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Was 2012 Year of the Converged Infrastructure Solutions?

December 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm PST

As we got past the Mayan Apocalyse day and as 2012 comes to an end, a question to reflect upon is if this has been the year of the Converged Infrastructure Solutions.   Incidentally, use of these solutions by data centers was a topic of discussion on a panel moderated by Jim McHugh last month.

Just so we are on the same page, Converged Infrastructure Solutions are those which have integrated servers (CPU & Memory), server virtualization (hypervisor) and storage with the necessary network access into a single entity or logical unit.  Examples are the VCE Vblock, NetApp FlexPod, Hitachi Data Systems UCP, IBM PureFlex System and HP CloudSystem  (all names are trademarks of the respective companies).  Even Dell has started marketing converged systems.  The term pre-integrated has to be dissected carefully.  In some cases the precise choices on server, storage array and the hypervisor have already been made by the vendor.  In others, there is a choice on these infrastructure components and the solution is a reference design with tested scenarios.  For instance, the Vblock is a fully integrated and tested solution with Cisco UCS for servers and network access, Cisco MDS 9148 storage switches, EMC VNX series storage and VMware virtualization.  The misunderstanding on converged solutions is deep enough that an IBM PureFlex video goes on to compare the UCS Manager (manages only the UCS components) to the PureFlex management software, when in reality it should be compared with the Vblock management software. Read More »

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Cisco Validated Designs for Cloud -Part 4-Virtualized Multiservice Data Center 3.0

December 14, 2012 at 10:22 am PST

Over the past weeks, Tom Nallen introduced the concept and benefits of the Cisco Validated Design , then Laszlo Bojtos,  illustrated this concept with the Cloud Service Assurance for Virtualized Multi-Services Data Center 2.2 Cisco Validated Design, with a specific emphasis on the integration with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud . Finally John Kennedy shared with us the latest news on Flexpod.

jotungThis week , I met Johnny Tung, Systems Marketing Manager for Data Center Solutions, to talk about a very interesting announcement : The Virtualized Multiservice Data Center

” Johnny , can you tell us what Happened to Cisco’s Unified Data Center on Dec 3th?

Well…it just got more interesting! You may have heard of Virtualized Multiservice Data Center. Let me remind you. It is Cisco’s reference architecture for the Unified Data Center. The big news here is that we have just released the 3.0 design. We are introducing Cisco FabricPath into the Unified Data Center network in order to simplify and scale Cloud Ready Infrastructure designs for Private and Virtual Private Cloud deployments.

VMDC

FabricPath simplifies and expands existing data center network design by removing the complexities of Spanning Tree Protocol (STP), and thus enabling more extensive, flexible, and scalable Layer 2 designs. This release marks the introduction of FabricPath-based designs into VMDC;  further FabricPath-related VMDC releases will follow as Cisco develops and evolves its FabricPath offerings.

 What does it mean for our customers ?

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My Other Computer is a Vblock!

December 4, 2012 at 8:16 am PST

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was in London last week at a conference.  I picked up the badge shown  in the photo below, and it made me laugh, and I thought it would be a good image to pass on.  VCE’s Vblock was the only example of converged infrastructure on show there.

My Other Computer is a Vblock!

 

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SAP TechEd Madrid is a showcase for the Cisco UCS Server Platform

SAP TechEd Madrid is a showcase for the Cisco UCS Server Platform

Another November and another SAP TechEd in Madrid. Cisco will again be showcasing UCS as a preferred platform for all SAP solutions. SAP is again highlighting SAP HANA in the test drive area in Madrid, and Cisco will have their medium SAP certified C460 on display in the test drive area.

Cisco currently has several certified solutions for SAP HANA. SAP has aptly names these T-shirt sized. In the small T-shirt size, Cisco has the C260. In the medium T-shirt size, is the C460. In the large and extra large T-shirt size, Cisco had the B440 configuration with EMC and NetApp as the storage partners. But SAP HANA is not the only solution on display in Madrid.

Cisco will also have in their booth #1054, a VCE VBlock rack and a NetApp FlexPod rack. Both of these will be staffed by experts from VCE and NetApp.

The IT Process Automation team will also be represented in the booth. SAP is now selling this product as part of their price list.

Dr. Michael Missbach has 3 speaking assignments, one theater presentation and 2 Microforums.
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Cisco Validated Designs for Cloud – Part 3 – Flexpod

November 9, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

Over the past two weeks, Tom Nallen introduced the concept and benefits of the Cisco Validated Design , then Laszlo Bojtos,  illustrated this concept with the Cloud Service Assurance for Virtualized Multi-Services Data Center 2.2 Cisco Validated Design, with a specific emphasis on the integration with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud .

This week I talked with John Kennedy, a Cisco engineer who put a lot of energy on the FlexPod CVDs.

“So John, what is FlexPod ?
FlexPod is the result of collaboration between NetApp© and Cisco to create a cost-effective, scalable solution for cloud applications as well as standard virtualization support.  The FlexPod(t), a pre-defined, pre-tested solution, includes the compute, networking, and storage customers need in a validated (as in CVD) package. But unlike other validated solutions, FlexPod can be scaled up or out, not just one or the other.

What need does FlexPod address ?
It’s probably been a while since you had to source a motherboard. Many of us have done this in the past, in order to get desktop computer system that met our needs. Pre-configured systems were limited in their abilities, and custom design was beneficial.

But choices of personal computer systems have increased, and most folks don’t need to customize anymore, preferring to buy an entire computer system that’s been tested and designed to meet their needs. On the other hand, customers want to be able to expand the system they have to keep up with new technology, or to add capabilities.

Customers need to support multiple types of applications and have multiple purposes for their infrastructure, and the Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) for FlexPod reflect that need. The architectures have been validated by engineers from both companies to ensure performance and stability.
But that’s just the beginning. The Cisco Validated Design documents include multiple configurations with multiple types of application and operating systems  Read More »

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