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#CiscoChampion Radio S2|Ep 30. Flexpod, the flexening!

CiscoChampion200PXbadge#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’re talking about Flexpod, an integrated computing, networking, and storage solution developed by Cisco and NetApp. Its configurations and workloads are published as Cisco Validated Designs. Our SME is Cisco Technical Marketing Manager, Chris O’Brien.

Listen to the Podcast.

Learn about the Cisco Champions Program HERE.
See a list of all #CiscoChampion Radio podcasts HERE.
Ask about the next round of Cisco Champions nominations. EMAIL US.

Cisco SME
Chris O’Brien, Cisco Technical Marketing Manager

Cisco Champion Guest Host
Shawn Lieu, @shawnlieu, Solutions Architect

Moderator
Lauren Friedman (@lauren)

Highlights
What is Flexpod?
Flexpod and UCS Mini
Flexpod Express
Hyper-V and Flexpod
HyperCloud, Intercloud and Flexpod
OpenStack, Red Hat and Flexpod
Feedback session on Management Pods
Provisioning Flexpod

Resource
Flexpod Overview Page

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My take on the integrated infrastructure buzz

I recently created a playlist of my favorite 80’s, 90’s and current songs. Listening to the playlist in shuffle mode, I noticed the stark contrast and evolution of the recording quality from the old classics to the current stuff.

Thank you Pink Floyd and Apple

I have to admit that the quality does get progressively better overtime, but in some cases tunes just sounded over-engineered, especially on the digitally recorded tracks. As good as they may sound, they often lack the warmth of reel-to-reel tape deck recordings. I am sure someone is busy developing an app to fix that.

The Tres Virgo Recording Studio – 1980’s style with owner Robin Yeager

The Tres Virgo Recording Studio – 1980’s style with owner Robin Yeager

It actually makes me wonder how some artists are able to pull some of those over-engineered studio songs off on a live stage, and some do a great job. But these days, concerts are as much about the show, not just the music – thank you Pink Flyod for setting a trend.

Pink Flyod Live – Earls Court, London 1994

Awesomeness: Pink Flyod Live – Earls Court, London 1994

But I digress: what digital allows you to do is fix stuff in the mix with a simple mouse click, versus having to re-record part of, or all of the tracks. That is time and money saving stuff. It is streamlined sound engineering workflows at it’s best.

And it has opened up a whole world of possibilities for recording artists, including making mediocre ones sound pretty amazing. In fact, anyone with Garage Band installed on a MAC (and some talent) can sound pretty good these days. Thank you Apple.

Is your data center stuck in the tape-deck age?

Similar evolution has occurred in data centers around the globe. An IT environment of disparate servers, storage, and networking systems all managed in silos is a thing of the past. Or is it?

The unfortunate reality for many organizations is that their data centers are stuck in the tape deck age and associated laborious workflows. The result is that much of today’s IT budget is still being consumed by keeping the data centers humming along. That comes at the expense of real innovation.

It’s no surprise that in today’s connected-everything world, businesses and organizations off all sizes rely heavily on IT. And in that world, you need an infrastructure that is up to the task: an environment that is agile, secure and simple to manage with few resources.

Once you have that in place, your talented IT folks can turn their attention to focusing on real innovation that can lead to tangible business outcomes, rather than just keeping the lights on – just as talented musicians should focus on the music.

So what a novel idea to have an environment that combines compute, storage and networking into a pre-validated, fully integrated design that can be centrally managed? Enter the idea of integrated infrastructure. By no means is this a new concept. After all, many vendors now claim they deliver integrated infrastructure. Or can they?

I can’t speak for other vendors, but can say that Cisco has teamed up with the best in the industry to deliver pre-validated (so you know it will work together), integrated systems.

And they work just as advertised. I recently discovered this when I picked up my personal hardcopy of Unleashing IT.

I was delighted when my hardcopy of Unleashing IT arrived in the mail

I was delighted when my hardcopy of Unleashing IT arrived in the mail

This edition dedicated to discussing the various Integrated Infrastructure flavors available today from Cisco and it’s eco-system of partners. It profiles businesses and organizations much like yours that are reaping the business benefits.

I encourage you to take a moment to subscribe, download the pdf or get your personal hardcopy shipped to you, and let me know what you think.

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Microsoft Integrated Infrastructure Solutions. Deploy, Deliver, and Scale with FlexPod and VSPEX

Like many of us I am in the wonderful city of Chicago on a warm sunny day preparing Cisco’s presence for Microsoft Ignite 2015. Starting Monday in booth #122 at McCormick Place we’ll be showcasing our leading solutions for the Microsoft stack.  Stop by if you are here!

Our Ignite focus will be on our core technologies: our UCS family for compute, the Nexus  portfolio for switching, and our industry leading integrated infrastructure solutions. In addition we will breakout some cool new Cisco technologies and solutions but you are going to have to wait until Tuesday morning to get that news!

Sunday Morning Booth Set-up and Prep

Sunday Morning Booth Set-up and Prep

 

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FlexPod Datacenter with Microsoft Private Cloud — A Premier Integrated Platform for Mission Critical Microsoft SQL Server Implementations

This guest blog was authored by Frank Cicalese and contains summarized content from various articles that can be found on Cisco and NetApp’s sites. 

Untitled5Frank Cicalese is a Technical Solutions Architect with Cisco’s Data Center Architecture Team helping customers globally with their Microsoft solutions on Cisco UCS. Frank also worked at Microsoft for over 10 years in several positions that required deep technical knowledge such as Services Consultant, Platform Architect, Database Technology Specialist, Virtualization Technology Specialist and Datacenter Technology Specialist. Frank has in-depth technical knowledge and proficiency with database design, optimization, replication and clustering and has extensive virtualization, identity and access management and application development skills. He is also a writer member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers with published musical works that have aired on well-known cable and news networks.


 

FlexPod

Cisco and NetApp have been teaming for several years developing the FlexPod solution portfolio. This portfolio includes architectures that combine NetApp storage systems, Cisco Unified Computing System servers, and Cisco Nexus fabric into an architecture that provides a highly efficient operational model for workload deployments. This architecture is capable of hosting mission critical SQL Server implementations and is capable of providing them with the required throughput and availability for even the most demanding business requirements.

Recently, Cisco and NetApp contracted Scalability Experts to implement a performance and load test that proves my claims in the above paragraph beyond any doubt in my mind.

Scalability Experts, for readers who may not be familiar with them, is a triple Gold Microsoft Partner, and highly awarded consulting company specializing in Data Platforms, Business Intelligence and Infrastructure Solutions. Scalability Experts conducted the performance and load testing over several months using real world workloads. More information on Scalability Experts can be found at http://www.scalabilityexperts.com/

The purpose of this performance and load test was to validate that FlexPod is a premiere platform for the most demanding applications. This performance and load test implements a real world gaming workload on Microsoft SQL Server 2014. Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate Edition was used to generate and run the performance and load tests. For more information about Visual Studio 2013 Ultimate Edition see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd831853.aspx. More information about Microsoft SQL Server 2014 can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/sql-server/.

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Cisco UCS Mini – Powering Microsoft Applications

Since Cisco UCS Mini launched last September, Cisco and our partners (Citrix, EMC, Microsoft, NetApp, Nimble Storage, Oracle, SAP, and VMware) have been hard at work putting together a wide variety of solutions.

On the way to tradeshow week (May 4th), I’ll be doing a brief blog series on UCS Mini tied to these shows.

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