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Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for OpenStack: Enabling Reliable OpenStack Cloud for Enterprises

Companies are going through a change in the way they conduct their businesses and digital transformation is paving the way. IT services and applications are distributed and beyond the traditional boundaries of the data center. Cloud adoption is a big part of the transformation. Enterprises are looking at multiple cloud technologies from established and emerging players to handle the transformation.

More and more companies are adopting Fast IT as a standard to meet these challenges.  Dev and test teams are looking to shorten the development life cycle, and innovative cloud developers are looking for platforms that are programmatic and automatable. Companies are looking at flexible, open options to meet these needs in-house. OpenStack, is emerging as the leading open source cloud computing software platform and customers are actively considering it for their businesses.

OpenStack has come a long way in the last few years; the broad OpenStack community is delivering new features and capabilities rapidly. It has gained interest across various customer segments. However it continues to be a challenge for businesses to adopt OpenStack due to the skillset needed to design, optimize and deploy an OpenStack based cloud in their data centers. Another challenge is the support needed to maintain, troubleshoot and evolve with the industry.

Cisco Validated Designs and Implementation Guides offer proven processes and tested configurations that reduce the complexity of deploying OpenStack. Cisco works closely with ecosystem partners like Red Hat and Intel to develop validated solutions for standing up OpenStack based private clouds.

Earlier this year, we released ‘FlexPod Datacenter with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform,’ a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for running OpenStack on our trusted FlexPod architecture, composed of Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Nexus family of switches, and NetApp unified storage systems. For customers interested in running OpenStack with Ceph storage, another CVD is in the works.

Next week, we will release a new CVD jointly developed with Red Hat and Intel. The new validated solution combines the power of Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure with the most recent OpenStack distribution from Red Hat, so our customers can more easily and quickly deploy OpenStack private clouds.

Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for OpenStack

Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure is a reliable, scalable industry-leading platform that matches the needs of an agile business. Cisco’s innovative solutions for stateless computing, programmability and automation are enabled within the context of OpenStack through easily available, open source plugins.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is a stable and tested distribution of OpenStack. OSP director is an integrated and centralized tool for deployment and management of OpenStack and Ceph.

Intel has made key contributions towards making OpenStack enterprise-ready such as support for live migration capability and scalability.

All the capabilities and features of Cisco UCS and contributions by Intel are delivered and deployed through Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 7 (OSP 7), for a seamless and stable experience. With this solution customers can manage compute, network, storage, hypervisors and virtual machines from the OpenStack environment. Our fundamental focus is to deliver an enterprise ready OpenStack platform solution with validated configuration, to increase speed of deployment and reduce risk.

For easy adoption of OpenStack, Cisco will be the single point-of-contact for installation and on-going support for the entire solution including the infrastructure and OpenStack . Cisco will work with Red Hat to provide coordinated support for faster resolution.

Simplifying OpenStack deployment is critical for the success of our customers and to ensure IT adoption of the technology; we are committed to delivering that to our customers with our eco-system partners.

Please join us at the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo between Oct 27-29th to learn about the solutions we are building to address customer needs, our participation and contributions to OpenStack, or for any discussions on OpenStack.

Our Cisco Validated Design for deploying Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform on Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure will be available for download in the Cisco Design Zone.

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Join us in San Francisco or Online for Oracle OpenWorld 2015

The Golden Gate Bridge. Cable cars. These images immediately come to mind when we think of San Francisco. If you’re in the IT industry, however, San Francisco is all about Oracle OpenWorld (#OOW15) which kicks off on Oct 25th. Whether you’re attending #OOW15 in person or not, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn how Cisco UCS delivers record-breaking performance and exceptional ROI for your Oracle workloads.

We’re setting Oracle world records. See #CiscoUCS at #OOW15

A video posted by Cisco Data Center & SDN (@ciscodc) on

You won’t be able to miss the Cisco booth (#801) as you enter the Moscone South Hall. Apart from our prime location, we plan on standing out with a full schedule of tech talks in our theater, live video interviews with industry leaders and great conversation with Oracle experts from Cisco.

