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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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“You’re going to need a bigger room” NC UCS User Group

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.

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Private Cloud Roadshow: CITEIS – Coming to a City Near You!

March 9, 2012 at 9:01 am PST

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:

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