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A New Generation of Cisco UCS Power Calculator

We are proud to announce the new Cisco UCS Power Calculator and Estimation Tool. It features an all new User Interface (UI) and is currently live at http://ucspowercalc.cisco.com

The tool contains many new features, including the ability to create templates and projects where configuration data is stored. Templates and projects improve agility as well as enable collaboration among users through exporting and importing user-specific  configuration data.

powercalcimage

Additionally, the new power calculator offers a powerful RESTful API, which allows third party applications to connect and generate power estimations by simply passing through actual configuration data.  This architecture provides a single source for all power estimates.

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Common to the Cisco UCS management tool portfolio, the API-driven architecture for the new power calculator enables integration opportunities with a number of Cisco tools. One example is tighter integration with Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW) power calculator widget – for real-time estimation of solution power while building out configurations.  Third-party, non-Cisco tools (e.g. DCIM) can also now connect directly to the power calculator and assist users with data center infrastructure planning. For questions on how to integrate your application with the new power calculator and estimation tool’s REST API, please contact Roy Zeighami or Jeffrey Metcalf at (ucs-power-calc-dev@cisco.com).

Previous versions of the Cisco UCS Power Calculator will be retired with redirects to the new Cisco UCS Power Calculator.

Cheers and Thanks! to Intel for the collaboration!

UCS Power Calculator: http://ucspowercalc.cisco.com
UCS Communities: http://communities.cisco.com/ucs
UCS Platform Emulator:  http://communities.cisco.com/ucspe
UCS Developed Integrations:  http://communities.cisco.com/ucsintegrations

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Get it and save time: Multi-UCS Domain Management simplifies your administrative life

 Guest Blog: Jacob Van Ewyk,  Jacob Van Ewyk Photo 2

Product Manager – Cisco UCS Manager and Cisco UCS Central

One of the great benefits of the Cisco UCS solution is that it includes the management layer – Cisco UCS Manager – as part of the Fabric Interconnects  This ensures that any UCS server connected to a Fabric Interconnect has embedded management of all software and hardware components in that domain. While this is a great solution for many customers, we recognize that some customers want multiple domains, whether for scale, redundancy, multiple locations, or a host of other reasons. While Cisco UCS Manager has an XML API that can help manage multiple domains, Cisco also offers UCS Central to help solve this challenge.

Cisco UCS Central runs as a virtual machine and centralizes many features across multiple domains – whether local or remote domains. The first release of UCS Central, version 1.0, was released in November 2012 and provided value to customers with central fault management, ID pool management, and global operational polices. However, I am proud to announce that Cisco has released UCS Central 1.1, the follow up release that brings key functionality such as service profiles and templates, policies, statistics, and more. This release is a major step forward in providing a complete, centralized offering that provides the full capabilities of UCS Manager, but across a multi-domain environment.

How does UCS Central 1.1 make your life easier? Here are several good use cases to illustrate the value of UCS Central.

Use Case Benefit
Bring up an additional domain Additional domains can pull access service profiles and templates, policies, and ID pools from UCS Central allowing customers to bring up an additional domain in minutes instead of hours or days.
Consistent Service Profiles across domains Global Service Profiles, templates, and policies are available across multiple domains. UCS Central automates the task of replicating the information and ensuring consistency, helping to ensure compliance, simplify HA and DR deployments, and reduce troubleshooting time.
Centralized, In-depth Inventory Simplified inventory reporting and analysis across multiple domains reduces administrative overhead from hours or days to minutes.
Centralized Fault Manager With all of the faults in one place, it helps eliminate oversights, enables quicker problem resolution, and helps provide higher levels of uptime, allowing the team to support more systems with the same people.
Capacity and Performance Planning Detailed bandwidth, power, and thermal statistics that are kept for two weeks or one year instead of 24 hours in UCS Manager enable better system optimization, higher utilization levels, and fewer performance issues. Proper sizing reduces direct costs.
Firmware Updates Automatically get scheduled updates of new firmware bundles pulled into UCS Central and automatically pushed to relevant UCS Manger instances as needed,  based on policies. This reduces the administrator time when managing firmware.

 

If UCS Central 1.1 is something that you would like to try, you can download it from Cisco.com. It will work for 120 days without a license, so Read More »

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Cisco UCS in a world with lotsa data

My previous blogs have turned into a “in a world” series introducing the reader to the versatility of the Cisco Unified Computing System.  We are no strangers to the fact that data collection and data records are exploding.  The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to add a lot more data to our treasure trove.  As more objects are embedded with sensors and get the ability to communicate even more data will be collected and stored. Here at Cisco, we see the Internet of Everything (IoE), which goes beyond IoT when we add people, processes and information to the mix.  Cisco defines IoE as bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before—turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.  Check out http://blogs.cisco.com/ioe/how-the-internet-of-everything-will-change-the-worldfor-the-better-infographic/

Clearly the Internet of everything (IoE) will affect the data center in many ways. In this video Cisco VP Satinder Sethi, gives us a perspective on some of the challenges and how Cisco is partnering with other IT companies to solve the problems.

