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Living with the Programmable Cloud

Private cloud is surrounded by its own mythos–some folks believe it doesn’t exist and some folks believe its something that will only be enjoyed by future generations.  So, Cisco IT is living proof that private cloud is something that is very real.  This week, tomorrow in fact, John Manville SVP for Cisco IT, will be presenting a session at Gartner Data Center on Cisco’s private cloud environment, Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services or CITEIS.  John will explain how Cisco has woven together all the elements (compute, network, storage, automation, orchestration, provisioning, etc) into a cohesive offering that serves our production workloads.  John will also share the TCO savings captured to date and how he sees CITIES evolving over the next few years.

Diagram  from the white paper “How Cisco IT Automated End-to-End Infrastructure  Provisioning In an Internal Private Cloud”

If you are at Gartner DC in Las Vegas this week, be sure to check out his session, The Programmable Cloud, tomorrow (Dec 4) at 1:45pm in Titian Ballroom SPS 28–he’ll also be at the Cisco booth (#432) after the session to answer questions.

If you are not at Gartner DC, stay tuned for a coming interview with John Manville, and meanwhile you  may want also to take advantage of our coming webcast o see how industry peers are doing to solve the very challenges Cloud adopters face. Tune in to the webcast UCS : Foundation for Cloud on December 6 at 9:00 am PST  to hear from Cisco UCS customers Xerox and FICO Corporation, about how and why they used it in their Cloud environments.

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Are You at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Vegas? Don’t Miss These Sessions

You’re probably double-checking your agenda to make sure you’ve booked the most interesting sessions at the Gartner Data Center Conference this week.  Let me help you by sharing a few sessions that you don’t want to miss.  And if you attend one of these sessions and fill out the questionnaire, you’ll be entered in a raffle for a $500 American Express gift card.

The Evolving Data Center: Past, Present, and Future
Innovation is crucial for IT infrastructure to take advantage of new technology trends, including cloud computing and “big data,” while supporting current and emerging applications. Customers will derive the greatest value from the tight integration of emerging software approaches with the underlying hardware infrastructure. This session explores the newest developments in the Cisco Unified Data Center platform, which unifies computing, networking, security, and management to deliver business agility, IT simplicity, and financial efficiency.

This is a must-see presentation from one of the Cisco’s top senior executives in engineering – mark your calendar now and add it to your agenda.

Speaker: David Yen
Location: Venetian Ballroom F
Session Type: Solution Provider Session
Monday, December 3.
2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
ADD to your agenda


The Programmable Cloud
Trends such as social apps, cloud, and BYOD offer the opportunity to significantly improve customer experiences and increase worker productivity. Making the most of these trends, however, is going to require some new thinking about infrastructure. This session will explore how to build on your existing investments and create a programmable data center that will give you the agility and flexibility to keep up with today’s on-demand world.

In this session, you’ll hear from Cisco IT’s senior vice president of infrastructure – featuring “Cisco on Cisco” initiatives using our Unified Data Center solutions.  See a demo of Cisco IT’s internal private cloud and learn about our ‘enterprise store’ service catalog initiative for BYOD – powered by Cisco Intelligent Automation software.

Speaker: John Manville
Location: Titian Ballroom 2301A
Tuesday, December 4.
1:45 to 2:45 PM
ADD to your agenda

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Xerox uses Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) as a Foundation for Cloud

Who doesn’t know the Xerox company ? As long as I can remember, Xerox products have always been part of my professional life . In fact, even before working for a company, I used a Xerox machine.

Originally known worldwide as a print and copier innovator, Xerox today has established itself as a leading business process and document services company, delivering popular solutions that include Xerox Managed Print Services (MPS) and Xerox Cloud Services.

On December 6 , at 9:00 am PST , Xerox Delivery Officer, MPS Technology Tom Force will join Forrester Analyst James Staten (@Staten7) as well as Jeff Hanson  and Rick Schlander , IT engineering leads at FICO Corporation to discuss with Cisco VPs Satinder  Sethi and Jim McHugh(@JimMcHugh) how to maximize the value of cloud by making the right architectural choice. You don’t want to miss this one hour highly educational webcast ! 

