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Algo Boost Series: Part 2 Customer Perspective on Cisco Nexus 3548

On October 5th I posted part 1 of the Algo Boost series with a fantastic discussion around the latency innovations on the Nexus 3548. Today, we announced that these units are now shipping to customers and the much anticipated wait is over to get this game changing technology! This is perfect timing as I introduce part 2 of the series with Errol Roberts, Distinguished System Engineer for the top Data Center accounts, to bring a customer perspective to the ultra-low latency Nexus 3548 in a High Performance Trading fabric.

[GD]  I know that you spend a lot of your time talking with customers. What are our Financial Services customers telling you about their environments and requirements?

[ER] When meeting with these customers, I like to ask a single question -- “What value can an infrastructure company provide to high-performance trading workloads”.  Key points relating to the switching are captured by the following:

  • First, customers ask for a network solution and architecture that provides them with the fastest end-to-end functionality. Providing the “Lowest latency possible” is one vector, another vector being a rich “feature-set” answering the different architecture and network requirements end-to-end. Naturally there is a need for speed while at the same time providing the features within the same device. For example in collocated High Frequency Trading environments; the lowest latency being key; it’s not the only factor; support for the routing protocol such as BGP, multicast with PIM Sparse mode, ultra low latency SPAN at linerate with multiple ports; this is achieved with the technology called Warp SPAN.
  • Next, “Handle microbursts”. Volatility is correlated. When you are running cross-asset class, cross-liquidity venue strategies, there is often short-lived congestion that increases latency. These volatile periods are often the most opportunity rich.
  • Also, “Unique features”.  They want features like Network Address Translation to meet their business needs. You don’t want these features to add latency. In fact you don’t want to have any of the L4 or services applied on the network to add latency.
  • Next, “Flexibility and Programmability”. They want to control their traffic flow, mirror relevant traffic, have fine-grained flexibility and also have reactivity on events. Python scripting language is a good example of automation. With Python script, you can have the switch react on different environmental changes such as a sanity check when the device comes online as well as for example triggering emails when the burst happening at the buffer level exceed for example 10 nanoseconds.
  • In addition, facilitate “Precision Time”. You cannot control what you cannot measure. Without precision time, you invest in an infrastructure and just hope you get optimal performance. With precision time protocol you can keep all of your servers and network elements highly synchronized at the nanosecond level.  You can even measure the accuracy of the tool through a 1 pulse per second output port. Also, the Nexus 3548 can timestamp traffic with IEEE 1588, which allows analyzers to replay events.

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Cisco UCS Servers with World-Record Performance are now Smart Plays

If you haven’t already found your way into Cisco’s new online UCS Build and Price portal, there are some very interesting “Smart Plays” awaiting you.  You can check our new UCS promotions page regularly to find the latest UCS Server Smart Plays such as the UCS B200 M3 Value Smart Play, currently offered (limited time) at only $7600.  This includes two Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2650′s with 16 cores, 64 GB of memory, one VIC 1240 and one VIC 1280 virtual interface card offering a combined 80Gb of IO throughput in a half-width blade server.  This blade server is a real powerhouse in a compact package and now it’s offered at an exceptional price through Cisco Build and Price.

See the new line-up of Cisco UCS blade servers and rack servers with Intel Xeon processors that just claimed another eight new world-record industry benchmarks.

Cisco UCS Performance Brief

Cisco UCS B200 M3 Blade Server
These same servers are now available at competitive prices as Smart Plays on Cisco’s new Build and Price portal. Download specifications, performance reports and compare blade server prices on these popular servers while they last.

In his most recent Blog on October 8th, Girish Kulkarni highlights several new World Record Benchmarks for Oracle E-Business Suite on the UCS B200 M3 Blade Server.  You can see all UCS Rack Server and Blade Server World-Record Benchmarks on our Performance Benchmarks page on Cisco.com.

