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Free Free Free Cisco UCS Development Free Free Free

January 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm PST

The other day I was “making” breakfast for my daughter, as I poured the cereal from the box I noticed that the “toy” was the box. The box had a game board printed on it and you had to cut it out along with the game pieces and the die. The game instructions were printed inside the box, so I ended up with a whole bunch of cardboard snippets and the game.  She was so excited to play the game, so we played the game, it was an arduous journey but I stuck it out because that’s the kind of dad I am. When we finished playing, my daughter with her eight years of life experience remarked, “You just don’t get anything good for free anymore!”

Anymore?!! How many reference points could she have in her eight years?  Myself, being a little older, I have some more experience with “free”, and sadly I have to agree with her that the free you get today is not as good as the free you used to get, to the point where seeing the word free no longer excites me.

Well I have found some exceptions to that rule. As a developer for a couple decades now I have used many development tools and environments. Along the way either I or my employer had to pay for those tools, but now almost every development product I use is free and not cheesy cereal box game free but full featured with community support and add-ons to extend the capabilities of the product.  That’s the kind of free to get excited about.

Why get excited?  Well take for instance the Cisco UCS Manager; it has an XML API that is communicated with via XML documents in an HTTP post. Every tool I use to write applications that interface with the UCS Manager is free. That’s great you say, but you still need a UCS Manager and to get that you need a UCS Fabric Interconnect and you need chassis, blades, adaptors, memory, disks, etc. and you start to think things like “the UCS we just ordered isn’t here yet” or “the UCS systems we have are all production and we can’t test our scripts against them.”

Don’t despair because Cisco has released a UCS Emulator for the 1.4 and 2.0 versions of the UCS Manager firmware.  The UCS Platform Emulator (UCSPE) has significant capabilities to enable UCS Manager development, things like hardware configuration importing from a live system, exporting of a configuration and the ability to build an emulated UCS system like the one you just ordered. In addition to the emulation capabilities the UCSPE also includes the UCS Object Model documentation, example scripts, Visore (the object browser) and more. Don’t know what the Object Model is or concerned you need more information on the XML API, check out these docs.
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Back to School with Cisco Unified Computing System and Nexus Switching

September 1, 2011 at 8:00 am PST

Guest post by Omar Sultan, Senior Manager for Cisco Data Center Architecture

Seattle University’s CTO Dan Duffy believes Cisco UCS and a VDI will improve students’ experiences in classes within every college on campus.

It’s that time of year again:  Back to School. With all kinds of technology providing new ways to learn, today’s students are taking advantage of mobile devices and tablets to log on to classes remotely from home, using online learning tools, and turning in assignments virtually.  For example, The Network, Cisco’s technology news site, recently posted an article about innovative ways in which students are learning:  How Cloud Computing is Revolutionizing Education. This article describes how cloud computing provides an innovative alternative to bricks-and-mortar schooling and enables personal and interactive learning.

We’re seeing more educational customers evolving their data centers to take advantage of the latest trends in cloud computing and virtual desktop solutions, to support new student learning approaches.  In addition, of course, saving IT costs is a key priority for these educational institutions.

Let the class begin!

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Cisco Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) and Cisco VIC

What is VM-FEX? VM-FEX is the consolidation of the virtual switch and physical switch into a single management point.

This sounds funny to say, but it amazes me how many people still use standard VMware vSwitches.  In the enterprise there are just too many things that can be missed on standard vSwtiches and we need consistency. This consistency is obvious when port group names need to match identically or vMotion will fail. Last time I went through the VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage class we were working on the standard vSwitch configuration, which utilizes some interesting port group failover order setting which include overrides. So, I zipped through my sheet and was waiting for the instructor to ask for answers. After a few other students I spoke up and proceed to explain my complex but accurate vSwitch configuration.

You remember this diagram from class right??

And the override settings?

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Cisco and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Fast Track Data Warehouse 3.0

I am happy to share that Cisco today announced the participation and availability of the SQL Server 2008 R2 Data Warehouse solutions as part of the Microsoft SQL Server Fast Track 3.0 program. This solution is designed to accelerate the consideration and adoption of data warehouse solutions based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2.

Solution Components

Over the last few months, we’ve worked very closely with Microsoft and our storage partners EMC and NetApp to develop the enabling reference architectures. These reference architectures will be published shorty, comprising of the fast growing Cisco UCS C-Series Servers, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, SQL Server 2008 R2, and choice of EMC VNX or NetApp FAS as the storage component of the solution.

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See you at Microsoft TechEd – Atlanta next week

I am happy to share that Cisco is a key sponsor for the Microsoft Tech Ed North America 2011 event in Atlanta next week.  At TechEd, we will be showcasing our data center business advantage solutions and showing how you can maximize your investments in leading Microsoft applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server.

With Cisco UCS, we are not just making servers, we are making server history.

It is well known that Cisco UCS adoption has been fantastic with over 5400 customers, with a large number of customers efficiently and fearlessly running their mission critical Microsoft applications on UCS. These customer deployments are backed by series of CVDs (Cisco Validated Designs) that serve as key enablers to successful deployments.

Any Announcements?

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