One thing is clear -- IT world is changing and at a pace much faster than we have ever known. It seems appropriate to culminate the series in the world of applications. All entities, big and small ultimately want their data center infrastructure to run applications. They could be collaboration applications for internal use or with partners. The applications could be developed in house or could be commercial off the shelf (COTS). Some of the applications can provide the firm a competitive edge in the market – think recommendation engine used by Amazon. At the end of the day the application is providing a valuable service. With the advent of the Internet of Everything (IOE), there are many sources of data and connections that applications have to consider while delivering the service.
Imagine the Amazon recommendation engine taking into account your location and the temperature from a gauge near you. Assuming that application services are delivered from a data center, the application must also be cognizant of the different access mechanisms, desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets and mobile phones. The rate of change in these new technologies is brisk. As these rapid changes take place, Cisco offers Application centric infrastructure to ease the transitions. Read Cisco CTO, Padmasree Warrior’s blog on this.
When customers talk about why they like UCS they often sum it up in very concise terms. “It makes things a lot easier,” is a common refrain. But if you ask a Cisco technologist what’s good about UCS you’ll get a much more lengthy reply, probably more than you wanted to hear. That’s because when anyone fully describes all of the innovations in the solution, “under the covers,” so to speak, which conspire to bring about UCS benefits, they quickly find themselves reciting a rather long list of complex advancements. As I spend time in our booth at VMworld this week I hear both of these accounts of UCS. The long (how it rocks) and the short (why it rocks.) As luck would have it, some intrepid UCS product marketers have taken it upon themselves to bridge this yawning gap in the UCS lexicon.
First, remember that UCS is an outcome of starting with a clean sheet of paper and designing a system to rectify all the random acts of system architecture that had come before it. It’s also an outcome of a completely revolutionary way of approaching computing: not from the perspective of the constituent technologies but from the perspective of fusing them all together. UCS was expressly designed to eliminate the DIY integration that customers have been faced with for years. It was designed for a world of virtualization, automation and cloud. Fundamentally, UCS was designed to connect all the dots.
With the connections in mind, we’re introducing a technology ingredient brand into the UCS lexicon: Cisco SingleConnect Technology.
Each of these deeply sophisticated products plays a specific role, but taken altogether they create an elegant result: a simplified, uniform and extremely powerful connectivity model for servers and virtual machines. SingleConnect is way for us to describe how all of these together result in one connection for:
• LAN, SAN, and systems management
• Rack servers and blade servers
• Physical servers and virtual machines
SingleConnect, very simply, is the easiest, most intelligent and efficient way to connect and manage computing in the data center.
SingleConnect is Easy: UCS is a “wire once and walk away” solution that eliminates many of the traditional time-consuming, manual and error-prone tasks required to connect servers and virtual machines in the data center. UCS with SingleConnect is self-integrating, with automated and dynamic configuration of server I/O and networking components over a common connection. UCS centralizes administration, eliminating dozens of switching and server management points found in traditional environments while radically reducing cable management complexity.
SingleConnect is Efficient: SingleConnect Technology combines three network layers into one: top of rack, blade chassis and hypervisor switching. It also combines LAN, SAN and server systems management networks on a single fabric. Modular fabric extenders deliver capacity from a centralized fabric interconnect (single point of management) to as many as 160 servers, replacing all the Ethernet and FibreChannel switches typically deployed in much smaller server increments. Server I/O adapters (NICs, and HBA’s) are consolidated onto a single Virtual Interface Card, eliminating cost and simplifying administration.
SingleConnect is Intelligent: SingleConnect technology creates a virtualization-aware system, providing seamless VM mobility and advanced security capabilities for multi-tenant environments. I/O capacity is dynamically allocated across physical and virtual machines in the system in accordance with QOS policies, eliminating the need for manual administrator intervention and simplifying troubleshooting. Deterministic, low latency switching delivers industry leading bare metal and virtualized performance for traditional multi-tier application environments and cloud workloads alike.
Cisco SingleConnect Technology is not a specific product or feature, it is a way to describe how a deliberate roadmap of innovation solves against one of the oldest computing problems in the data center: “how do I connect all this stuff together?”
If you’re at VMworld in San Francisco this week, stop by the Cisco booth and we can give you demo of how SingleConnect brings it all together.
VMworld 2013 opens on August 25th, 2013, at the MOs cone Convention Center in San Francisco, California. Cisco is a Global Diamond Sponsor, as we highlight our Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS), Solutions for virtualization and cloud.
Cisco’s unique, fabric-centric architecture-Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS), combines high performance compute, network and storage access bound together by an integrated control plane with embedded systems management. Cisco UCS serves as a common, centrally managed platform that simultaneously supports the unique requirements of the full spectrum of application workloads and a wide variety of operating models for bare metal, virtualized or cloud environments
The best way to quickly learn about latest Cisco UCS innovations and solutions for virtualization and cloud is by seeing them “LIVE IN ACTION”. Come to the Cisco booth #1005 to leverage the Cisco UCS demos, theater sessions and related activities at VMworld San Francisco, 2013.
Learn more about Cisco UCS: Visit Cisco booth # 1005 to interact with peers, Cisco executives, and Cisco partners.
Ask Cisco UCS Experts: Cisco UCS experts will be available to answer your questions and provide interactive live demonstrations of Cisco UCS.
