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Post CA World 2013

May 9, 2013 at 7:55 am PST

The last couple of weeks have been among my most hectic.  CA World 2013 was a blast and the return flight from Las Vegas was an adventure in itself with an inebriated co-passenger. Over the weekend I attended a colorful Indian wedding deep in heart of the Austin hill country.  Anyone who has been a part of the groom’s party knows how tiring it can be.  To top it, last week I was at OSCON (Open Source Conference) 2013, a conference hosted by Cisco at which we had speakers from IBM, Canonical, Red Hat and Rackspace Hosting among others.

The keynote session at CA World 2013 with Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, was absolutely fascinating.  Richard spoke about how he started Virgin Airlines. We also got to see the advertisement for space travel with another of his ventures – Virgin Galactic.  A musical performance by the Goo Goo Dolls on the 23rd of April ended with a spectacular fireworks display.

The Cisco UCS session at CA World 2013 by Mark Balch and Lax Sakalkale was well received. In the session Mark highlighted how the increasing demands on data centers and adoption of cloud computing require IT departments to be agile and use flexible infrastructure.  He then went on to show why more than 20,000 customers have adopted converged infrastructure based on Cisco UCS technology to meet these requirements.  He gave examples of operational efficiency with Cisco UCS in deploying solutions such as VDI, Cloud and Big Data applications. He also cited case studies in which customers had seen significant economical benefits. Lax then showed some of the advantages of managing the UCS infrastructure with solutions from CA Technologies.

Cisco UCS -- CA World 2013 from Ranjit Nayak

We also had a houseful of attendees in the theater session, which discussed real world operations management results from UCS deployments.  This session aggregated the results from customer case studies. It also went on to explain the underlying basis for the economical gains that customers are experiencing.  Most importantly we had engaging conversations with customers who were designing and deploying continuity and disaster recovery solutions for business critical applications on Cisco UCS.  We heard from at least two customers who had UCS blade servers running the critical software for their business.

The following were some of their reasons to invest in business continuity: Read More »

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Cisco UCS Delivers Industry-Leading SPECjbb2013 Results

On April 17th, 2013 Cisco announced SPECjbb2013 results with the Cisco UCS C220 M3 Rack Server delivering top SPECjbb2013 MultiJVM 2-socket x 86 performances.

Cisco’s results on the SPECjbb®2013 benchmark—41,954 maximum Java operations (max-jOPS) and 16,545 critical Java operations (critical-jOPS)— demonstrate that the Cisco UCS® C220 M3 Rack Server and Oracle Java Standard Edition (SE) 7u11 can provide an optimized platform for Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) and deliver accelerated response to throughput-intensive Java applications.

Exercising new Java SE 7 features, the SPECjbb2013 benchmark stresses the CPU processing, memory speed, and chip set performance capabilities of the underlying platform. The result consists of two metrics: the full capacity throughput (max-jOPS) and the critical throughput (critical-jOPS) under service-level agreements (SLAs), ranging from 10 to 500 milliseconds (ms) from request issuance to receipt of a response indicating operation completion.

 To compete in the SPECjbb2013 MultiJVM category, the tested configuration consisted of a controller and two groups each consisting of a transaction injector and back-end, all running across multiple JVM instances within a single operating system image. The JVM instances ran on a Cisco UCS C220 M3 Rack Server. Two 2.90-GHz, 8-core Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2690 CPUs powered the Cisco UCS C220 M3 server running the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 operating system and Java HotSpot™ 64-Bit Server Virtual Machine Version 1.7.0_11. The Cisco UCS C220 M3 Rack Server and Oracle Java SE 7u11 delivered fast response times and high transaction throughput on the SPECjbb2013 benchmark. The system supported 41,954 max‑jOPS and 16,545 critical-jOPS,  representing  the best critical-jOPS 2-socket x86 result in the MultiJVM category

 The “Cisco UCS C220 M3 Rack Server Delivers Industry-Leading SPECjbb2013 Results” Performance Brief provides additional benchmark configuration details. Official Benchmark Certification is available at the SPECjbb2013 official web site at: http://www.spec.org/jbb2013/results/res2013q2/jbb2013-20130403-00028.html.

 
spec
 Cisco UCS based SPECjbb2013 benchmark results show that the Cisco UCS C220 M3 Rack Server delivers excellent scalability to JVMs and applications. SPECjbb2013 benchmark results show that the Cisco UCS C220 M3 Rack Server delivers more throughput within specified time frames than solutions from other vendors.