 

 

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Unified Data Center IQ : TGI Friday

November 2, 2012 at 3:55 pm PST

As a quick reminder , to participate to this 6 weeks challenge and have a chance to win every week a new iPAD, you want to visit our Facebook page. The questions are submitted on Sunday midnight PST, and answers have to be provided  by Friday noon PST. Participation is easy and fun and allow you to collect points to compete for the highest IQ score. This best Unified Data Center “brain” will be the winner of the Grand Prize (valued US $2000).  Every week-end , you can answer bonus  questions, which give you additional points to catch up for the Grand Prize

So it’s Friday again, and we  just finished the 5th week of this contest!

And it’s now time for our bonus questions ! This coming week –end bonus  question are covering Intelligent Automation , LISP, Nexus 7000 , big data , and Cisco Validated Design (CVD)  for Cloud . If you check regularly our blogs,  you are in a good place – Following  also @drombaut and @ciscodc is a good idea to get clues .
Each correct answer will give you 20 points – So you don’t want to miss the opportunity to catch up for the Grand Prize.
If your Unified Data Center IQ is higher than 100 , you still can be the winner , as this week-end can bring you 100 points , the next week another 50 points , and the following week-end another 100 points.

BTW, next week questions , starting on Sunday midnight , will be about UCS Central and UCSM (did you check the announcement?). Another great opportunity to win an iPad!
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Why Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 3.1 Matters for Enterprise Private Clouds

Guest Blogger: Yair Dolev (@CiscoCloudY) brings extensive experience in enterprise application development and management of advanced data center virtualization technology products to Cisco’s Cloud and Systems Management Technology Group. Prior to Cisco, Yair was Director of Product Management at data center automation authority Tidal Software, and managed the groundbreaking Azul Virtual Machine products at Azul Systems, which enabled data centers to run large Java workloads on highly scalable, optimized hardware. 

What do IT managers want? Speaking with customers about their plans to adopt a private cloud, we get to glimpse into the wild world of enterprise IT transformation. Customers have been telling us about how their business environment is rapidly changing, and many share their elaborate vision for becoming a sophisticated IT as a Service organization. We, in turn, have shared with them the capabilities of our newly released Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud version 3.1 (Cisco IAC). I am delighted to see how Cisco IAC 3.1 resonates so well with IT teams. Here I mention some highlights of this newly upgraded cloud management solution.

First off, we’ve made it easy to leverage more of the infrastructure footprint for via the cloud. Customers often own different infrastructure stacks, whether by choice as a hedge, or by chance, as a result of mergers. They might have a vBlock, a FlexPod, and another asset that uses, say- HP servers. A cloud system should not require complete infrastructure homogeneity. With IAC 3.1, each infrastructure pod (regardless of the vendor) is treated as one “Compute POD” (Point of Delivery), with multiple PODs all connected to and managed by one unified resource management layer.

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Introducing UCS Central: Unified Computing at Global Scale

November 1, 2012 at 11:10 am PST

If your motto is “go big or go home” then you’re probably going to like UCS Central.  Since inception, Cisco’s Unified Computing System has upheld some important core tenets in its design ethos:  management via policy, simple scaling and open infrastructure programmability. UCS Central, a new management product in the UCS family, extends all of those principles to a level of scale and granular administrative reach that are truly unprecedented in our industry. The Data Center team at Cisco is very excited about what UCS Central is going to mean for our customers, so on November 8th we’re hosting an online event to lay out the whole story. I hope you will join us.

UCS Central is essentially a manager of managers. Consider a single domain of UCS to be a pair of Fabric Interconnects where an instance of UCS Manager resides and looks after the goings on of up to 160 servers and all of their I/O connectivity. UCS Central now allows administrators to manage multiple domains of UCS and scale their aggregate environment to the range of 10,000 servers.

You might say that UCS customers can opt for the “go big” option. I suppose since this the golden age of mobility, they can access it all remotely to go big and go home…

 

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