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Cisco, Citrix, NetApp and the World of Connected Devices…

April 18, 2012 at 9:30 am PST

Today’s Day 2 keynote at Microsoft’s Management Summit (MMS) here in Las Vegas focused on the world of connected devices and how IT organizations struggle at times to  deliver quality  services based on the demands of our anytime, anywhere, always on world.

One solution being demonstrated this week at MMS helps to resolve some of these issues. The Citrix XenDesktop on FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution is a joint effort between Cisco, Citrix, and NetApp in the Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) area. The solution helps to simplify, secure, and scale desktop virtualization on Cisco’s agile data center infrastructure based on Cisco UCS while also incorporating storage assets from NetApp and desktop assets from Citrix.  All based on a Windows Server, System Center (including support for System Center 2012!), and Hyper-V environment.

This combination of technologies from Cisco, Citrix, Microsoft, and NetApp has produced a highly efficient, robust and scalable Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for a hosted virtual desktop deployment. To learn more details about this new offering, please download the publicly available reference architecture at the link below:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/unified_computing/ucs/UCS_CVDs/ucs_xd56_flexpod.html

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Migrate Oracle PeopleSoft to Cisco UCS

April 18, 2012 at 8:23 am PST

From an IT manager’s perspective, the applications that run the business are important, very important. In fact, many RISC/UNIX migration discussions focus on application support, performance, and availability. With a growing number of customers transforming their IT practices and economics by migrating off RISC/UNIX platforms to Cisco UCS, we have introduced Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) for business-critical applications which also contain a RISC/UNIX migration element.

The first migration focused CVD is Oracle PeopleSoft on Cisco UCS. The goal of this CVD is to provide sufficient information to run an Oracle ERP application like PeopleSoft on Cisco UCS. ERP applications are the backbone for many organizations to run their business functions and robust performance is a requirement. With that in mind, we measured the online performance of Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Resources Management System (HRMS) 9.1 using Oracle Database 11g on Red Hat Enterprise Linux ( RHEL) 5.6 operating system. The solution was comprised of a standard 3-tier technology stack of web, application and database servers. The web and application servers were run on Cisco UCS B200 M2 blade servers and the database server was run on a Cisco UCS B250 M2 blade. This benchmark measured client response times for up to 2500 concurrent users which represents a small to medium-sized company profile.

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Cisco UCS Business Advantage Delivered: Radically Simplified Data Center Management

In my last blog I focused on the architectural differences between traditional blade servers and Cisco UCS. Although I touched on the issue of management complexity,  let’s take a closer  look into how operational costs are affected by the cost of provisioning, monitoring, and managing your infrastructure.

According to many industry studies, roughly 70% of current IT budgets are allocated to maintenance activities with only 30% allocated to innovation. This spending imbalance comes from the fact that maintaining infrastructure is hard.  Much of the difficulties are caused by the “accidental architecture” of management systems that have been put in place as an afterthought. For example, a traditional blade server chassis with 16 blades can have anywhere from 13 to 20 management interfaces!

Then you want to add virtualization on top of this environment? It is no wonder IT departments are struggling to meet cost objectives and run day-to-day operations smoothly!

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Cisco and Microsoft’s Private Cloud Fast Track Program

April 17, 2012 at 9:41 am PST

This morning at Microsoft’s Management Summit event here in Las Vegas Microsoft announced their new Private Cloud Fast Track program. Cisco is pleased to be recognized as a charter member of this program. Private Cloud Fast Track, a joint effort between Microsoft and Cisco, enables our clients to quickly get up and running with pre-configured Windows Server & Hyper-V based private clouds utilizing Cisco UCS, Nexus, and UCS Manager technology.

At Cisco we believe we are moving to an interconnected “World of Many Clouds” – our Fast Track offerings will enable our clients who choose a Microsoft private cloud environment to quickly activate and deliver an agile, efficient, and simple IT infrastructure.

Learn more about Cisco’s Microsoft solutions and capabilities at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft

  

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Cisco’s UCS Manager and PowerTool: Optimally Managing Microsoft Environments

April 16, 2012 at 10:28 am PST

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.

To test drive UCS Manager, please visit: http://www.cisco.com/assets/sol/ucp/flash/cisco-ucs-test-drive/ .

To download PowerTool and our Microsoft System Center management packs, please visit: http://developer.cisco.com/web/cdc/tech/unifiedcomputing .

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