Cisco UCS delivers the scalability needed for large-scale Java application deployments. The dramatic reduction in the number of physical components results in a system that makes effective use of limited space, power, and cooling by deploying less infrastructure to perform more, work. Cisco UCS C220 M3 Rack Servers can operate in standalone deployments or be managed as part of the Cisco Unified Computing System for increased IT operation efficiency. For additional information on Cisco UCS and Cisco UCS solutions please visit www.cisco.com/go/ucs

 Girish Kulkarni

Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Unified Computing System 

gikulkar@cisco.com

SPEC and SPECjbb are registered trademarks of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. The performance results described are derived from detailed benchmark results available at http://www.speck.org/ as of April 22, 2013.

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Cisco at CA World 2013

April 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm PST

I am writing this from CA World 2013 in Las Vegas where the atmosphere is charged up.  The theme for this conference is “Go Big. IT with Impact”.  The idea is that IT departments have to think big to make material business impacts and succeed.  At the end of the day IT needs to solve business problems. Companies need the right strategy and technology solutions to harness the Cloud, Internet of Everything, mobile and Big Data. In a “partner with impact” session exclusively for partners, David Bradley, SVP Channel Sales, CA Technologies featured Rick Snyder, VP Global Partner Organization, Cisco.  The complete video is below

In this video, Rick mentions Cisco Validated designs (CVD), which are reference architectures, and blue prints for success. These designs incorporate a wide range of technologies and products into a portfolio of solutions developed to address the business needs of our customers.  These CVDs document solutions that are tested to facilitate and improve customer deployments.

CA Technologies stressed the importance of the SaaS delivery model and the benefits of providing application services.  CA also thinks that the opportunity for enterprise class application services offered as managed services will grow rapidly.  Service providers should be beneficiaries of this shift. A common customer of Cisco and CA Technologies – Logicalis, won the partner impact award for their managed private cloud solution for a UK bank.

There were several interesting announcements in the past 24 hours. The following caught my attention.

  1. CA in association with SAP will provide Mobile device Management solutions for enterprises. IT Management and Security are very high on the agenda for most enterprises. As more enterprise applications run on mobile devices securing and managing these devices becomes critical.
  2. CA also announced devops automation capability with the Nolio products.  With application aware system monitoring and management enterprises can expedite application development and reduce costs.
  3. CA Technologies announced the acquisition of Layer 7 technologies, a leader in the API management space.  APIs have become a necessity for application developers. REST-based APIs have allowed application developers to build rich web and mobile apps by providing the ability to integrate multiple services into individual application.

These approaches complement the way in which we help our own customers. The ISR-AXs are application aware and improve user experience at remote branch offices. The Cisco UCS has an API and facilitates infrastructure programmability.  This enables integration, orchestration and execution of automated workflows. We will have two breakout sessions tomorrow at the conference:

TD055SN- Cisco UCS and CA: Operational efficiency with Converged Infrastructure (Speaker : Mark Balch, Director of Product Management, Data Center Business Unit)

TB056SN- Delivering Optimal Application Experience with Cisco ISR-AX (Speaker: Liad Ofek, Manager, Technical Marketing at the Service Routing Group)

I am eagerly looking forward to the keynote this evening by Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group.

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Cisco UCS – Quintessential Fabric-based computing – Part 3

April 19, 2013 at 10:21 am PST

In Part 1 of this blog series, we looked at Gartner’s definition of Fabric based infrastructure (FBI). In part 2, we explored the benefits of service profiles and automation of server management. In this last installment, we will look into the benefits of fabric extension to virtual machines.

According to an IDC report (New Economic Model for the Data Center), the rate of growth of virtual machines is much higher than physical machines.  The life cycle of virtual machines is more dynamic than physical servers. Virtual machines may need to be moved from one network to another for data access.  Additionally, typical deployments of virtual machines have an extra layer of switching in the hypervisor.  The software switches in the hypervisor emulate hardware at the expense of application performance. Cisco UCS solves these problems with the Cisco Virtual Interface cards (VICs) acting as adapter fabric extenders (fig 1) and bringing the network to virtual machines (VMs).

FEX

Another problem is that network administrators have no control on the soft switches in the hypervisor, which makes monitoring of network traffic to individual VMs very cumbersome. Cisco VICs use the VN-Tag standard in IEEE 802.1 BR standard to manage each link from the VM as if it were a Read More »

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Cisco and Red Hat Explore Partnership for Red Hat Distribution of OpenStack (RDO)

At the OpenStack Summit 2013, Red Hat announced RDO, a freely available, community-supported distribution of OpenStack. OpenStack is an open source cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter.

In addition to the new release, Red Hat also announced today the launch of an official Cloud Infrastructure Partner Program, “a multi-tiered program designed for third-party commercial companies that offer hardware, software and services for customers to implement cloud infrastructure solutions powered by Red Hat OpenStack.” I’m excited about the  solution opportunities that are possible by combining UCS and Nexus offerings  with Red Hat on the OpenStack cloud infrastructure.

Read the announcement here:

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Red Hat OpenStack Announcement

Why is this a good fit for Cisco’s Customers?

Read More »

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