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Bring the Industrial Revolution to your Oracle Workloads (Learn More by Stopping at Booth 801 at OOW 2015)

When I think of how technology has changed in the data center, I am always reminded of the history of the industrial revolution.  Wikipedia begins its definition and description of the industrial revolution in these words: “The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines … and the rise of the factory system.”* Wikipedia goes onto say: “The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history; almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way”*

The industrial revolution reminds me of a strong metaphor between the productivity benefits of abstracting all attributes of UCS Servers in software (UCS Manager, UCS Central, UCS Director) and the assembly line of the industrial revolution.  This historical analogy helps illustrate and underscore how much customers can benefit from a switch to Cisco UCS servers.   The historical parallel between these two changes in producing goods (industrial revolution) and the provisioning and deploying servers (UCS Manager/ UCS Central/UCS Director) (producing server images in software) is striking on many levels.


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The Power Of Partnering: Microsoft Recognizes FlexPod Partner Innovation

Cisco is proud to celebrate its five years of partnering with NetApp in delivering unprecedented value to customers with the FlexPod integrated infrastructure solutions. This innovative collaboration has helped simplify and modernize enterprise IT so that organizations can achieve better business outcomes. In its first five years, FlexPod has experienced incredible growth, generating shared revenues of $5.6 billion. And today, more than 6,300 customer organizations and 1,100 partners worldwide have experienced how FlexPod lets them reimagine what technology can do.

The power of partnering with NetApp was further validated when Cisco and our partners were recently recognized as Microsoft Partners of the Year in two categories with integrated solutions built on FlexPod.


(L: Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, shares a special moment with Rick Snyder, SVP Americas Partner Organization at Cisco, at the 2015 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando R: Jennifer Hewlett, Director of Global Technology and ISV Partner Marketing at Cisco receives the Microsoft Partner of the Year Award from Phil Sorgen, Corporate Vice President—WW Partner Group at Microsoft.  )

First, Cisco, NetApp and Dimension Data received Microsoft’s Partner of the Year Award in the Modern Data Center, Customer Focus, category for the work in creating the Zero Touch solution at ING Direct. Cisco, NetApp, Microsoft and Dimension Data teamed to create a fully integrated solution that enables ING DIRECT to meet its customers’ online needs by speeding the release of new products to market and never having to take any banking application down ever again. The solution implemented was Microsoft Private Cloud on FlexPod—a computing, networking, and storage solution developed by Cisco and NetApp.

Additionally, Cisco partner, Scalability Experts, was named the Microsoft Data Platform Partner of the Year for the amazing results attained with the SQL Server 2014 on FlexPod at Iforium.  For example, after testing up to 50,000 concurrent users of Iforium with the Flexpod Data Center for Microsoft Private Cloud, Scalability Experts found 208% faster transaction response times and 250% faster page response times which are impressive results especially when considering that a few millisecond differences in response times can mean the gain or loss of millions of dollars

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Swimming in Data and Analytics

    As I prepare to go to the Data and Analytics conference in Chicago next week, I just realized how much I have been swimming in big data and analytics lately. There has been so much going that I think It makes sense to that highlight some activities from last week, upcoming activities next week and in early November.
    In case you haven’t been keeping up with the frantic pace make sure you check out the news form last week:

Data Preparation Announcement

    Kevin Ott, General Manager of Cisco Data Virtualization and Connected Analytics Business Unit, introduced Cisco Data Preparation. This is a new big data and analytics offering for business analysts and IT that makes it easy for non-technical business analysts to gather, explore, cleanse, combine and enrich the data that fuels analytics and business decisions.
    Bob Eve, Data Virtualization BU, and Robert Novak, UCS Sales Engineering, also had a great discussion on new Cisco big data offerings at Strata + Hadoop World last week.

    Ok, so on to next week and things that I recommend that you don’t miss:

Data and Analytics Keynote

    If you will be in Chicago next week, you are in luck because the line up for the keynote sessions is great. 

        – Mike Flannagan, VP and GM of Cisco’s Data and Analytics Business Group
        – Jim Green, CTO of Cisco’s Data and Analytics Business Group
        – Award-winning journalist and radio and TV personality Stephen J. Dubner author of Freakonomics. 

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