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Enabling the Network Service Layer for Virtualized and Cloud Infrastructure

The Need for Virtualization
In their quest to reduce administrative and hardware costs and to increase the availability of server resources IT administrators are embracing server virtualization to the point that it has become a fundamental data center technology. Server virtualization makes it possible for IT administrators to move virtual server instances, and the applications that run on them, from one physical machine to another as needed, and have to them running at the new location within moments. This mobility allows IT administrators to optimize server utilization or to take advantage of idle compute resources as well as to recover from server failures almost instantly.

Workload Availability
The mobility of virtual servers is what makes server virtualization so appealing. This mobility not only enables movement of virtual machines from one server to another within the same data center, it also enables movement of virtual machines from one data center to another. Mobility of virtual machines between data centers is critical as it enables IT administrators to make use of available resources in another data center and to recover from data center outages, maintaining availability to applications and business services seamlessly.

The Network Can Help
In the data center application performance, availability and security is enhanced by a number of network services such as server load balancing, WAN Optimization and firewalls, which have been delivered by physical appliances. As IT administrators take advantage of the benefits of server mobility that is enabled by server virtualization they seek to have the same mobility available in the network services that benefit those virtual servers and their applications. While it’s possible to have the same network services appliances running in all data centers the challenge is with configuring them to recognize the specific virtual server instances that have been moved between data centers.

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Cisco @ VMware Partner Exchange 2011

While there’s a ton of coverage of Cisco Live London this week, including Daily Blogger TechMinute (Day 1, Day 2) with coverage from Didier and Lisa, the Cisco Data Center goodness for February doesn’t end this week.

As a Diamond Sponsor, we’ll be in full force at VMware Partner Exchange 2011 (Orlando, FL) next week. If you’re a Cisco partner at the event, we really want to talk to you about some of the amazing things we’re doing around server virtualization, I/O virtualization, network virtualization, virtualized security, virtualized application acceleration, virtual desktops (VDI) and collaboration (VXI), and fabric consolidation. All of the things that you’ll need to building incredibly flexible, efficient, integrated VMware virtualization environments for your customers.

So where can you find Cisco next week?

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Sunny day at Cisco Live London 2011

February 1, 2011 at 5:22 pm PST

Cisco Live Europe is back , in Excel London this year, under a sunny day . And the Cisco Data Center team, working diligently with partners such as  APC, BMC, Citrix, Commscope, EMC, Intel, NetApp, Panduit, Rittal, VCE built a 2 rows Data Center of the Future demonstration, which showcases  Cisco data center and partners solutions and products : Unified computing – Unified Fabric Secure Multi-Tenancy – Unified Network Services – DC Switching (Access, Core, Aggregation)

In addition of the Data Center of the Future, our visitors have the opportunity  to visit 14 demo kiosks covering solutions (see below)

Tonight I invited for a Daily Blogger Techminute in London 3 great bloggers  : Cisco Lisa Caywood, NetApp Tim Waldron, and CA Technologies Steven Guthrie- Please check this video, where each of them share some highlights of the day.

Cisco CEO and Chairman John Chambers key note was the highlight of the day  - John Chambers was just coming back from theWorld Economic Forum where he met leaders such as the UK prime minister, and shared their growing  interest for the solutions that Cisco and the other technology leaders have to offer to develop at an increasing rate the economy and the productivity of the countries. In his speech, as he did in Davos, John Chambers reaffirmed that “ The network changes the way citizens work, live , play and learn, transforming competitiveness through innovation and productivity”
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The Critical Role of the Network in Supporting Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud Services
The Cloud-based service model offers the Enterprise access to a rich range of services and applications without the overhead of having to deploy and manage the underlying infrastructure. This results in much lower costs for access to services and applications. This is especially true for one time or periodic workloads where resources may sit idle for months until required. As a result Enterprises are increasingly embracing cloud services and benefiting from on-demand availability.

Delivery Models
Demand for cloud services is being met in a number of ways. Independent software vendors offer services from their data center over the Internet, such as Salesforce.com’s CRM application. Some ISVs leverage an IaaS provider such as Amazon to host their application on the Internet such as Adobe’s LiveCycle Enterprise Suite. However, since these approaches rely on the Internet it is not possible to provide end-to-end quality of service (QoS), so neither approach supports providing an SLA for network performance. This is increasingly a concern for Enterprise customers.

The Need for SLA’s
The need for SLA’s for cloud services opens up an opportunity for communications service providers (CSPs) to offer a wide range of network centric solutions that are supported by an SLA. CSPs are in a unique position to offer these solutions because, unlike the Internet, the Next Generation Networks (NGNs) that CSPs have deployed, based on IP and MPLS, are capable of providing contracted levels of availability, delay, jitter and packet loss. As a result CSPs can provide cloud-based solutions with SLAs by providing these solutions to customers from their own data center and over their NGN.

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Got C(lew)d? – Cloud CTO Lew Tucker & Cisco Cloud Strategy

To paraphrase a classic old song, “Cloud, cloud, everywhere it’s cloud, blocking out the scenery breaking my mind…”

Yep, cloud computing is anywhere and everywhere these days. The market is getting more competitive in delivering ways for customers to enable cloud computing for their business, and vendors are bombarding those customers with cloud messages from every angle. While Cisco has been extremely active in the cloud computing space for many years, we’ve heard from our customers that we need to move above the noise and be very prescriptive in articulating our cloud computing vision, strategy, portfolio and differentiation.

About six months ago Cisco announced that we had hired and appointed Lew Tucker as Cloud CTO. Not only does Lew bring a tremendous wealth of experience building some of foundational technologies and implementations of cloud computing, but he brings a unique way of explaining where cloud is going. The short video below introduces Lew’s approach to Cisco’s cloud strategy and vision. So get cLewd into Cloud as Lew clues you in on where Cisco is going in this rapidly growing market transition.

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