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Management of dynamic virtualized data centers

As a resident of Austin TX, I got to experience a record setting heat spell and drought this summer. Not to mention, some of the worst forest fires which are yet to be contained.  I was fortunate to escape the heat in the last week of August and attend VMWorld 2011.

One of the themes at the conference was Desktop Virtualization -- desktop access through a range of devices and access to cloud-based virtual machines. This is a timely issue in light of the June Cisco Visual Networking Index report which predicted that there will be twice as many networked devices as people on earth by 2015. With the proliferation of devices such as the iPhone and iPad, it is not inconceivable that workers will use the same devices in the office as well as home.

Another theme at the conference was management of servers and desktops including provisioning, ongoing maintenance and automation to meet service level agreements.  VMWare’s CTO in his keynote also mentioned that some of their biggest investments are around operations management of the virtualized environment.

Not surprisingly, another theme at the conference was Cloud Computing.  Whether virtualization is required for Cloud Computing can be a topic for heated debate.  Although virtualization is not an integral part of the NIST definition of Cloud Computing, the resource-pooling characteristic of Cloud Services is enabled by virtualization.

These themes prompted me to revisit a study by Forrester Research Cisco sponsored on the basics of management for Cloud Computing.  Although it was aimed at Cloud Management, the basic steps and concepts should be valid for any data center on a journey towards a dynamic, connected world.  The paper is titled “Elements of Cloud Service Orchestration”. A closer look under the hood is warranted even though the term “Service Orchestration” has taken a life of its own, with Wikipedia calling it a buzzword.  A webcast on the top is also available. What do you think service orchestration means in the context of data center management? I am very interested in your feedback.

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Conversations about Cloud – “What is Self-Service IT?”

Every once in a while (here, here), I have the same conversation enough times with customers that I find it useful to bring it to the blog community. Last week at VMworld 2011, I had the opportunity to spend quite a bit of time speaking with customers and partners about Intelligent Automation and what it means for IT to deliver self-service capabilities to their customers (internal, contractors, etc.). During the conversations, a number of questions came up over and over again: Read More »

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Build Clouds, Be Awesome, Win Prizes!!

We know you’re interested in Cloud Computing because the “Data Center / Cloud” blog is one of the most popular here at Cisco.

We know you’re building efficient, scalable, automated Cloud Computing environments because we’ve seen the market-share growth in our Nexus and UCS product portfolios.

So why not bring together two things that you’re already passionate about for the opportunity for fame, fortune and a great opportunity to interact with more Data Center professionals looking to improve their skills, knowledge and ultimately their businesses? If you’re interested and have some unique ideass, go check out the “Conquering the Cloud” Challenge from the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA). The ODCA is a consortium of the largest companies in the world focused on building better Data Centers, so you know the competition is going to generate some exciting ideas.  Read More »

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VMworld 2011 – Day 2 – Daily Blogger Techminute – Cloud Computing

Daily Blogger Techminute is back in Vegas Baby, Vegas!!  This time it’s for VMworld 2011. So far the show has been huge (20,000+ attendees) and past paced with announcements from Cisco, VMware and our partners. The Cisco booth is focused on Cloud/Virtualization, VDI/VXI and Automation, so we thought it would be great to kick off the week with experts in all of those areas.

Our techblogger guests today were:

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Welcome, Andrew Lach, newest member of the Manufacturing Industry blog team!

Please join me in welcoming Andrew Lach to the Cisco blog and our Cisco industry team! Andrew joins us as a recent MBA graduate from Duke University and will be leading the development of our social media strategy and platform. Prior to Cisco, Andrew led a unique career in Biotechnology, first as a scientist and later as a technology developer. He has also recently worked with virtualization software product marketing in the exciting new field of cloud computing.

I believe that Andrew’s background will bring a unique, interesting perspective and skill-set to our team and blogging community. He has led previous marketing and social media initiatives including guerrilla marketing campaigns and YouTube content creation. We greatly look forward to joining Andrew in action as our Blog Administration Manager. Welcome, Andrew!

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