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IPv6 in the Enterprise Data Center – Why is it important

Why is it important to start thinking about IPv6 across your entire network especially the data center?
Remember the term Y2K? The panic and haphazardness that was there to ensure every single device and application was compatible with Y2K? I see IPv6 as a similar situation except that there is no impending date forcing you to adopt it.

The more you wait, the more you lose time to develop IPv6 architecture with ease and peace of mind so that things are done right. And if not done way ahead of time, then you may end up doing things quickly to ensure the business is operational with a poorly designed and operated IPv6 network.

The Next Generation Data Center
IPv6 is becoming ever increasingly important and critical with the success and proliferation of mobile devices and other such applications that require enormous addressing needs. Lot of customers are taking the first step to enable IPv6 in their Internet edge, Campus and WAN edges, but very few customer are realizing the importance of enabling IPv6 inside their data centers.

I came across few such customers that are eager to enable IPv6 inside the data center but have not done any planning or design. Before coming to the reasons why they are eager, it is nevertheless important to say that IPv6 is going to be the protocol of the future.

As an Advanced Services Solutions Architect for the Data Center Practices team, one of my jobs is to deliver planning and designing workshop for customers who are looking into building their “next generation data center architecture”. The word Next Generation is enough to tell them that they should start not only planning and design but most importantly start assessing their data center devices and design to enable IPv6.

My Experience with Customers
In this post, I want to share my experience with customers who are seriously planning to take the next step of building the next generation data center, yet are completely skipping IPv6 in their planning phase. For most of these customers, replacing the Catalyst platform with the newer Nexus platform is extent of building the next generation data center in their minds.

Others want to use the newer, cooler features in the Nexus platform like vPC, VDC, OTV and FabricPath. Agreed, that these features and architectures would entitle their data centers to be called “next generation” but the actual plumbing of the new data Center is still the same: IPv4.

Change the Plumbing, its time
In my view, the real next generation architecture is where you enable the new plumbing system inside the data center and be ready to shift to the enormous and powerful protocol when the business needs you to.

Migrating or integrating IPv6 is not a job that will take few days or months. It will take serious planning and effort to ensure that the expertise in-house is familiar and comfortable with the gigantic protocol whose similarity with IPv4 ends at the first three letters used to represent both the protocols: IPv 😉

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Cisco Build and Price Gives Customers Access to Blade Server and Rack Server Prices

It’s no secret that Cisco Unified Computing Sytem (UCS) has had some tremendous success in terms of customer adoption.  In just three short years, UCS is nipping at the heals of IBM for the #2 spot for Worldwide x86 blade server revenue with 15.2% market share, compared to IBM’s 15.4%.  In fact, Cisco now has over 15,000 customers that have moved from legacy architectures to a more “Unified” approach, combining compute, network and storage access into a single, easy to manage solution. 

 So what’s missing? 

Well, believe it or not, until now it was relatively hard to do business with Cisco.  Quoting and ordering took days instead of minutes.  Well Cisco is changing that with the release of its new online presence called “Cisco Build and Price“, offering direct access to blade server pricing and rack server pricing.

A Simple Approach to Building and Pricing Cisco UCS Servers

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A Reporter’s Least Favorite Story

When I worked as a newspaper reporter, there was one type of story my fellow writers and I always dreaded.

Weather stories.  I’m not talking about covering a major event like a tornado threatening the region or about investigating the impact of a drought on the local agriculture industry.  Those are compelling stories and we were glad to do them. Read More »

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3 C’s of Cloud Adoption – Cost

In my previous blogs confine and clover, I spoke about determining the scope of your business problems as well as defining your measures of success when planning a Cloud solution. Now, I would like to help you understand both the cost you will incur for the work necessary to achieve your defined cloud goals and how to avoid unexpected fees.

Because of all the hype around Cloud, we hear (sometimes disproportionately) about how Cloud can transform your business. However, the cost of that transformation is often not fully understood. Careful planning and awareness can save you money along the Cloud journey. Be aware of and consider the following hidden costs:

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3 C’s of Cloud Adoption – Clover

Last week, I introduced my concept of the 3 C’s of Cloud: Confine, Clover, and Cost and began outlining a simple strategy for maximizing your benefits during the process of adopting a cloud solution by confining the scope of your business problems. What comes next?

Let’s now talk about the second of my “C” concepts—Clover.

Before you can ‘roll in the clover’ of a successful cloud implementation you need to address one of the most common pitfalls to success: failing to build an appropriate business justification for migrating to cloud. If you enter the process with the attitude that “I’ll just experiment with this new Cloud thing and see what happens; maybe it will give me what I need,” you may not end up ‘in clover’ but in the weeds. So, what do you need to do?

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