As a stocking stuff, the hypervisor layer is included as well.  
  • Lastly, comprehensive management across physical, virtual and bare metal environments from a single pane of glass

Have you ever wondered if there was a way to see Cisco UCS Director in action — live with no strings attached?   

Well Virgina, there is a way for you to do just that.   I am not talking a canned demo or pre-recorded session available for replay.  A real, honest live demo —  and you can speak with our technical experts.     

Numerous sessions are scheduled over the next few months but the next two showings are:  December 17, 2013 and January 14, 2014.  We have two sessions each day to accommodate different time zones — choose the one that best meets your schedule. 

As work begins to slow down in preparation for the holidays, now is the perfect time to take an hour out of your day and learn more about Cisco UCS Director’s centralized automation and management capabilities. It will be an hour well spent.

To reserve your seat, register at:  http://bit.ly/I8Vhr3.    You can also learn more about Cisco UCS Director by going to:   http://buildprice.cisco.com/software/ucs-director

 

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Cisco UCS helps NHL’s Minnesota Wild Skate to Where the Puck is Going

NHLUCS

Speed is one thing that Cisco UCS and the NHL’s Minnesota Wild franchise share in common. If you have ever been to a professional hockey game you recognized and probably came to appreciate the speed, skill, and nimbleness of the players out on the ice. For Cisco UCS, speed is an attribute inherent in what we do, too – our compute business is highly competitive and requires constant, skillful, and quick innovation to deliver the best and newest in technology to our customers.

The NHL’s Minnesota Wild franchise rely on a Cisco UCS based I.T. infrastructure for their Microsoft Dynamics and CRM software portfolio. To better serve and interact with clients the Wild I.T. staff established three goals for their recent IT infrastructure transformation project:

  • Simplify infrastructure to boost staff productivity,
  • Improve resource management for controlled growth
  • Promote sustainability to conserve resources and provide environmentally conscious facilities for clients.

Looking at their long-term goals for cloud computing, the Wild staff decided to invest in a solution based on our Unified Computing System™ (UCS®) servers with Tegile based hybrid storage solutions. In doing so, the Wild established for them a highly agile data center environment that supports their current and future cloud initiatives with a virtual desktop infrastructure solution. The end results of the I.T. transformation project for the Wild were impressive as they:

  • Achieved 43 percent reduction in support costs
  • Reduced power by 63 percent and heat output by 68 percent
  • Reduced data from 42TB to 17TB

Once again we see the UCS architecture delivering improved performance at lower operating costs for a Microsoft oriented environment – Dynamics and CRM. In the case of the Minnesota Wild, a small I.T. organization when compared with larger enterprise I.T. organizations, they were able to deliver significant business value to their organization and position themselves for future technology shifts. Read more about the Minnesota Wild and their Cisco UCS experience here.

Learn more about Cisco’s Unified Data Center Microsoft solution capabilities at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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