Attend Keynote speaking sessions:
1. Monday, August 26th-3.30-4.30 pm: ATT’s Migration to vSphere with AutoDeploy
Speaker: John Kennedy- CSPG UCS Product Mgmt. and DC Solutions
2. Tuesday August 27th-3.30-4.30 pm: Cisco Innovations Enabling Cloud Infrastructures
Speaker: Ram Appalaraju- VP, Marketing
3. Wednesday, August 28th-11.00-12.00 pm: The Next Wave of Virtualization & Fabric Computing with Cisco’s Unified Computing System
Speaker: Roger Barlow-CSPG UCS Product Mgmt. and DC Solutions
Attend Cisco UCS Theater Sessions:Visit the Cisco Solutions Theater at booth #1005 to attend the informative Cisco UCS theater sessions.
Sunday, August 25th -- 4.30-4.50 pm- Pragmatic Approach to Transforming UCS
Monday, August 26th -12.30-12.50 p.m.-Managing a Growing UCS environment
Monday, August 26th -2.00-2.20 p.m. -- UCS Central Best Practices
Tuesday August 27th -12.00-12.20 pm- vCenter Orchestration plugin for Cisco UCSM
Tuesday August 27th -2.00-2.20 pm-UCS Best Practices in VM Environments
Tuesday August 27th -3.30-3.50 pm-Deploying a Private Cloud with FlexPod and UCS Director
Wednesday, August 28th- 10.30-10.50 am- VMware vSAN – Data Center integration with Branch Offices on Cisco UCS and Cisco UCS E” and “VMware vSAN on Cisco UCS – The Cisco Advantage
Wednesday, August 28th- 11.30-11.50 am-Unified Infrastructure Management with Cisco UCS Director
Explore the Cisco Unified Computing Demos: Simplify Compute, Network and Storage Access Management with Cisco UCS
1. Simplify Computing with UCS Manager, UCS Central and SingleConnect : Get simplified and cost-effective infrastructure for bare-metal, virtualized, and cloud environments. Reduce cost & complexity with Cisco SingleConnect technology and Simplify management with UCS Central across multiple data centers and geographies.
2. UCS and VMware Management Integration: Demonstrates the integration of UCS into VMware orchestration tools, including a vCenter plug-in and monitoring tools.
3. Scalable, Higher Performance Virtual Desktops: Demonstrates the performance, manageability and TCO advantages that UCS brings to VMware Horizon View desktops for scalable, stateless/floating desktops and graphics-intensive workstations/applications.
4. Cisco UCS V-Rack Kaon demo: Interactive Kaon demo showcasing Cisco UCS system components and solutions
I will be at both # 1005 with the Cisco UCs Experts team throughout VMworld 2013. Please stop by to ask questions, and to get a live Cisco UCS demonstration.
Deploying new servers is a routine task in data centers. Whether it is tied to server refreshes, net new compute initiatives or to an expansion of existing compute capacity, adding new servers can be a time consuming activity for IT personnel. This server deployment process has historically been very manual, with many solutions requiring:
Multiple tools or scripts
Repeated human interaction by the server team throughout the deployment process
Coordination of activities across server, networking and storage administrators for every server deployed.
All of these add to complexity, increase time to production, increase costs, and unavoidably increase the potential of human error.
What is needed is a dependable, repeatable process that automates and streamlines server deployment activities. This lets IT staff to devote their time to more value added activities which improves operations and productivity, yielding a much better TCO picture. Automated, fast, efficient, scalable management and infrastructure -- this is where Cisco UCS and UCS Manager excel.
The efficiency of Cisco UCS server deployment is tied to UCS Manager. Cisco took a unique approach to computing and focused on the common point of interaction, the fabric. Servers don’t operate in isolation. They are part of a total environment that at the minimum encompasses servers, networking, management and storage – a Fabric Based Infrastructure . Cisco’s comprehensive and efficient architecture is the key to why customers worldwide are rapidly adopting UCS.
This detailed paper (below) does a side by side “time to deploy” evaluation of the Cisco UCS B200 M3 and the HP BL460c Gen8. The strength of UCS and UCS Manager for automation is clear in the ease of use and lack of complexity.
Below is a new time lapse side-by-side video -- B200 M3 is 77% Faster Blade Deployment vs. HP BL460c Gen8.This new video (July 2013) illustrates the Business Advantage of the Cisco UCS Unified Compute, Unified Fabric and Unified Management -- Cisco’s Unified Data Center. Comparing this video to the one we did for the B200 M2 is 47% Faster Blade Deployment vs. HP BL460c G7 (May 2011), Cisco UCS Manager has shaved a full minute off the deployment time for two blade servers and still only takes 14 steps to set up the automated process. HP’s time to deploy increased dramatically and is still very serial nature with lots of manual inputs.
Pack your bags, double up on shoes and leave room for swag, it’s time for VMworld 2013, and Team Cisco Data Center has a lot going on. For a full round up of our show presence, this: http://www.cisco.com/go/vmworld
Yes, that is a tower of real bacon at #vBacon.
Now for the the behind the scenes look. First, follow @CiscoDC and #ciscovmw for all Cisco-flavored information from the show. This year’s Roving Reporter duties will be most ably handled by Scott Hanson (@CiscoServerGeek). Follow Scott for up to the minute geek’s-eye views on what’s happening.
We are also welcoming Maish Saidel-Keesing (@maishsk), one of five Cisco vExperts, who will be leading a talk through our #vBrownBag sponsorship. Details pending--we’ll update you as we have the specifics.