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Data Center Deconstructed Blogs Live Tomorrow

Data Center Deconstructed tries something new tomorrow – blogging live from the Technology Convergence Conference at the Santa Clara Convention Center. 

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How Cisco Switching Innovations Help Deliver Cloud-Ready Networking

Today, we made a significant announcement that transcends data center, campus and service provider and Cloud-based deployments,  geared towards helping our customers embrace the winds of change that are buffeting the IT landscape.  This announcement is precipitated by a number of mega-trends that were buzzwords even a couple of years ago but have become looming realities in the IT landscape. Think video, virtualization, 10G, Bring your own device (BYOD) and not to forget – the journey to cloud.

Layer in ongoing careabouts like security and Energy Efficiency – and boy, do we have the perfect storm brewing.

The three “Cs”:

For many customers,   it is no longer sufficient to take a “band-aid approach”.  A faster switch here or a new wireless LAN access point there just doesn’t cut it. They have to step back and evaluate their environment holistically, and minimize the chokepoints proactively. This is causing them to evaluate the three “Cs” of capacity, complexity and cost, while ensuring that they’re in a position to deliver the end-to-end IT experience.

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Cisco, NetApp & FlexPod – The Momentum Continues at Cisco Live Europe

by John Rollason, Senior Manager Product, Solutions & Alliances EMEA, NetApp

For many years the server market was dominated by the likes of IBM, HP/Compaq, Fujitsu, Dell, Sun and characterised by small market share shifts. True the market changed as rack and blade servers became popular, but most of the players recognized the shift and adapted.  Then Server Virtualisation technologies changed the market and Cisco disrupted it completely with the launch of the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) in 2009. Today Cisco’s vision for server virtualization has been proven successful with more than 10,000 UCS customers and 54 UCS world record results. Customers obviously see the advantage!

Cisco’s innovation, vision and leadership are an ideal match with NetApp, a recognized leader and innovative in the storage industry. Over more than a decade of collaboration our companies have achieved a number of milestones including first native FCoE SAN storage solutions and first certified end-to-end FCoE solution for VMware environments.

Just over a year ago NetApp and Cisco introduced FlexPod, a pre-designed, pre-tested and validated Data Centre cloud solution built on modular and unified architecture composed of Cisco UCS servers, Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp unified storage systems running Data ONTAP. FlexPod components are integrated and standardized to help you eliminate the guesswork and achieve timely, repeatable, consistent deployments. FlexPod has also been optimized with a variety of mixed application workloads and design configurations in various environments such as virtual desktop infrastructure and secure multi-tenancy environments.

Today more than 500 customers across 33 countries are seeing the benefits of Cisco UCS + NetApp. In fact, I”ve blogged about European FlexPod customers including Accenture, Börse Stuttgart, Computacenter, Terremark, Guiness Partnership, Loughborough University, and many more.

This week at Cisco Live London 2012 you’ll have the opportunity to hear directly from several organizations transforming their infrastructures and businesses on FlexPod and talk with variety of partners activity selling and developing solutions built on FlexPod.  NetApp is a Platinum sponsor of Cisco Live and I’ll be at NetApp Stand P1 with the rest of the team for the 4th year. Highlights include:

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The Winchester House, Architectural-Led IT Strategy and Your Challenges – What You Told Us

The Winchester House

The Winchester House

A few months ago, after a my previous blogs discussing cloud computing adoption, I changed subject and authored a short series of articles around the challenges of adopting an architectural-led approach to your IT strategy in general, and data center design in particular.  (If you missed them, you can read them here: part 1,  part 2, and part 3).  The theme of these articles centered on the Winchester House in San Jose, California.

This house was extended by builder after builder, without any architectural blueprint.  Consequently, this house had many doors opening into blank walls, abandoned staircases, and other “features” — and it was in construction for year after year, with point additions compounding the problems. I then asserted that this analogy can apply to how IT architectures sometimes evolve – bit by bit, without a formal blueprint or “grand master” plan, if you will.

Architecture-Led Facebook Poll Results 31 Jan 2012

Architecture-Led Facebook Poll Results 31 Jan 2012

I finished the series with a poll on our Cisco Data Center Facebook page – thanks to all of you who spotted the poll and took the time to respond.  The results were indeed interesting, so I thought I’d share back the results with you and discuss the implications.  As the diagram shows, you certainly told us loud and clear what your biggest issue was when it came to adopting an architectural-led approach to your IT strategy and data center design: “We don’t have clear enough business goals for IT” scooped 65% of your votes, way ahead of all other options (!!) – so let’s discuss now in some more detail.

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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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