Organizations can transform, mine or analyze the data collected to create new business models, improve business processes, and reduce costs and risks. The recent NSA scandal of tacking phone records indicates it can be used to improve physical security. Read More »

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Cloud Computing and Cisco UCS

In my blog last week I introduced a series of conversations in which Mike Spanbauer, Industry analyst at Current Analysis, Cisco Executives, Jim McHugh and Brian Schwarz discussed several topics.  One of the topics they discussed was the adoption of Cloud technologies by Enterprises.

More details on the specific study that Mike alluded to in the video can be found on the Current Analysis website.  Analyst perspectives are always valuable inputs to understand the trends.  At the Gartner ITxpo in Orlando this October, David Cearley, a vice president and Gartner fellow, discussed his vision of the top 10 data center trends of 2012 , and cloud computing was prominent among them. More analyst reports on Cisco Unified Computing System can be downloaded from the Analyst reports page on Cisco.com.

If you are interested in another analyst perspective, tune in to a webcast on December 6, at 9:00 am PST , to hear from James Staten of Forrester Research on their findings and analysis of the Cloud computing frontier.

Recognizing that Cloud computing is an important trend, I wanted to see how Cisco and Cisco UCS in particular facilitate a customer’s Journey to the Cloud.  First, I noticed that InformationWeek recognized Cisco CTO Lew Tucker as a pioneer in Cloud computing.  Second, I found a document by Cisco partner GTSI on the Cloud Maturity model which looks like a roadmap.  The Journey included Consolidation, Virtualization and Automation – three things the Cisco UCS excels at.

  1. Consolidation – The converged server and network access architecture of the UCS promotes consolidation of resources.  The notion of server pools and network port channels allows furthers consolidation and better utilization of the resources.  The ability to run a large number of virtual machines on the same server as a result of superior performance enables consolidation of workloads on the same physical infrastructure. Read More »

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Fabric Computing at scale

Tune in to the webcast, this Thursday, Nov 8, which specifically addresses large-scale fabric computing to find out more.  Research firm, Gartner, defines fabric computing as “A set of computing, storage, memory and I/O components joined through a fabric interconnect, and the software to configure and manage them”.  In a study on fabric computing adopters earlier this year, Gartner researchers called out the following three major impacts:

  • External service providers justify fabric-based infrastructure (FBI) based on operating cost savings and density (for greater revenue per square foot), while enterprises base their FBI acquisitions primarily on capital cost savings.
  • Gartner clients found that FBI’s use of templates and profiles improves resiliency because, in the event of infrastructure failure, they can recreate servers in minutes.
  • Virtually all clients with FBI in production found a reduction in time to provision from two to three months to a few hours to three days.

Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) is leading this industry transition to fabric computing, and with Cisco UCS Central, catapulting it to an unprecedented scale.  In his blog, Todd Brannon, Unified Computing Product Marketing Senior Manager, explains UCS Central in a nutshell. Cisco UCS Central lays the foundation for disaster recovery by providing the ability to recreate the infrastructure environment in a different data center. With Cisco UCS Central, customers can manage dynamic environments efficiently without higher-level software and complex setups. With an open API, UCS Central allows users to retain existing data center processes and tools. It also provides role-based administration to support collaboration across disciplines and to accommodate necessary organizational changes.

The basic underlying configuration capabilities are provided by Cisco UCS Manager, which is embedded in the Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect:

  • Policy and model-based management with service profiles and templates
  • Auto-discovery to detect, inventory and provision system components that are added
  • A comprehensive open XML API for integration and automation

Cisco UCS Single Wire Connectivity

Cisco UCS Manager 2.1 brings additional benefits to fabric computing adopters

  • Customers will get blade server benefits such as reduced cabling and ease of management on rack mount servers. Cisco UCS Virtual Interface Card (VIC) 1225 with the Nexus 2232PP Fabric Extender drastically reduces the cabling and number of switches needed for rack-mount servers as shown in the figure above.
  • Customers will also get more options on storage topology including Multi-hop FCOE

Cisco UCS is expected to reduce the total cost of ownership for fabric computing as Gartner clients have verified.  Find out how, in our webcast, which will include a customer perspective.

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