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Playing Tetris in the Data Center

May 23, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

If I become hiring manager for a Data Center team, I’m asking candidates whether they have Tetris skills.  Anyone who can neatly fill a space with odd-shaped blocks falling at ever-increasing speed can oversee the rack-and-stack activities in my Data Centers.

I talked in my last two posts – on preparing for and then executing a Data Center move – about planning where you want to place your Data Center hardware.  That’s a good idea even if you’re not moving your server environment, because how you deploy your equipment affects how efficiently rack space is used, airflow patterns and more. Read More »

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What makes Cisco’s Intelligent Automation so Intelligent?

This is a must read for those who want to deeply understand the philosophy behind Cisco’s automation product portfolio

It should not be news to you that Cisco has invested in software products to drive the management and automation of clouds, datacenters, and applications.  Intelligent Automation is the name that we have for the management and orchestration solutions in the Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit in Cisco’s Cloud and Systems Management Technology Group.

What is so intelligent about Cisco’s automation products?  Besides the official marketing and product management answers, I polled our Business Unit and Advanced Services teams and got the following responses (which I distilled a bit).  Oh and by the way, one constraint was that we cannot use Intelligent in the definition of Intelligent Automation (harder than you might think).

The top winners for the best contributions are:  Oleg Danilov (Solution Architect), Mynul Hoda (Technical Leader), Peter Charpentier (Solution Architect), Frank Contrepois (Network Consulting Engineer) and Devendran Rethinavelu (QA Engineer).

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Cisco’s Cloud Verse, VCE and EANTC Cloud Mega Test

May 22, 2012 at 3:30 am PST

 

Tom Chatham is a Principal vArchitect with VCE Corporate Engineering responsible for delivering VCE solutions, customer solution testing, technical marketing events and evangelizing private cloud. 16 years of experience in the industry, most of that time spent focused on storage, virtualization and unified computing. Including extensive network infrastructure, systems architecture and business continuity.

Tom is at EMC World in Las Vegas  these days and on Twitter @tchatham -- Check booths 410 or 515 .

I asked Tom to share  his experience and point of view on the EANTC Cloud Mega Test  - here is what he sent me

 

“Over the past four to five months, there has been significant buzz about VCE’s role in the EANTC Cloud Mega Test.  I was lucky enough to be a part of the test team, and I wanted to share some of my experiences in working on this fantastic project with EANTC and Cisco.

It started with a bang, of course.  Back in late January, Light Reading published their first report on the testing EANTC had done of Cisco’s CloudVerse architecture. I was at Cisco Live London where details of the test were first shared and members of the CloudVerse team were in attendance to share the results. Over the next couple of months, EANTC followed that up with other reports in the series.  All in all, they covered the Cisco Unified Data Center that is the foundation for cloud services, Cloud Intelligent Networks, Cloud Applications & Services, and Long-haul Optical Transport used in delivering cloud-based services.  Of course, I wasn’t involved in all of that.

As with all of the Mega Test programs (the Mobile Mega Test and Medianet Mega Test being the ones that Light Reading conducted previously), these programs are a big deal.  Cisco spends millions of dollars -- literally -- on lab infrastructure, engineers and communications for each one of these tests.  Light Reading has EANTC come in to provide independent, objective oversight and testing.  And when the report comes out, there is a lot of buzz in the industry on exactly what went on.  It’s not every day we get to play in a multi-million dollar sandbox!  I was one of several dozen people from Cisco, VMware, VCE, EMC and Ixia working on this project.

As the buzz about the test bounced around in the industry, a sidebar conversation emerged about VCE’s involvement in the test. As you may know from social media, I’m a Principal vArchitect with VCE Corporate Engineering.  Essentially, my job is to make sure that customers get the most out of VCE’s technology – VblockTM Systems.  The Vblock system is pre-engineered, pre-tested converged infrastructure that combines Cisco’s computing and networking equipment, EMC’s storage equipment, and virtualization from VMware.  VCE itself operates as a joint venture between Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel.

One of the things that was missed in the excitement over the test results themselves was the fact that the Vblock system played a big part in the Cloud Mega Test.

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Cisco SAP Competence Center

May 16, 2012 at 8:37 am PST

Yesterday I met Michael Missbach, Phd.,  who is the head of the SAP Competence Center based in Germany.

Michael who is the author and co-author  of numerous books on the SAP environment .
He used to be  a senior consultant at the SAP-HP International Competence Center in Walldorf, Germany, specializing in IT infrastructure solutions.  He holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in material science from the University of Karlsrühe, Germany.

Dr. Michael Missbach in-depth knowledge of the SAP environment is providing a tremendous value to the Cisco team running SAP on Cisco Unified Computing Center, providing more insights  of the SAP Customers care abouts , and better understanding of the SAP HANA technology .

Today he will talk at 12:00 pm EST in the “analytics” area at SAPPHIRE 2012

Abstract: This session offers real world experiences with HANA implementation and first hand results for HANA scale-out solutions on the Cisco Unified Computing System with Intelligent Intel® Xeon® Processors server platform and why this solution offers a competitive advantage to your business. Learn what customers are really asking for in regard to HANA and why it is important to provide the right solution to lower TCO.

I asked him to share with us what we can expect from this sessions

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Cisco and SAP : State of the collaboration

May 16, 2012 at 6:30 am PST

The second day at SAPPHIRE 2012 has been as intense as the first day --  After interviewing one of the first UCS customer (Monsanto) about the deployment of SAP applications , I did a round of videos with EMC, NetApp and Cisco executives to measure our presence in this market and our collaboration with key players. Stay tuned for the videos on integrated stacks  (Vblock with EMC, Flexpod with NetApp) .

I met Cisco VP Marketing, Data Center and Cloud , Giuliano Di Vitantonio, who shared why Cisco is at Sapphire 2012 , and what specifically Cisco and SAP are working on together -- Legitimate questions from some of our visitors, as Cisco has a great image as a network provider, but is still building the recognition as a server and software powerhouse.  Take the time to watch this short video to appreciate the breadth of the collaboration and understand why SAP is so interested in deepening this partnership.

Talking about experts . If you are in Orlando today don’t forget

-To attend at 12:00 pm the speaking session from Michael Missbach , our head of the SAP Competence Center

SAP HANA Appliance Software and High Availability: That Is the Question

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Analytics

Abstract: This session offers real world experiences with HANA implementation and first hand results for HANA scale-out solutions on the Cisco Unified Computing System with Intelligent Intel® Xeon® Processors server platform and why this solution offers a competitive advantage to your business. Learn what customers are really asking for in regard to HANA and why it is important to provide the right solution to lower TCO.

Other sessions of a great interest

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