Today I invited Bhumik Patel , Alliance Engagement Architect at Citrix, to write about some aspects of the collaboration between Cisco and Citrix to provide the best workspace experience to our customers. Bhumik is responsible for delivering technical best practices and joint solutions on Citrix XenDesktop and Cisco VXI desktop virtualization solutions for customers and partners. He has been with Citrix since 2007 and is based out of Santa Clara; CA. Prior to this role, Bhumik was part of Citrix’s WW Consulting group leading consulting projects for several enterprise Citrix customers around the globe and has led initiatives for developing best practices while integrating Citrix and partner solutions.
“As a Citrix Architect implementing Desktop Virtualization solutions with Cisco VXI and Citrix XenDesktop in the field, I would like to share some of the successful business use cases that a joint solution addresses primarily from a Citrix viewpoint. Since Cisco VXI is a unique, end-to-end architectural solution integrating virtualized data center, virtualization-aware networks and virtualized collaborative workspaces for optimally delivering virtual desktops with XenDesktop, it is really built to drive multiple I.T initiatives for you at once, all leading towards a flexible, next-generation workspace. Let’s look at the VXI solution at a very high level and then a few practical use cases:
First and foremost benefit is with Cisco UCS providing an ideal platform for hosting Citrix XenDesktop delivering virtual desktops for organizations. With the extended memory technology providing great VM density, and the service profiles allowing customers to dynamically build and scale out their infrastructure hosting XenDesktop. UCS also provides a great end user experience even for some very large VM footprints due to the unified fabric supporting very high I/O bandwidth. The solution with UCS and XenDesktop is completely validated and tested for providing the required density numbers. I had the opportunity to contribute to the initial validations with Cisco and you can read more on it here. So the guess work is eliminated while implementing your VDI solution, which could be a huge benefit in itself.
Cisco Live 2012 is a a very busy and vibrant event -- Amongst our partners , NetApp is playing this year a specific role to make sure that our attendees have the best experience ever .
I asked NetApp Vaughn Stewart (@vStewed) , Director for Cloud Computing and Virtualization at NetApp, and an avid blogger to tell us a little bit more about NetApp participation at Cisco Live 2012
“I am here in the beautiful San Diego to support the NetApp team and activities at Cisco Live 2012. This year’s event features the largest number of joint Cisco and NetApp solutions in our history! I expect Cisco Live attendees will be impressed with the depth and breadth of our offerings.
When I was asked to blog on what we have in store for the event I thought they were asking me to write another book! Honestly, I can’t even cover the volume of FlexPod activity in a single post. With that said, allow me to share with you a few items I find truly compelling.
FlexPod Powers the NOC at Cisco Live
This year’s Cisco Live network infrastructure is expected to support over 15,000 users with 35,000 devices and is expected to transfer over 3 terabytes of Internet traffic. Powering the Network Operations Center (NOC) that provides these services is a FlexPod. This is the second year that a FlexPod has powered the NOC at Cisco Live!
You can’t miss the NOC, it’s the glass walled datacenter locate adjacent to the World of Solutions’ entrance. Stop in and meet the NOC engineers; they can discuss the number of Cisco technologies and solutions running on the FlexPod. For those who want to learn even more, the Cisco Live NOC is featured in session BRKNMS-1035 on Thursday at 3:30 in ballroom 6D.
FlexPod Overruns the Exhibit Hall
FlexPod provides unmatched infrastructure flexibility ranging from architectural capacity and network connectivity, to bare-metal and virtual operating systems, to the broadest set of business critical applications.
With over 1,050 customers in 33 countries, FlexPod is leading the industry as the platform of choice for those seeking an agile datacenter. With over 70 public references, 20 Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs), the broadest set of validated management partners and numerous security validations including PCI Compliance, FISAM and ICSA; it’s easy to understand we are adding 1.5+ new FlexPod customers every day!
Cisco Live attendees will have the opportunity to learn of the latest FlexPod news including…
New entry level FlexPod for midsize and distributed environments. Its based on the Cisco UCS C-series and NetApp FAS2240 array. The new platform received a support from our field and analysts.
Validated FlexPod Management and Solutions. This new program strengthens the management options offered to FlexPod customers providing unified, turnkey functionality for automation and orchestration and have passed extensive testing in Cisco and NetApp labs.
MS Private Cloud built on FlexPod. Learn how Cisco, NetApp and Microsoft are accelerating private cloud adoption with deep integration into management interface such as Microsoft Hyper-V, System Center 2012 and PowerShell Toolkits with NetApp OnCommand management software.
FlexPod is also powering the over 80 VXI clients residing throughout the Cisco Live expo hall, including the event registration desks, Internet kiosks, and walk-in self-paced labs. In addition a number of technology partners will feature FlexPod platforms in their exhibits.
