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UCS Navigation @ Cisco Live 2012 in San Diego

As I prepare for an exciting week @ Cisco Live, I quickly found that I wanted to be at three places at the same time, so I decided to put together a navigation aid for the Cisco UCS related sessions.  We expect almost 15000 delegates to attend and hope the navigator helps you if you will be among them. If you are new to UCS and would like to see why more than 13000 customers are using the Cisco UCS check out the Solutions Keynote: Data Center and Cloud Solutions by Dr. David Yen Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Data Center Group (Wed Jun 13 at 12:30 PM).  For a high-level overview go through this presentation my colleague Thomas Cloyd put together, and we presented at EMC World last month.

Cisco Live is all about education; so don’t be surprised by the large number of UCS demos, seminar, technical breakouts, partner case studies and labs.  The navigator below should help you prioritize the sessions to attend.

What is Cisco UCS?

If you want an introduction to UCS then the following sessions should be interesting

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Cisco UCS @ EMC World 2012

This has been a very busy Spring for our Cisco Unified Computing System Marketing team.  I have been to several events including EMC World 2012 and Microsoft Management Summit 2012 where the Cisco UCS (Leader in Gartner Magic quadrant for Blade servers) was featured. Some of my colleagues also attended Interop Las Vegas 2012 and Gartner IT Infrastructure and Operations Management 2012.  I had the opportunity to discuss how the UCS is changing data center economics with an innovative design in the VCE booth theater.

I had several interesting conversations with customers regarding Cisco UCS Manager, the embedded device manager, which simplifies server management in the data center.  Customers spanned the entire gamut from those who had purchased the UCS three years ago when it was just introduced to those evaluating the product today. The following video summarizes the discussions.

I also attended the keynote address by VMWare CEO Paul Maritz, and found his talk fascinating. He alluded to two megatrends affecting Information Technology namely “Cloud” and “Big data”.

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Cisco at EMC World : Transformational Data Center Architecture

After several days  at SAPPHIRE 2012 in Orlando, Florida , where I got to attend amongst many other activities an interesting dialog between EMC Doc d’Errico  and Cisco VP Server Access and Virtualization BU Satinder Sethi (stay tuned video coming very soon) , I am back on the show floor this time in Las Vegas for EMC World.

In case you still don’t know (really?) , Cisco and EMC have a very close partnership on many fronts , as one of our very active blogger and speaker Jay Metz was highlighting yesterday in carrying proudly  this nice Infographics.

Obviously one of the main topic on the booth was Cisco UCS , whether as a stand alone platform, or integrated in a stack like Vblock, the solution provided jointly by Cisco , EMC and VMware under the brand VCE (check VCE Tom Chatham blog on EANTC Cloud Mega Test )

Recently Cisco and EMC deepened this partnership

“Cisco and EMC have a long history of partnering together for the benefit of our mutual customers, from storage solutions to the original Vblock to VSPEX.  For those of you who missed the announcement, VSPEX is a reference design program to help guide customers as they build out their next generation of infrastructure.  With our own success with the Cisco Validated Design program, we know this is an effective tool for customers as they look for trusted resources to guide infrastructure investment decisions. “wrote Omar Sultan in his blog  “VSPEX: our Continuing Exploits with EMC” 

So we invited today on the booth EMC Director and blogger Brian Gracely , our friend, blogger and reseller from Varrow  Jason Nash and Cisco Virtualization Architect Ron Valente to share with us the excitement of this first day .

In this short video, our 3 experts talk about “easy to use and manage “. Interesting enough, I was also attending yesterday  a Webex session about Cisco.com users based on a very large panel of Cisco customers . According to this survey, one of the major interests for our customers to visit high tech website such as Cisco, is to find information about how the systems are  “easy to use, configure, and manage”.

If you are in Las Vegas today, I’d like to make some suggestions for this second day at EMC World

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Cisco’s Cloud Verse, VCE and EANTC Cloud Mega Test

 

Tom Chatham is a Principal vArchitect with VCE Corporate Engineering responsible for delivering VCE solutions, customer solution testing, technical marketing events and evangelizing private cloud. 16 years of experience in the industry, most of that time spent focused on storage, virtualization and unified computing. Including extensive network infrastructure, systems architecture and business continuity.

Tom is at EMC World in Las Vegas  these days and on Twitter @tchatham – Check booths 410 or 515 .

I asked Tom to share  his experience and point of view on the EANTC Cloud Mega Test  – here is what he sent me

 

“Over the past four to five months, there has been significant buzz about VCE’s role in the EANTC Cloud Mega Test.  I was lucky enough to be a part of the test team, and I wanted to share some of my experiences in working on this fantastic project with EANTC and Cisco.

It started with a bang, of course.  Back in late January, Light Reading published their first report on the testing EANTC had done of Cisco’s CloudVerse architecture. I was at Cisco Live London where details of the test were first shared and members of the CloudVerse team were in attendance to share the results. Over the next couple of months, EANTC followed that up with other reports in the series.  All in all, they covered the Cisco Unified Data Center that is the foundation for cloud services, Cloud Intelligent Networks, Cloud Applications & Services, and Long-haul Optical Transport used in delivering cloud-based services.  Of course, I wasn’t involved in all of that.

As with all of the Mega Test programs (the Mobile Mega Test and Medianet Mega Test being the ones that Light Reading conducted previously), these programs are a big deal.  Cisco spends millions of dollars – literally – on lab infrastructure, engineers and communications for each one of these tests.  Light Reading has EANTC come in to provide independent, objective oversight and testing.  And when the report comes out, there is a lot of buzz in the industry on exactly what went on.  It’s not every day we get to play in a multi-million dollar sandbox!  I was one of several dozen people from Cisco, VMware, VCE, EMC and Ixia working on this project.

As the buzz about the test bounced around in the industry, a sidebar conversation emerged about VCE’s involvement in the test. As you may know from social media, I’m a Principal vArchitect with VCE Corporate Engineering.  Essentially, my job is to make sure that customers get the most out of VCE’s technology – VblockTM Systems.  The Vblock system is pre-engineered, pre-tested converged infrastructure that combines Cisco’s computing and networking equipment, EMC’s storage equipment, and virtualization from VMware.  VCE itself operates as a joint venture between Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel.

One of the things that was missed in the excitement over the test results themselves was the fact that the Vblock system played a big part in the Cloud Mega Test.

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Server Life cycle

The terms “life cycle” conjure up an image of a biology class on butterflies for me.  The metamorphosis that a butterfly undergoes is very interesting. Every stage has a specific purpose:

In the data center, life cycle of servers is something we deal with all the time.  For analysis we could consider physical, virtual or software servers just like I did in a previous blog. I drew the life cycle of the 3 servers and the resulting diagram is below.  Interestingly a physical server is the only one that can be truly re-purposed, more like the stages in the life cycle of a butterfly.

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