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Cisco UCS Mini and EMC Storage

On the way to tradeshow week (May 4th), I decided to do a brief blog series on UCS Mini tied to these shows. I’ve covered Microsoft Ignite and SAPPHIRE NOW in the past two weeks.

Last up, EMC World in Las Vegas. Read More »

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Tour the Cisco Allen Data Center

I had been looking forward to revisiting one of my favorite data center’s.  We had done this first back in 2011 and that video continues to do pretty well.

We had a chance to go back this year and one of the first things I noticed when we returned…it was filling up.  All the open floor space we shot the open for in 2011 was now filled and their were crews still pulling in fresh cable, racking new equipment and more. It was a busy place all night long.  (Watch the full tour)

TechWiseTV Allen Data Center Cable Pull

TechWiseTV Allen Data Center Cable Pull

One of the biggest reasons we returned was the growth in cloud services and the extensive use and build out of UCS of course, but now also ACI. The flexibility of this entire network relies upon the very use of technology that Cisco is developing. Its certainly on the mature side of course since this is one of Cisco’s primary production centers. As you would probably notice, its a beautiful, roomy layout that makes it desirable for touring. This is not common of course but it was built as a showcase for customers who want to see how things look when they all come together. The site is mirrored in Richardson, just a 20 minute drive South from this Allen location so that either site could take over and maintain operations for Cisco.

I am a big fan of all the physical facility innovation present here. These visual aspects would be appealing to a visual storyteller of course, but they also have not really changed since 2011. Read More »

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Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) For SAP HANA

Tailored Data Center Integration for SAP HANA enables the use
 of enterprise storage and networking components that already exist in your data center rather than requiring customers to purchase additional storage and networking to be used only for the SAP HANA environment.

Cisco and its partners deliver a TDI deployment model using a common architectural approach, built on standard building blocks with the Cisco Unified Computing SystemTM (Cisco UCS®) as the base. This approach gives application datacenter managers flexibility of choice in the way that they implement SAP HANA. Cisco supports the SAP HANA TDI deployment with shared storage and shared networking today.

SAP HANA TDI provides the first evolutionary step away from the constraints of a very controlled standalone appliance model toward a model in which application datacenters can be configured using existing SAP certified enterprise storage and enterprise networking.  When you use the SAP HANA TDI model, existing network and storage can be used only if sufficient resources are available and if all components used are SAP certified. Here, “sufficient resources” means that sufficient storage capacity and I/O bandwidth are available on both the storage system and the storage network to meet the SAP HANA application needs in your environment.

What does this mean for you?  You will gain the following benefits.  You can:

  • Use your existing storage and network investment in people, process, and equipment
  • Get the best use of your investment in current datacenter switching architecture
  • Create a more flexible deployment in which server, network, and storage resources can be moved between different SAP HANA and SAP business solutions applications, and even non-SAP applications 
mitigate risk and optimize operations and resources by using existing data center management processes for SAP HANA implementations
  • Gain flexibility in hardware vendor selection and SAP HANA configuration

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High performance backup storage: Cisco UCS C3160

I don’t know about you, but the thought of using a “server” as a “backup storage” resource may sound a bit odd at first. After this post, you may change your tune. Let’s dig into this a bit.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Cisco UCS Unified Computing line of servers and their associated Fabric Interconnect technologies. Additionally, you may know that there are M-Series, B-Series and C-Series form factors for the various configuration options that are in high demand for the modern data center. Which reminds me, you should check out this PDF poster of all of the current UCS components; it is my go-to resource to see how the different UCS offerings can be arranged and interconnected.

So let’s zoom in on the Cisco UCS C3160. It has a few key specifications that caught the interest of a number of keen architects in my extended professional networks which led to this notion of putting the C3160 in place as high performance and high capacity backup storage system. The most interesting specification is that the C3160 can hold up to 60 small form factor drives. Two additional small form factor SSD drives are in place for the boot volume. What this means is that these 60 drives can be used as a backup storage repository.  RAID levels are available on this configuration as well, in particular the Cisco 12G SAS Modular RAID controller supports RAID levels 0, 1, 5 and 6. I’d recommend RAID level 6 for this large of a storage resource in terms of drive capacity (up to 4 TB) and the sheer number of drives coupled with rebuild times and have some spares in place. That being said, there is easily over 200 TB available for backup storage in one C3160 server. Let’s take the following figure:

Ciscoblog-April 2015-FigA

The C3160 provides large amounts of backup storage with excellent connectivity

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Cisco UCS Mini for SAP and SAP HANA

On the way to tradeshow week (May 4th), I decided to do a brief blog series on UCS Mini tied to these shows. Last week was Microsoft Ignite.

This week SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando and the discussion of UCS Mini for SAP and SAP HANA.

Read More »

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