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Microsoft SharePoint 2010 with Microsoft Hyper-V on Cisco UCS

February 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm PST

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 @ www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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

October 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm PST

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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Virtuata and vCider: Next Steps to Building a World of Many Clouds

October 12, 2012 at 11:53 am PST

One of the things that has always been clear to us is that a pragmatic cloud and virtualization solution is going to need to embrace diversity.  There were going to be many paths to cloud and customers would want the freedom to choose to host workloads on physical infrastructure, any of the hypervisors available or one of the emerging number of cloud options.  This realization has been one of the factors that has shaped our strategy for delivering practical solutions for virtualization and cloud to the market.

Cloud Networking: Multi-Hypervior and Multi-Service

Initially, we focused on physical/virtual consistency and separation of duties.  We kicked this effort off with the Nexus 1000V, which was a fully functioning NX-OS switch rendered fully in software.  With L2 handled, we moved on to deploy virtual services consistent with this physical counterparts like the ASA 1000V, the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) and vWAAS. Finally, we fleshed out the networking stack with the Cloud Services Router (CRS 1000V).

The network has always been a platform for enabling heterogeneous OS and heterogeneous applications to connect. Naturally, the next step was to take the capabilities we had built and extend them across multiple hypervisors so we could now deliver a consistent experience for customers with heterogeneous hypervisor environments.  We built on our success with over 6,000 enterprise and service provider VMware vSphere customers and are now extending those came capabilities to Microsoft Hyper-V environments as well for Xen and KVM open source hypervisors. With the recently announced shift to a “freemium” pricing model, with the Nexus 1000V-Essential Edition, customers are gaining these benefits with minimal cost and risk.

vCider and Virtuata: Opportunity for Secure Multi-cloud Networking

However, some of the most interesting progress has come from our two of our more recent acquisitions that have been centered on the concept of providing better operations and management of multi-cloud environments.  As customers more broadly adopt cloud and virtualization, security and isolation at the VM level become of paramount importance. To address this need we acquired Virtuata this summer. The Virtuata technology will give us (okay, you) the ability to have sophisticated and consistent security for VMs across multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud environments.

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VSPEX on the Fast Track…Microsoft Fast Track

September 27, 2012 at 7:52 pm PST

Did you catch the announcement from EMC? 

EMC announced the new EMC VSPEX Private Cloud for Microsoft Windows Server 2012.  You can read the Press Release here

Cisco and EMC believe there are three distinct paths…or choices…on the journey to the cloud.  Build-your-own using best of breed products, a truly converged infrastructure product in Vblock from VCE, or VSPEX…a flexible reference architecture approach.  A picture says it all…see below.

 

VSPEX offers an unprecedented choice of industry-leading virtualization, server, network, storage, and data protection.  Accelerate your journey to the cloud with the EMC VSPEX proven infrastructure.

What was announced?  Microsoft Fast Track for VSPEX

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Cisco UCS Technology Innovation Drive OpEx and CapEx Savings for Microsoft Environments

September 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm PST

It’s been a busy week as Cisco has been active with Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 launch activities around the world. We’ve spoken with customers at events in Toronto and New York City with many more in person and digital events to go…

While the week’s focus was on Windows Server 2012 and the datacenter, I thought I would orient this post on how our UCS server family architecture is already benefitting customers in their own Microsoft focused environments. Below is a snippet of metrics, all from publicly available Cisco case studies, and they each demonstrate how Cisco UCS not only advances your data center forward technically but also drives efficiencies in OpEx and CapEx budget spend:

  • 97% -- Young America. Increased their server virtualization rate from 20% to 97%.
  • 80% -- National FFA – This nation-wide organization significantly per server reduced management time.
  • 70% -- Secure 24 – U.S. based service provider saw a tremendous reduction in datacenter cabling.  
  • 66% -- Microsoft – One of Microsoft’s Redmond, WA based datacenter achieved double digit power savings.
  • 40% -- Human Kinetics – Illinois based health and lifestyle firm recognized a large reduction in server acquisition costs.
  • 12 weeks to 10 minutesING Direct (Australia) – Large financial firm experienced a drop in the time needed to provision a new banking environment.
  • 2 Days to 2 hoursVolunteer State Community College – Tennessee based college improved the time required to deploy a desktop for students.
  • $1,575 to $80Slumberland – Mattress retail firm in the U.S. achieved a reduction in per server management cost.

Cisco’s UCS server family, as well as our other datacenter assets such as our Nexus switch family and Cisco Advanced Services, support the full range of Microsoft environments – Windows Server, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, and VDI. For virtualization, we’re hypervisor agnostic, too so Hyper-V, VMware, etc. are equally supported.  Bottom line is  Cisco technology will help create a better datacenter for you while also being friendly to your OpEx and CapEx budget spend.

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