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FlexPod for the Future

I’ve been a huge fan of Cisco and NetApp’s FlexPod since 2011, when I had the pleasure of working with it for the first time.  We had just gotten two brand new UCS Chassis full of B-Series blades, and I was impressed with how quickly I had them up and running.   I wired up the UCS Chassis to a Nexus 5000 switch I had in the lab, as well as a NetApp FAS2020, it wasn’t pretty, and it wasn’t in the same rack, but it was still a FlexPod.  When I did some firmware updates a couple of weeks later, again, it was simple process.  I could have actually scheduled it to run later, which I thought was an extremely cool feature.  It took next to no time to have everything revved to current levels (the poor UCS sat in the lab neglected for a few months before I got my hands on it).

FlexPod has come a long way since then, so let’s take a look at some of the hottest Cisco Validated Designs out there today, and a little bit more about what makes a FlexPod a FlexPod Read More »

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ACI – Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure for Microsoft System Center, Windows Azure Pack and More

ACI_John+Satya

John Chambers with Satya Nadella at ACI Launch

From the beginning Microsoft has been a strategic partner with Cisco in the development of our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) technologies and solutions. In fact Cisco CEO John Chambers shared the stage with Microsoft’s Satya Nadella at the ACI launch several months ago in New York City.

ACI itself in the data center is a holistic architecture with centralized automation and policy-driven application profiles. ACI delivers software flexibility with the scalability of hardware performance. Traditionally, IT approaches took a siloed operational view, with no common operational model between the application, network, security, and cloud teams.  With ACI, a common network operational model delivers IT application agility, simplified operations across teams, assured network and application performance, and scale. Read More »

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Ready, Set…Cloud! Vblock, VxBlock and Cisco ACI usher in operational simplicity and software defined innovation for the cloud era

Complexity is easy. Simplicity is hard. Solving operational complexity has been one of the hardest challenges in data center and cloud build-outs. For customers, the challenge of interfacing with different infrastructure vendors and driving integration has been a significant hurdle in the past, slowing application rollouts. The success of the integrated Infrastructure approach has largely been due to focused efforts on behalf of multiple vendors to come together to solve this challenge, resulting in a new hyper-growth market category being created. According to IDC’s Q3CY2014 integrated infrastructure tracker, the integrated infrastructure market has grown to ~$5.5B annually and most analysts have this market growing at 30+ percent YoY.

A shining example of solving this huge challenge has been VCE’s Vblock offerings that have been on a stellar growth path. Nothing speaks better of this than customer success and market traction it enjoys –

  • VCE surpassed a $2 billion annualized demand run-rate for Vblock and Vblock-related products and services exiting Q3 2014.
  • Its sixth consecutive quarter of greater than 50% year-over-year demand growth.
  • Clear leader in integrated infrastructure systems according to Gartner and IDC
  • A leader in the Gartner, Inc. Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems, based on an evaluation of VCE’s completeness of vision and ability to execute.

With its UCS Integrated Infrastructure solution approach Cisco has been literally in the midst of all of this action. Cisco UCS, Nexus and MDS switches have been key components of the integrated offering along with innovations from the other companies.  Customers have loved the operational benefits as they scale their cloud build outs. Last October next-generation “ACI-ready” Vblocks were introduced allowing customers to further accelerate their journey to SDN and cloud.

And now it is time to raise the bar even further. As VCE introduces VxBlocks in addition to the flagship Vblock offering, as well as vScale architectures and VCE Vision 3.0, Cisco and VCE are together committed to build on the past success as we align our sights to the future –

  • VCE and Cisco are committed to drive open, future proof converged infrastructure solutions through the GA shipments of ACI-Ready Nexus 9K enabled Vblocks and Cisco UCS. We already have 100+ joint customers in production.
  • VxBlocks will be featuring Nexus 9K as their default networking platform to support all their different flavors of SDN within their integrated infrastructure, even as Cisco UCS will continue to be their default compute platform. As of Cisco’s last fiscal quarter, there were over 1700+ Nexus 9000 and Cisco ACI customers, making the Nexus 9000 one of the highest growth products within the company even as new Cisco APIC customers shot up to over 300+ within two quarters. Cisco UCS has been on a tear in terms of market share worldwide and has continued to set world record benchmarks.
  • The Vscale Fabric is ACI enabled and includes the Nexus 9000s as the networking component of the fabric.  This  allows customers to choose ACI and get the added benefits of such.  If a customer chooses to deploy ACI in the fabric then the APIC would be a deployed as an add-on.   The Vscale architecture also uses MDS as the SAN fabric enhancing the convergence capabilities.

