Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Data Center and Cloud

Management of dynamic virtualized data centers

September 12, 2011 at 12:25 pm PST

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.

Tags: , , ,

Machine Builder Business Models, Sustainability and Innovation

So my wife and I recently took a two week vacation to Alaska – without computers or anything but camera’s and our ever important smartphones. I didn’t realize that Marie Hattar, our Segment VP was going to write a blog about the importance of vacations and productivity – see that here. Imagine that, I overachieved via a vacation!

At any rate, back to the vacation – we left on Sunday so Saturday was reserved for clothes washing and packing. Great plan until the motor on the washing machine froze. We ended up Saturday night finishing the wash at her father’s house. Then after the trip (that was fabulous by the way. Everyone needs to take a cruise through the Inside Passage!) we ended up having the repair service visit to confirm the motor was shot (new motor cost more than the washer was worth, so conclusion: buy a new one) and using his washer/dryer for another week. That meant bundling up two plus weeks of wash, carrying it to his house, doing the wash for a few hours, etc.

I was reminded of the challenges a manufacturing company would have due to an unexpected machine breakdown. You have to isolate the problem, get appropriate repairs, possibly upgrade the machine, possibly line up alternate manufacturing capability, etc. I’ve blogged before about the needs for continuing MRO schedules and the importance of properly servicing your manufacturing machines and lines. But how do you prepare for a critical machine that suddenly breaks? Can you rapidly sub out the work? Can you quickly get the machine replaced? What if the newer machine doesn’t fit in the line directly? Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SAP HANA Scale-Up or Scale-Out. That is the question

SAP HANA Scale Up or SAP HANA Scale Out.  That is the Question

Ever since SAP HANA in-memory computing was announced and started shipping as a rack-mount appliance, a market disruption began.  Customers have begun to realize the value of receiving instantaneous results to their data inquiries instead of having to wait for days to make critical business decisions.  Cisco Unified Computing System server platform made it easy as a self contained appliance for SAP HANA for customers to install and start utilizing this technology day one.

But there are changes in the wind.  Not only can you use SAP HANA as an appliance, but SAP has now announced that they will be installing SAP HANA in a scale-out model, meaning they will have the software available on blade technology.  Now we are talking.  This means that you will not be butting up against any memory challenges in the capacity of the servers.  Of course Cisco UCS already has extended memory capability.  This means that you will not bump up against CPU core challenges.  Since you can daisy chain servers together, you can use as much compute power as needed.  You can also add compute mid-stream in a little as 15 minutes with the Cisco UCS server profile tools.  Cisco UCS service profiles allow you to deploy servers in 15 minutes by allowing you to attach a server profile you already have set up directly to that blade, saving you the time and effort to configure each blade individually.

So what does this mean to the average customer?

1)   The customer can have as many servers (depending upon the configuration and certifications) as needed for the SAP HANA architecture

2)   The customer can make instantaneous decisions, thus beating the competition and getting their product into the hands of their customers in a more expedited way.

3)   The compute is still non-disruptive meaning that these processes are done outside of the normal day to day running of the business

So is there any reason not to embrace this technology?  No.  The winds have changed and that is the answer to the question

You can see this solution live by visiting the Cisco Booth 1000 at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas Sept 12-16 at the Venetian Hotel.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Cisco Channels Chief Shares Top-of-Mind and a Math Lesson

We’ve just formally kicked off our new fiscal year and, last week, we completed our annual global sales meeting where John Chambers, Rob Lloyd, and the Cisco leadership team charged up our sales organization around the Next Cisco.

So what does the Next Cisco mean to our partners?

One message that I want you to hear loud and clear is that partners are, and will continue to be, an integral part of our strategy.

Here in the United States, many kids are beginning a new school year, so I thought I a quick math lesson would help me illustrate the value partners bring and what’s happening here at Cisco.

Watch this short video for my math lesson to help you better understand what’s changing, what’s not, and how Cisco, along with our partners, adds up to success.

Keep reading for more details on my math lesson. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

VMworld 2011 – Soni Jiandani Sums Up Cisco Innovations

Before going on to an interview on SiliconAngle.tv and speaking at a Super Session on “How Cisco and VMware Collaborate to Build the Cloud”, Soni Jiandani gave me a couple of minutes to sum up the Cisco innovations announced and on display at VMworld 2011.

Some things Soni mentions:
Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,