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Word of mouth: UCS passing the ultimate litmus test

November 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm PST

In this recent article by Alex Barret you’ll find some great commentary by customers on the “snowballing” interest around the Cisco Unified Computing System. It follows on the heels of TechTarget’s Virtualization Decisions 2011 Purchasing Intentions Survey where nearly 20% of respondents pointed to UCS as their platform of choice for virtualization.
When you start to see IT professionals recommending a platform to their friends and neighbors you know it’s for real. It’s exciting to see people talking about the tangible benefits that they’re realizing … and they tell the story better than anyone here at Cisco.

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The Status of Cloud Adoption in the UK – CloudWatch Market Research Report

November 4, 2011 at 11:47 am PST

A few weeks back, Cisco in  the UK released a report on the status of cloud adoption in  the UK -- based upon market research by an independent market research consultancy.  This report covered multiple customer segments, including retail, finance, public sector, service provider and others. I though many people across the world would be interested in some of the fascinating fact and figures, and conclusions, from this report.  Market research is a key part of my role, and last year I blogged on some market research I did on cloud a while back (here and here).  As a result I’m always interested in good pieces of market research, of which this “CloudWatch” report is an excellent example.

In this blog, I’ll point you to the full report and summarise and comment on some of the key conclusions.

If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, you’ll have seen that I work on our Cisco Cloud Enablement Services, our family of professional services offerings that have and are helping many customers across the world develop their cloud strategies, and realise their cloud computing architectures.  These services are illustrated below, and include the recently announced Cloud Optimization Service.

Cisco Cloud Enablement Services - including the recently announced "Cloud Optimization Service"

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Expanding the Nexus 7000 family

Cisco recently announced the Nexus 7009 chassis expanding the Nexus 7000 family to 3 chassis. To refresh your memory on the Nexus 7000 family, here’s a quick at a glance comparison.

I often get asked, why Cisco introduced a 9 slot chassis when we already have a 10 slot chassis. The simple answer is – customers asked for a smaller form factor Nexus 7000 switch that delivers the high performance and resiliency that the Nexus 7000 family is known for.

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A trend impacting Data Centers – “Consumerization of IT”

November 4, 2011 at 7:54 am PST

In my previous blog, I had written about the use of mobile applications in the data center.  Since then, I understand there is a new application for monitoring Cisco UCS on the Blackberry Playbook .  Is this a trend?  Is this a trend towards mobility or is it a trend towards consumerization of the work place?  Yet another term I have heard is “Prosumerization” of the Enterprise.  No matter which term is used by authors, the underlying shift is towards a simpler, user friendly approach to getting work done.  If that means using smart phones, then so be it.  Unlike my generation of workers, willing to put up with circuitous and acrobatic maneuvers to get things done, the younger generation is used to simpler interfaces and they are demanding the same from enterprise systems.

My one and a half year old niece who has grown accustomed to using iPhone Facetime to chat with my kids grimaced and acted surprised when she heard my daughter on the phone and did not see her face on a screen. I vividly recall having to wait patiently for hours to receive a subscriber trunk dialing call in order to talk to my parents when I was in college. The point is that we now have relatively sophisticated networks and tools, and user expectations are very high.  Enterprise users expect their tools to just work, like cars and smart phones (have you read the iPhone manual?). There is also an expectation that the network is always on and can stream high resolution video.

Do you use your personal phone to access your work email?  The line between work and home has blurred for most of us.  Thanks to the network, we work from our home offices and with colleagues half way round the world at odd times of the day. No wonder we like to use the same tools and gadgets we are familiar with.

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Why Hadoop? (Part 2)

Part 2

As discussed in my previous post, application developers and data analysts are demanding fast access to ever larger data sets so they can not only reduce or even eliminate sampling errors in their queries (query the entire raw data set!), but they can also begin to ask new questions that were either not conceivable or not practical using traditional software and infrastructure.  Hadoop emerged in this data arms race as a favored alternative to the RDBMS and SAN/NAS storage model.   In this second half of the post, I’ll discuss how Hadoop was specifically designed to address these limitations.

Hadoop’s origins derive from two seminal Google white papers from 2003-4, the first describing the Google Filesystem (GFS) for persistent, massively scalable, reliable storage and the second the MapReduce framework for distributed data processing, both of which Google used to ingest and crunch the vast amounts of web data needed to provide timely and relevant search results.  These papers laid the groundwork for Apache Hadoop’s implementation of MapReduce running on top of the Hadoop Filesystem (HDFS).  Hadoop gained an early, dedicated following from companies like Yahoo!, Facebook, and Twitter, and has since found its way into enterprises of all types due to its unconventional approach to data and distributed computing.  Hadoop tackles the problems discussed in Part 1 in the following ways:

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