99% of patients said they would use telehealth services again. You can’t get much better than that. St. Joseph Health System successfully launched a telehealth pilot earlier this year using CiscoHealthPresence™ that allows patients, physicians and other health and wellness specialists in disparate locations to meet and consult virtually via immersive video and audio technologies. The telehealth pilot is part of St. Joseph Health’s Healthiest Communities initiative, which focuses on improving access to health care services and quality of care to the communities it serves. The results are impressive.
The pilot has now been live for four months supporting Urgent Care, Specialty Care, Chronic Disease Management, and Wellness and Health Improvement. Care has been provided to about 250 patients. In addition 99% of patients said they would use telehealth services again. 95% of patients seen were “completely satisfied” with their telehealth experience. The telehealth program is providing access to healthcare in areas where it previously was not accessible.
You meet the most interesting people at trade shows! This morning at Microsoft’s Tech Ed event here in Orlando the Cisco booth was humming with activity as the exhibit hall opened for the attendees. One early visitor to our booth turned out to have a very interesting – and quite fun – Cisco UCS story.
Jeff Stahl of Kindred Healthcare was the early visitor with the unique story. I started off my conversation with Jeff commenting on the complementary “Got Servers?” Cisco t-shirt he had just picked up. Jeff quickly mentioned he was a Cisco UCS customer and in fact was ‘our first’ customer as he has UCS serial # …0001 in his datacenter. What followed over the next few minutes was a fun conversation with Jeff and a few Cisco Engineers hearing about Kindred Healthcare’s UCS experience.
The Kindred Healthcare case study is available online here – and the benefits they accrued in moving to Cisco’s UCS server platform make a great read:
For instance, their comments on UCS and management are timely as our UCS Manager solution is up for a “Best of Show” award here at Tech Ed 2012 – “In addition to these savings, the Kindred team was also impressed by the centralized management that UCS offered, including service profiles that ensure consistent configurations. “We evaluated a number of different server solutions, but Cisco UCS really came out on top,” says King. “We didn’t consider the decision a mere hardware upgrade. Rather, UCS presented us the opportunity to truly transform the way we deliver services.”
Also great to hear and read up on was the savings in overall operating costs and improved licensing compliance for their Microsoft solutions such as SQL Server and SharePoint – “The elastic characteristics of the UCS-based infrastructure have allowed Kindred to temporarily extend its virtualization services … As a result, the company reduced its operational costs by more than $80,000 a month. Kindred also saw Microsoft licensing savings. “We are now able to leverage our existing investment in Microsoft infrastructure service licenses by landing their services on our shared infrastructure, giving us immediate concurrency and the ability to upgrade as desired.”
Today, Cisco Live “World of Solutions ” (the show floor) opens at 4:30 pm PDT in San Diego Convention Center. One of the marquis demos has been shown at EMC World with a lot of interest.
This blog is the second part of a two part blog dedicated to this Mobility and Business Continuance demo, created by Cisco, EMC and VCE. In part 1 (read blog here) I invited EMC Colin Durocher (@OtherColin) to share with us his perspective on the demo. As promised, I come back today with more details on the demo, including a video interview conducted by Cisco Daniel Bogda (@dabogda) with EMC Craig Chapman (@VirtualChappy) and VCE Tom Chatham (@tchatham). I asked also Tom, who already wrote here, to bring his perspective on the demo.
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.
“VCE is excited to kick things off this week at CiscoLive! Between our big booth, speaking sessions, and demos we’ve got a ton to talk about (www.vce.com/events/cisco-live).
Like we did at EMC World, for this year’s CiscoLive! show VCE wanted to kick it up a notch with LIVE demonstrations of all the cool technologies we have at our fingertips.
Daniel Bogda, Craig Chapman, Tom Chatham
We have a number of VblockTM Systems going to Cisco Live! (and VMworld in August) so it made perfect sense to show off our Workload Mobility Solution. Besides, isn’t cloud all about the ability to offer services from anywhere?
We have three Vblock 300 systems located in the VCE, EMC and Cisco booths. An additional network aggregation rack has been added to each Vblock system to house Nexus 7010 switches, EMC RecoverPoint appliances and EMC VPLEX engines. Panduit provided 1000 feet of fiber trunk cable containing 6 pair of fiber, which has been hung from the ceiling between booths.
The Nexus 7010 switches are providing our core network services, making each booth it’s own data center. RecoverPoint and VMware Site Recovery Manager are handling traditional long haul disaster recovery. VPLEX Metro is providing Active-Active storage clustering capabilities. This is the ability to stretch a VMware vSphere cluster between two sites today, and up to four in the future. VPLEX Metro provides storage array block level LUN consistency and data availability while OTV on the Nexus 7000 series switches provide layer 2 network services.
Diagram: VCE Vblock WLM plan for CiscoLive!
Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at what makes this “cool”. Traditionally, migrating data and applications in or between data centers involves manual steps and data copies, where IT would either make physical backups or use data replication services to handle getting the data from side A to side B.