In fact, after registering, and before joining us for this unique webcast, you may want to have a quick look at the Xerox cloud story , which is pretty remarkable!

“The Xerox MPS global delivery centers consisted of static rack servers that were difficult to scale due to multiple hardware configurations. The centers were also reaching capacity, causing concerns about poor response speed that could slow transactions and worsen system reliability resulting in outages. As a service relied on by businesses worldwide, Xerox MPS needs to offer a 24-hour service and could not afford downtime. “ Sounds familiar ?

“With its years of experience providing outsourcing services to customers, Xerox also expanded into the cloud with services beyond printing and print management. Xerox Cloud Services started with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) before adding backup, disaster recovery, and mobile device management. With excellent features and services, Xerox Cloud Services is growing rapidly as a service that not only provides backup and storage, but also runs mission-critical applications for customers.”

So did you like this story ? Are you interested in getting more details on infrastructure capabilities that will allow you to achieve the full potential of your cloud deployment ?

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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 10): Get Help for Your Home Network

In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, VMware’s Mike Laverick (@Mike_Laverick) confesses on air that his home lab is a mess and he needs help. Good news, Cisco’s Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell) to the rescue! No VLANs? No problem. Let’s watch and see what Josh suggests.

Sound familiar? Suffering a similar problem? Contact us (@CommsNinja) and we might solve your problem on-air.

Mike Laverick and Josh Atwell address Mike's home lab situation.

Mike Laverick and Josh Atwell address Mike's home lab situation.

Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here:
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

Questions for Mike or Josh? Join the conversation on Twitter. Follow @CiscoDC to stay up to date on all the news.

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Cisco IAC Availability, Scalability, and Geographic Distribution

When building a cloud, scale it out.

Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud architecture and topology options enable scalability, availability, and geographic distribution. This white paper discusses several options, their strengths and uses, and the technical details underlying these options.”

Cisco IAC Availability, Scalability, and Geographic Distribution White Paper is available in the Cisco support community (log in needed)

Here’s an excerpt:


Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) is a software-based solution for managing hardware infrastructure tasked with delivering various IT services as-a-service (XaaS). Cisco IAC provides configuration “content” to help customers rapidly deploy service-delivered, self-service enabled IT services on certain hardware architectures. Consulting services from Cisco Advanced Services or Cisco delivery partners can use the IAC infrastructure to create custom services for customers. This white paper discusses the software underpinnings of these services and options for deployment that provide scalability and resilience for large enterprises or service providers.
The major platform products which make up IAC relevant to a scaling and resiliency discussion are:

  • The Cisco Cloud Portal – The dynamic, tailored end-user web site where customers and administrators can browse available services and options, and order new services or changes to existing services. This element consists of a web tier which interacts with the browser to expose the Portal UI and an application tier which includes the Portal and Service Catalog. The Service Catalog provides the menu of available services, including new-service and update-service requests, as well as definitions and configurations for roles, business rules, dynamic form rules, and entitlement.
  • Cisco Process Orchestrator  – The delivery engine that makes the Move/Add/Change/Delete (MACD) changes to the steady-state configuration of the computing, network, storage, and application infrastructure (“Infrastructure”) needed to deliver the requested new service or service change. Orchestrator processes automate workflows which interact with applications, systems, and devices in the environment.
  • A database stores configuration, state, and runtime information from the above systems.
  • Cisco Network Services Manager (NSM) Server – a specialized engine for network provisioning. Cisco Network Services Manager’s policy-driven approach allows clouds to be created within single or multiple network Points of Delivery (PoDs), each with potentially different and unique offerings and operational behaviors.
  • Cisco NSM Controller – a local element near network devices within a network PoD which performs direct device interactions to achieve network provisioning at the direction of the NSM Server.
  • Cisco Server Provisioner – provides bare metal provisioning (remote installation) of an OS or hypervisor on a physical or virtual server, as well as bare metal imaging for system cloning and backup.


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