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VSPEX: Our Continuing Exploits with EMC

This week has been a busy week for integrated infrastructure solutions.  Of course, this isn’t a complete surprise around here—we have been preaching the gospel of simplified infrastructure and integrated solution stacks for some time; however, it is gratifying to see the concept continue to evolve and gain customer traction.

One of the developments we are particularly pleased with is the announcement today from EMC regarding their EMC VSPEX program. Cisco and EMC have a long history of partnering together for the benefit of our mutual customers, from storage solutions to the original Vblock to VSPEX.  For those of you who missed the announcement, VSPEX is a reference design program to help guide customers as they build out their next generation of infrastructure.  With our own success with the Cisco Validated Design program, we know this is an effective tool for customers as they look for trusted resources to guide infrastructure investment decisions.

We are a big fan of giving customers choice and giving them options and letting them decide on a path that best suits their needs.  EMC’s VSPEX program is another great example of this.  Its complimentary to our existing offerings in this space, so VSPEX gives customers yet another option and may appeal to customers that did not see the existing options as a good fit or might not have otherwise considered this approach.

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GPON in the Campus Network – A Misuse of Perfectly Good Technology?

What’s wrong with running my campus network on Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology you ask?

Let me count the ways!

I was just reading a White Paper by Nick Lippis of the Lippis Report entitled, “GPON vs Gigabit Ethernet in Campus Networking” that lays out the issues pretty well in my opinion, and concludes up front that GPON is “suited to niche applications” and that “many GPON assertions and claims are overstated.”

Nick does a nice job of contrasting the two approaches, a last mile SP technology (GPON) that might be a good choice for the home & kids, with a Highly Available Ethernet Design that should be used to run a real business.

I’ll leave it to you to read the details, but he covers facts on all the key areas from power consumption and cabling costs to network scaling, single points of failure, and troubleshooting capabilites.

All this adds up to GPON being a poor choice in the Campus when you look at the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) even though the initial acquisition costs might be lower for the hardware itself.  When you look under the covers, the real price is quite high for GPON in terms of a “lack of flexibility, greater power consumption (certainly not green), limited network capacity, upgrades are system-wide events, troubleshooting tools and skilled technicians are limited and lacking, and multiple single points of failure exist.”

He goes on to say, with the Ethernet market being tens of billions of dollars, research and development is assured while competition privdes the motivation for innovation and feature enhancement.  An Ethernet campus network is a safe investment.

Caveat emptor!

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Virtual desktops, virtual workspaces, voice, video, … virtual reality

Today, there is lots of buzz around the big news from Cisco and our ecosystem partners with the launch of next generation VXI validated solutions.   If you missed our launch event, you can still get all the details online via our community.

Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) delivers desktop virtualization with secure access to data, voice, and video for fixed and mobile devices.    

Pretty cool but, why is virtualization important for government agencies? 

  1. cost control, more than ever government agencies are focused on strategies to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs
  2. flexibilty, allow government workers ability to work in different workplaces, from city hall to public works, with choices of different combinations of virtual desktops, voice, and video devices including latest smartphones, tablets, and Cisco Virtualization Experience Clients (VXC)
  3. security, better security and control of information in the data center rather than distributed endpoints and with the “bring your own device” (BYOD) to work phenomenon, security is more critical than ever
  4. uncompromised, helping government agencies achieve mission objectives without compromising cost or resilience mandates

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Cloud Management Confusion? Not Here…

Just the other day, one of our competitors crowed that Cisco customers must be confused about how to manage Cisco equipment when attempting to build a Cloud Computing environment. From their perspective, customers should embrace the mainframe days when a single company delivered all the hardware and software, along with an army of ever-present consultant to make it all work. Don’t worry about complexity Mr.Customer, there isn’t any because you don’t ever see it. And don’t worry about the $bill$ either, because the contract will rollover from one IT administration to the next IT administration.

Based on Cisco’s presence at EMC World last week, I can understand why they would be confused. Not only did live, managed Cisco and VCE Vblock equipment show up in several keynotes (Pat Gelsinger, Paul Maritz, Sanjay Mirchandani), it was also discussed in packed breakout sessions, and in the booths of Cisco, EMC, EMC IT, VCE, newScale, BMC, CA and VMware.

Within the Cisco booth, we highlighted just one of our Cloud Management solutions, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, in the context of our broader “Cisco Cloud Solutions” strategy.

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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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