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Cisco UCS SmartPlay Offers for Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint & SQL Server

As you look at your upcoming Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, or SQL Server projects keep in mind Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) SmartPlay program. The program offers attractive pricing on select Cisco UCS blade and rack server bundles. Our Cisco UCS servers provide an optimal I.T. platform for these key Microsoft workloads helping you to deliver exceptional performance & virtual machine densities, as well as scalability to your organization. Read More »

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Vegas!!! It’s All About Management… MMS 2013 that is…

CasinoWheelWe’ve mentioned earlier that Cisco is again a platinum sponsor at this year’s Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas. We’ll showcase UCS, UCS Manager, PowerTool for PowerShell, and many other management solutions and technologies. Two speaking sessions are dedicated to Cisco technology as well – see details below.  So, don’t gamble away your chance to learn from Cisco Product Managers and Engineers on our integration with the Hyper-V Extensible Switch and System Center! Details on our presence can be found at

Virtual Networking Solutions for Microsoft Hyper-V environments
Session ID:
Date: TBD
Time: TBD

Server virtualization and cloud environments provide many benefits to enterprise customers. However, the dynamic nature of these environments and IT operational practices presents additional complexities for virtual machine networking. This session covers how Cisco virtual networking solutions (Cisco Nexus 1000V and Cisco UCS VM-FEX) can help simplify virtual networking. It shows how they help to enable consistency across physical and virtual networks and provide an advanced networking feature set. The session also details Cisco integration with System Center Virtual Machine Manager to provide a non-disruptive operational model to the server team. Attend this session to learn about Cisco Nexus 1000V and Cisco UCS VM-FEX architecture. Also discover the virtual networking services they bring to Hyper-V environments, and how they can simplify network operations.

Automate Your Infrastructure Programmatic Management of Cisco UCS with Microsoft System Center and PowerShell
Session ID: WS-B337
Date: Tuesday, April 9
Time: 10:15 11:30 a.m.

Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) Manager improves process automation and policy management. This helps data center managers achieve greater agility and scale in their server operations while reducing complexity and risk. Join our Cisco Systems Management experts as they cover managing Cisco UCS with Microsoft System Center and PowerShell. The session will detail the integration of the Cisco UCS XML API with Microsoft management tools. This provides full views of Cisco UCS hardware inventory, monitoring, alerting, and automation of Cisco UCS using both Microsoft Systems Center and PowerShell. You will also see demonstrations of real-world examples showing programmatic bare-metal deployment and ongoing systems monitoring and management of Cisco UCS using Cisco UCS PowerTool and Microsoft Systems Center.

Learn more on Cisco’s technology and solutions for your Microsoft oriented datacenter at

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Microsoft SQL Server on UCS : Higher Performance and Lower Cost

AppBlogPicOrganizations use Cisco UCS servers to gain the power, flexibility, and management simplicity needed to meet their Microsoft SQL Server workload demands while increasing their IT agility.

Starting with standalone servers for performance and bandwidth, or connecting servers through Cisco UCS for automated configuration, simplified management, and massive I/O flexibility which provide SAN and network-attached storage (NAS) access, the pairing of Microsoft SQL Server with Cisco UCS provides business intelligence and OLTP applications exceptional connectivity to your data.

Let’s not about record-setting performance with lower cost, too! In its inaugural TPC-H™ result, Cisco asserted industry leadership in partnership with Microsoft, establishing Cisco UCS as the fastest 4-socket Intel Xeon processor– powered platform for running Microsoft SQL Server at the 1,000 GB scale factor.

Table 1 below outlines the flexibility of  SQL Server on UCS, describing various sized configurations to support your data management needs. Here you can see how our B series or C series UCS servers support small to medium organizations up to the largest of enterprises.

Table 1 – UCS SQL Server Sample Configurations


Want to learn more about Microsoft applications on Cisco UCS? Then please feel free to download in this new Application Solutions Brochure and see how UCS provides an optimal platform for Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint and other leading applications.

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Microsoft SharePoint 2010 with Microsoft Hyper-V on Cisco UCS

SharePointLogoRecently our UCS Engineering team published this Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Cisco Validated Design (CVD). This validated reference architecture describes the performance of a medium-sized SharePoint farm using Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor on our Cisco UCS Rack Servers in a three-tier architecture – web, application, and database.

A load generation framework developed by the UCS Solutions SharePoint engineering team at Cisco performed the load tests and measured the performance metrics while keeping the required response time less than the requested one second service level. Our CVD shares the test results and provides guidelines for better understanding the performance impact of different SharePoint workloads. It also assists in sizing and designing the best farm architecture to support different workloads and recommends the best infrastructure elements for an optimal SharePoint implementation.

Also, this CVD delivers detailed information on how the recommended farm architecture supports up to 20,000 users with 10 percent of the total users working concurrently. It describes how to achieve possible sub-second response time and highlights the performance benefits of the Cisco Servers. The virtualized SharePoint Server 2010 small farm was deployed on multiple virtual machines hosted by the Cisco UCS Rack C240 M3 Servers, using Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 R2 with Microsoft Hyper-V™ instead of a conventional solution deployed on physical servers. The SharePoint Server 2010 medium farm whitepaper describes how it was built and configured on physical servers.

Learn more on Cisco’s solutions for SharePoint, Exchange, SQL, Hyper-V and more @

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“Microsoft is a great partner in the data center…” – John Chambers, October 2012

I was flying back home late last week after participating in Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 launch event in Denver.  As I scanned through my email InBox I saw the John Chambers quote from an interview he had done with CRN . John’s quote is timely given our many Cisco engineering and marketing activities going on with Microsoft as well as with our key partners EMC and NetApp. Let’s take a look and see what’s happening:

  • Our UCS and Nexus platforms are key components in our VSPEX for Microsoft Hyper-V reference architecture with our partner EMC.
  • Our FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution with our partner NetApp is providing Hyper-V based private cloud solutions to customers such as ING Direct in Australia and the University of Waterloo in Canada.
  • UCS Manager is tightly integrated with Microsoft System Center 2012 and this was recognized with it being awarded the Breakthrough Technology Award at Microsoft Tech Ed in Orlando.
  • UCS PowerTool delivers industry leading – and in this case this phrase is really well deserved – integration with Microsoft’s PowerShell  technology affording ease of automation for deployment and rapid configuration of UCS and Microsoft applications such as Exchange and SQL Server.
  • Nexus 1000V enables virtual networking scenarios in Microsoft Windows Server 2012’s new Hyper-V Extensible Switch – a result of great teamwork between Microsoft and Cisco R&D organizations. View our recent WindowsITPro webinar on virtual networking and Nexus 1000V here.

These Cisco technologies and solutions bring UCS, Nexus, and UCS Manager into your environment helping to create a better datacenter for your Microsoft private clouds and applications.  We will continue to work closely with Microsoft and key partners on various Microsoft/Cisco initiatives.  Our combined efforts allow you more choice in determining how to spend your IT budget and a Cisco based datacenter for Microsoft applications is a good choice indeed!

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