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March Madness: physical security and virtualization are HOT!

Physical security has March Madness. And you might get it too, if you manage Cisco UCS and run video surveillance applications. Or if you attended ISC West this week in Vegas, where virtualization was all the buzz.

Our hot news is the virtualization of video surveillance on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). This has potentially profound implications on two big operational costs: data center management and safety and security operations.

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The Rise of Cisco UCS and the Cisco Services Data Center Transformation Experience

March 2009 was an exciting time for both for Cisco and for me personally.  Cisco launched the revolutionary Unified Computing System, with many observers across the industry doubting if we’d stay the course (and if we’re honest, some truly misplaced derision – I wonder who is on Planet Zircon now!).  And I joined the Cisco Data Center Services team from the Cisco R&D organization!  So with the recent third generation launch of Cisco UCS, described very well by my colleague Todd Brannon, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on our data center services portfolio around that time, and where we are now.  My previous blogs chronicle part of this journey, however I have to say, the direct comparison I draw here I personally think shows that we have indeed brought a new transformational experience to the data center for our customers. And I’d like to give you my personal recollections on how and what I found out about Cisco’s approach to shaking the incumbents’ lack of innovation in the blade server market.

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NBA Fans Point, Shoot, and Score

“In basketball – as in life – true joy comes from being fully present in each and every moment,” says former LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson, and sports fans couldn’t agree more. Today’s followers of the NBA are more present and informed, every minute of every game, than ever before.

In general, the NBA’s outreach, including its websites, mobile apps, TV, and radio broadcasting, saw dramatic increases in activity over the last year.. In 2011, about 75 petabytes of video was posted. Not surprisingly, NBA.com is now the #3 sports site on the web for video streams. Read More »

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Introducing Data Center Virtual Symposia [updated]

After, chatting with other cohorts in the industry (namely Greg Ferro aka Ethereal Mind and of PacketPushers fame, Stephen Foskett of Tech Field Day fame and also writer of his own blog, and Ivan Pepelnjak who, amongst other things, writes an excellent blog on networking topics), its clear that trying to stay up to speed with all the various happenings in going on in the data center is pretty near impossible because of the sheer volume of information and the signal-to-noise radio that sometimes gets out of hand.  While all of us, in our own little ways are doing our piece to help address this through blogging, white papers, seminars and the like, we wanted to try something a little different to really dig into some of the more complex topics and came up with the concept of Virtual Symposiums:

  • Focused discussion on a single topic
  • Panel discussion with industry experts (or at least folks that believe themselves to be experts)
  • Focus on helping attendees understand the “how” and “why” of different technologies as opposed to advocating a particular perspective
  • Interactive, open to audience interaction–the goal is to get your questions answered

Our first symposium, next Tuesday, is going to cover  storage convergence.  Joining our panel for this discussion, we are lucky to have J Metz (@drjmetz) joining us to lend his FCoE and storage expertise. We will also get joined by special guest Stu Miniman (@stu), Principal Analyst from Wikibon who also brings perspectives shaped by over a decade in the storage market. We are going to spend approxiamtely the first half of the symposium discussing the storage options out their: FC, FCoE, and iSCSI and when we think each one makes sense (or not). As I noted above, the goal is to not push a particular technology agenda, but to educate you, and let you make your own decisions.  The balance of the session is open for Q&A–we will cove some of the common questions that we see all the time, but we expect you, the audience, to drive a lot of the discussion.

So, mark you calendar and join us–if you are familiar with this crew, you know it will be both educational and entertaining.

This particular session will be delivered via WebEx on Tuesday, March 27 from 9am-12pm Pacific Time.  The link to participate is
https://events-cisco.webex.com/events-cisco/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=209024880 and the password is “cisco”. There is no pre-registration necessary.

For subsequent symposia, we are looking other meaty topics like VM networking, data center interconnect and we are not done with storage yet.

[Update]

Here is the replay link for folks that miss the live session:

https://events-cisco.webex.com/events-cisco/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=EC&rID=59653962&rKey=93b2a7e1df952983

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Automation and IT-as-a-Service at Cisco Live in Melbourne

We’re in the sporting and cultural capital of Australia this week for Cisco Live! Did you know that Melbourne is the only city in the world that has five international standard sporting facilities surrounding its central business district?

You might see a rugby match while in town, but I’d suggest you also tackle the Cisco Live World of Solutions expo.  We have an exciting demo to show you in the Cisco Data Centre booth: Intelligent Automation for Cloud, a key component of the Unified Management pillar of our Unified Data Center platform.

Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud is a cloud management and orchestration software solution that complements Cisco UCS and Nexus to provide self-service on-demand provisioning of IT resources.  This new solution is becoming as ubiquitous as the sporting facilities in Melbourne.  Cisco partners including Alphawest / Optus, CSC, and VCE are also showcasing our Intelligent Automation for Cloud software in action at their booths.

Essentially, this solution will help you tackle the challenge of deploying infrastructure-as-a-service – and adopt an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) strategy. Here’s a short analyst video on delivering ITaaS with Cisco Intelligent Automation:

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