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Intelligent Automation at Cisco Live in London

Our team is excited and ready for a great week at Cisco Live Europe! We’ve been working on demos, speaking sessions, and social events for the conference – and it’s finally here.

I encourage you to meet us in the World of Solutions expo hall to learn more about Cisco Unified Management – featuring Intelligent Automation for Cloud and Network Services Manager in the Data Centre & Virtualization Demo Booth and in the CloudVerse Pavilion.

There are several conference sessions on intelligent automation and cloud computing. Follow us at @CiscoIA on Twitter where we’ll post updates and reminders about key sessions.

In fact, you may have to choose between some great breakout sessions being held at the same time. Here are a few of the key sessions that feature Intelligent Automation:

  • Inside Cisco IT: Elastic Infrastructure Services -- ITMCOC-2568 (Tuesday, Jan 31, 14:15 pm)
  • Converged Infrastructure and Orchestration with Vblock and Cisco Intelligent Automation -- BRKSPS-2202 (Tuesday, Jan 31, 14:15 pm)
  • Cloud Automation -- BRKNMS-2659 (Friday, Feb 3, 9:00 am)
  • Create “Network Containers” in a Multi-Tenant Data Center -- BRKNMS-3999 (Friday, Feb 3, 9:00 am)
  • Orchestration of UCS via Cisco Process Orchestrator -- BRKDCT-3105 (Friday, Feb 3, 11:00 am)

At Cisco Live this week, you’ll learn how our Unified Management solutions deliver intelligent automation for intelligent infrastructure solutions in a Unified Data Center approach:


When you’re ready to unwind after the big first day, join the data centre team at 18:30 for a meet-up at the W XYZ bar in the Aloft ExCel Hotel next to the conference.  Here’s your personal invitation.

And for even more fun, play the Cisco pinball in the World of Solutions! There are prizes for high scores every day, with a pinball challenge on Wednesday at 16:00 – follow @CiscoPinball on Twitter for details.

We look forward to meeting you – enjoy the conference!

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Celebrating a milestone: 10,000 UCS customers worldwide

This week we are celebrating a milestone by announcing that 10,000 customers worldwide have deployed our new Unified Computing System. In just over two years UCS has captured the attention of data center managers and CIOs alike, despite skepticism from industry observers that a new computing technology could take hold in this highly competitive market.

According to a recent Servers and Virtualization Study by TheInfoPro,™ Cisco took the lead among server vendors in vision, technical innovation, product performance, and sales force.

Many have asked “how did UCS become successful so rapidly?” The answer lies with our customers: they selected UCS because the architecture drove a transformation of their data centers, while delivering advantages for their business and lowering IT costs. And we see a growing number of these customers, including half the fortune 500 companies, using UCS as the foundational building block to move towards private and hybrid clouds.

Bottom Line
We hear from our customers on a daily basis that UCS is transforming their IT practice and significantly contributing to their business. Thanks to all our UCS customers– may you continue to grow your businesses in 2012!

Here’s a small sampling of the passionate testimonies we receive:

Steven Senecal, manager of Global Server Engineering for Travelport
“Although we were successfully meeting customer needs, the infrastructure needed to be much more scalable and resilient to handle the demand expected to occur in the next few years. For example, the Cisco Unified Computing System service profiles are a benefit to data center IT managers, allowing us to create and store a unique identity for every blade. Our team can query this information for asset management and it enables us to truly rip and replace a blade in minutes if necessary.”
Travelport, a global leader in transaction processing for the travel industry supporting transaction services in 160 countries and over 60,000 travel agencies, deployed UCS to increase business agility, scalability and efficiency for its primary data center.

Dan Hein, director, Global Shared Services, Columbia Sportswear
“The integration of compute, network, and storage into a single stack is transforming the way we, as IT professionals, view these environments.” We anticipate a significant reduction in the overhead required to manage the Vblock platform environment, because we’ve taken three separate disciplines and combined them into one. Because Vblock is preconfigured and pretested by VCE, we can move forward with our SAP deployment quickly and with confidence that the infrastructure will deliver the robust performance and availability we need out of the gate.”
Columbia Sportswear, a global leader in the manufacture and wholesaling of sports apparel and outdoor clothing with offices in 45 countries worldwide, selected VCE Vblock Infrastructure Platforms to support a new deployment of SAP to run its most critical business applications, including financial, product development, manufacturing, and shipping.

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Cloud, MPLS-TP Key Topics at Upcoming MPLS World Congress

As the industry leader in MPLS and Carrier Ethernet, Cisco will have a strong presence at MPLS and Ethernet World Congress in Paris, France from February 7-10, 2012.

With the spotlight in the industry around cloud services, this year’s conference will focus on how MPLS as a technology can help enable and deliver cloud Read More »

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Importance of the Network in Cloud Computing

On several recent occasions, in discussions with my customers, colleagues and industry peers, the importance of the network, as it relates to Cloud Computing and Data Centers, has been challenged. I am surprised that such a topic is even up for debate ! In my opinion, the underlying network infrastructure of any given Data Center is the architectural foundation for service and application strategy; be it Cloud Computing, Virtual Desktops, Video or even Hosting services.

If we look at a broader scale, no one can argue the complexity and at the same time, the intelligence the modern Internet brings to it’s consumers. How would enterprises and service providers alike, offer converged services like voice, video and data without any network intelligence ? Not to mention, security, application scaling and other managed services. Networks are no longer the traditional packet switching platforms, it’s the heart and soul of intelligence which integrates with other intelligent applications to differentiate the multitude of services that can be enabled over a common medium. As application requirements are increasingly becoming complex, the need for equally smarter transport is critical.

Virtualization is bringing a whole new perspective to this discussion. It’s true you can account for network, compute and storage virtualization within a given solution; virtual switch, virtual machine, virtual firewall, virtual load-balancer, etc.; but how far can we abstract the network ? One can absolutely argue, Cloud Computing is server/compute resource centric, however for most enterprises, when you combine this compute structure with application workload requirements from business, technology and operations perspectives, suddenly the foundation architecture plays a crucial role -- i.e. the network and it’s interconnects.

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Cooling a High-Density Compute Environment

Cisco’s data center in Allen, Texas (DC2), was designed to make best use of the high-density Cisco Unified Computing System and Nexus switches. Cisco’s business requirement for high-density computing, supporting up to five Unified Computing System chassis per rack, essentially quadrupled the per-rack power requirements at Texas DC2 compared to target load requirements at our other data centers.
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