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Cisco, Citrix, NetApp and the World of Connected Devices…

April 18, 2012 at 9:30 am PST

Today’s Day 2 keynote at Microsoft’s Management Summit (MMS) here in Las Vegas focused on the world of connected devices and how IT organizations struggle at times to  deliver quality  services based on the demands of our anytime, anywhere, always on world.

One solution being demonstrated this week at MMS helps to resolve some of these issues. The Citrix XenDesktop on FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution is a joint effort between Cisco, Citrix, and NetApp in the Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) area. The solution helps to simplify, secure, and scale desktop virtualization on Cisco’s agile data center infrastructure based on Cisco UCS while also incorporating storage assets from NetApp and desktop assets from Citrix.  All based on a Windows Server, System Center (including support for System Center 2012!), and Hyper-V environment.

This combination of technologies from Cisco, Citrix, Microsoft, and NetApp has produced a highly efficient, robust and scalable Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for a hosted virtual desktop deployment. To learn more details about this new offering, please download the publicly available reference architecture at the link below:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/unified_computing/ucs/UCS_CVDs/ucs_xd56_flexpod.html

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Cisco, NetApp Transform Data Centers, Bring Entry-Level FlexPods to the Masses

April 10, 2012 at 9:54 am PST

This is a guest blog post from John Woodall, Vice President of Engineering at Integrated Archive Systems, Cisco Premier and NetApp Star partner. John has more than 21 years of experience in the information technology industry. He joined IAS in 2002 as Sr. Infrastructure Architect and brings an extensive background in enterprise architecture, infrastructure, system design and large-scale, complex systems implementation. Recently, John was promoted to Vice President of Engineering, responsible for pre-sales technical architecture and professional services. Prior to joining IAS, John held architecture and management roles at Symantec, Solectron (now Flextronics), Madge Networks, and Elsevier MDL.

This is not supposed to be a blog per se on the cloud; we don’t need more of THAT!  The journey to the cloud, an overused and tired message in my opinion, is now more akin to transporter technology in Star Trek: You choose where to go and you can be there in a moment.  In a similar manner, choosing to put the cloud in your data center is something you and your customers can do now, no more journey to figure out.

Just do it. It really is that easy, a choice. The technology is mature. The tools work. The choice is yours…when the time is right for you and your customers.  This week, that timing just got better for a whole new set of organizations and customers with the announcement of Cisco and NetApp’s entry-level FlexPods.

The inevitability of the cloud, the relentless juggernaut of change in the data center, has been and is continuing to impact all of us in the industry--customers, suppliers, resellers, providers--none of us escapes the Borg-like assimilation that we face.

The challenge has been: how to do it and how much will it cost? How in the world can a data center be transformed?  How can our businesses derive the benefits and mitigate the risk of change?  Read More »

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Top Cisco Partner Headlines: Cloudy with No Chance of Rain, Sustainable Partner Programs, and Marketing Tips Galore

March 13, 2012 at 11:15 am PST

“Take risks—no one is going to die!”

This was just one piece of business wisdom we heard from Jeffrey Hayzlett, former Chief Marketing Officer at Kodak and author of the book Running the Gauntlet.

Jeffrey spoke at Partner Velocity, Cisco’s biggest partner marketing event of the year. We’ll share more words of wisdom, interviews, and tips we recently brought home from the event in this episode of Partner Update.

We’ll also cover a number of cloud-related stories, including cloud marketing resources, Light Reading’s Cloud Mega Test results, the Cloud Partner program, and how to ease cloud deployment of the Microsoft Private Cloud solutions. We’ve also got a host of new partner resources and templates, plus our Tweet of the Week.

Have five minutes to spare? Tune in now and get all your Cisco partner news.

Need more info? Keep reading for links, descriptions, and details on each item covered in our newscast.

Read More »

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NetApp and Cisco Help Ease Deployments of FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud

February 23, 2012 at 9:57 am PST

This morning NetApp and Cisco announced how the companies are helping channel partners sell and deploy their FlexPod design architecture with Microsoft Windows Server Hyper-V. This is a major expansion of our partnership with Microsoft, so I picked up the phone and called Rick Snyder, vice president of Global Strategic Partner Organization here at Cisco to ask him a few questions.

Q: What’s the deal with this FlexPod solution with Microsoft? And what do our channel partners need to know about it?
A: So, Alex, today Cisco release a new Cisco Validated Design for the FlexPod shared infrastructure with Microsoft Private Cloud solutions to help ease deployments of the Microsoft Private Cloud solutions built on our shared infrastructure with NetApp. Also, FlexPods can be purchased pre-integrated for our US and Canada Channel partners through our work with Avnet. As part of its FlexPod Services, Avnet offers many different applications preloaded on the FlexPod.

Q: Shared infrastructure? Is that like a timeshare?
A: (laughs) Well in a way yes, but rather than a room in a Caribbean, we are the data center hardware in the data center. We’ve furnished the data center with the necessary hardware to house many different applications from VMware, Citrix, and now for our Microsoft Private Cloud customers. We feed these applications with data center resources like computing, industry leading memory, network bandwidth, and storage capacity to offer end users an enjoyable experience.

Q: So how popular are these FlexPods? Read More »

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Cisco, NetApp & Microsoft – FlexPod validated with Microsoft Private Cloud

February 23, 2012 at 6:00 am PST

NetApp and Cisco continue to innovate and deliver new popular FlexPod solutions.  These pre-designed and pre-tested Data Center infrastructure offerings are built on a unified architecture comprised of Cisco UCS servers, Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp storage with Data ONTAP.

We’re pleased to announce FlexPod validated with Microsoft private cloud, a new offering which brings the benefits of the FlexPod architecture to Microsoft Windows Server and Hyper-V environments with System Center integration.

Microsoft Windows Server and Microsoft applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, and VDI are key workloads we often find in our customer’s UCS installations. UCS provides an optimum compute solution for these Microsoft applications delivering an agile, simple, and efficient Data Center platform. Please visit the FlexPod validated with Microsoft Private Cloud site here to learn more on how Cisco and NetApp are enabling your journey to the Microsoft Private Cloud.

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