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From an Ancient Scottish Castle to the Gartner Data Center Conference in London

OK, so what has an ancient Scottish castle got to do with the Gartner Data Center Conference in London?  This doesn’t sound like what I usually blog about!

Bothwell Castle, Scotland

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How to Make the Business Thankful for IT. Give them Apps!

Think about it, when was the last time the business said “thank you” to IT? It’s probably been a while. Unfortunately, all too often we hear complaints that IT is too slow, or that IT is the department of “no”.

Deploying a private cloud is one way to help turn IT into the department of “yes”, with faster and more responsive IT service delivery. The customers of Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud have compressed the cycle time for IT provisioning from weeks to minutes. That means that project managers and application developers no longer have to wait for IT – they can speed up their projects and get business applications up and running more quickly.

And if there’s one golden rule to remember for your private cloud solution, it’s that the business wants apps. They’ll be thankful if you can provision and manage their applications in a cloud environment with consistency, reliability and speed.

So if you’re interested in on-demand application delivery for your private cloud, check out this presentation from Cisco Intelligent Automation and our ecosystem partner rPath:

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The Idea That Changed the World

Once in awhile, an idea comes along that changes everything.

Well, this isn’t one of those ideas. But after 25 episodes of Partner Update, perseverance has to count for something.

The goal of Partner Update was simple: create a short, five-minute newscast that would get partners up to speed on the latest Cisco headlines. While our first go at it was nearly unwatchable, the newscast has grown and evolved and now features a varied medley of news, partner interviews, highlights, and updates.

Of course, Partner Update isn’t just for our partners, it’s about our partners. During our 25 episode stint, we’ve highlighted dozens of extraordinary Cisco partner achievements, from new data centers, to social media campaigns, to cool gadgets and products. We’ve even featured your tweets, videos, and Facebook posts.

Here’s a short trip down Partner Update memory lane featuring partner interviews, bloopers, highlights, and behind-the-scenes footage.

Did you miss an episode or want to suggest something for us to cover? Read More »

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Cisco Nexus1000v: LASIK surgery for the network admin

I finally took a leap of faith and had LASIK surgery done recently, and without a doubt it’s been a life changing decision.  The daily hassle of glasses and contacts are gone, and my vision is now 20/15…it’s like going from regular TV to HiDef!  Of course these benefits came with a cost, requiring investments both financial and mental.  The financial cost was easy enough thanks to no interest payments, however the mental cost required a careful weighing of risk vs reward and a bit of blind faith (no pun intended).  In the end, trust in the technology and the doctor, and the belief that I could find my happy place for 15 minutes to endure the procedure was enough to take the leap.  Looking back it was one of my better life decisions.

Shortly after my procedure I was on site at a customer who was implementing a Vblock, and Cisco was engaged for UCS optimization services to follow up the install.   For those new to integrated infrastructure solutions, a Vblock is a pre-integrated and tested infrastructure stack with various components across compute, network, and storage.  My favorite component hands down is the Cisco Nexus1000 This product replaces the VMware vSwitch functionality with a feature rich Cisco switch powered by NXOS, which this particular customer had no knowledge of.   Well,  I’m a huge fan of the product, and I knew they would be too once they came to understand it’s use cases and capabilities.   I gave their network and server admins a 4 hour overview covering everything from architecture to troubleshooting.  The light bulbs went on and they were exchanging smiles about 10 minutes into the presentation when I started talking about the non disruptive operational model and VN-LINK concepts.  One of the network admins interrupted me and said “ are you telling me I can get clear vision to the VM level without the hassle of dealing with these guys” as he pointed at the closest server admin.  I immediately thought of my new eyes and chuckled at the thought that server admins apparently were as annoying as glasses or contacts to deal with on a daily basis.

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Hadoop and the Network

Big Data’s move into the enterprise has generated a lot of buzz on why big data, what are the components and how to integrate? The “why” was covered in a two part blog (Part 1 | Part 2) by Sean McKeown last week. To help answer the remaining questions, I presented Hadoop Network and Architecture Considerations last week at the sold out Hadoop World event in New York. The goal was to examine what considerations need to be taken to integrate Hadoop into Enterprise architectures by demystifying what happens on the network and identifying key network characteristics that affect Hadoop clusters.

Hadoop World
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The presentation includes results from an in depth testing effort to examine what Hadoop means to the network. We went through many rounds of testing that spanned several months (special thanks to Cloudera on their guidance). Read More »

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