 What Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Brings to Vblocks and VxBlocks:

Cisco ACI is all about operational flexibility and choice. For example, customers can enjoy the  benefits of the Nexus 9396 in a standalone mode, or deploy it as an ACI leaf configuration. This is called “ACI-ready”. They can also be “ACI-enabled”, which means the Nexus 9396s are ACI leafs connected to spines and APIC clusters all part (provisioned and supported) of a Vblock or VxBlock.

Read More »

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Cisco and Microsoft – Simplifying Scale-Up Cloud for Service Providers

As service providers strive to provide choices to their customers, we have made great progress in providing them with new ways to deliver cloud services. We’re helping them intelligently address all cloud opportunities with a portfolio of cloud solutions that meet customer requirements – for all types of cloud delivery models. That is why we are bringing the next level of simplicity, choice and value to our service provider cloud partners by partnering with Microsoft to deliver a next generation cloud architecture – the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform.

This new cloud architecture for scale-up enterprise workloads and applications is designed to enable service providers to easily offer IaaS/PaaS and SaaS in a single platform with a life-cycle approach to service delivery and policy management. Most importantly, it allows service providers to lower Read More »

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Cisco UCS demonstrates performance leadership with world-record Oracle PeopleSoft benchmark results

Cisco UCS®) delivered world-record performance on Oracle PeopleSoft Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS) 9.1 FP2 Self-Service (online transaction processing [OLTP]) and Self-Service and Payroll Batch benchmarks.

The Oracle PeopleSoft Human Resources Management System (HRMS) 9.1 FP2 benchmark results for the Self-Service section of the benchmark demonstrate world-record performance and linear scalability. These results give you direct evidence of the degree to which you can scale your Cisco Unified Computing System™ deployments as the number of users of your human resources management system grows

Oracle PeopleSoft HRMS 9.1 FP2 Self-Service Benchmark Results

Number of Users Average Search Time (seconds) Average Save Time ( seconds) Transactions per Minute Availability Date
12,000 0.294 0.139 2400 January 15, 2015
16,000 0.324 0.155 3200 January 15, 2015
20,000 0.353 0.167 4000 January 15, 2015

 

Oracle PeopleSoft HRMS 9.1 FP2 Self-Service and Payroll Batch Extra-Large Data Model Benchmark Results

Number of Users Minutes  Payments per Hour Availability Date
500,480 21.95 1,368,055 January 15, 2015

 

Some of the key highlights of Cisco’s Oracle PeopleSoft Benchmark results are:

  • The Oracle PeopleSoft HRMS benchmark is designed to provide verifiable performance metrics across a broad range of PeopleSoft HRMS workloads. With these world-record results, Cisco, EMC, and Oracle demonstrate the performance characteristics of real-life representative workloads to provide a template for you to use in obtaining exceptional performance for your business.
  • These results demonstrate world-record performance and linear scalability and give you direct evidence of the degree to which you can scale your Cisco Unified Computing System™ deployments as the number of users of your human resources management system grows
  • The world-record-setting Self-Service and Payroll Batch Extra-Large Data Model benchmark results show you how quickly you can accomplish batch payroll tasks. 

Check out the Performance Brief for additional information on the benchmark configuration. Cisco measured the performance of all three components of the Oracle PeopleSoft HRMS benchmark. The disclosures for the three components are available at the following locations:

It is interesting to note that although all vendors have access to same Intel processors, only Cisco UCS unleashes their power to deliver high performance to applications through the power of unification. The unique, fabric-centric architecture of Cisco UCS integrates the Intel Xeon processors into a system with a better balance of resources that brings processor power to life. . For additional information on Cisco UCS and Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure solutions please visit Cisco Unified Computing & Servers web page.

Disclosure

Cisco measured the performance of all three components of the Oracle PeopleSoft HRMS benchmark. The disclosures for the three components are available at the following locations:

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