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

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 and Microsoft’s Private Cloud Fast Track Program

This morning at Microsoft’s Management Summit event here in Las Vegas Microsoft announced their new Private Cloud Fast Track program. Cisco is pleased to be recognized as a charter member of this program. Private Cloud Fast Track, a joint effort between Microsoft and Cisco, enables our clients to quickly get up and running with pre-configured Windows Server & Hyper-V based private clouds utilizing Cisco UCS, Nexus, and UCS Manager technology.

At Cisco we believe we are moving to an interconnected “World of Many Clouds” – our Fast Track offerings will enable our clients who choose a Microsoft private cloud environment to quickly activate and deliver an agile, efficient, and simple IT infrastructure.

Learn more about Cisco’s Microsoft solutions and capabilities at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft

  

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Cisco’s UCS Manager and PowerTool: Optimally Managing Microsoft Environments

Many of us at Cisco who focus on the world of Microsoft are in Las Vegas, NV this week for Microsoft’s Management Summit 2012 (MMS 2012) event. Management has been a key focus area for our Cisco® Unified Computing System (UCS) family since the beginning and we have made extensive investments in management technologies.

Our Unified Management solutions afford seamless management and control of physical and virtual server environments and extend via integration into Microsoft’s System Center family. At MMS 2012 we will be showcasing our new infrastructure management tool offerings for Cisco UCS, UCS Manager, and System Center, specifically:

  • The Cisco UCS Management Pack for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, enabling IT staff to monitor health status for 1-to-N Cisco UCS domains.
     
  • The Cisco UCS Integration Pack for Microsoft System Center Orchestrator, helping administrators automate and standardize UCS management.
     
  •  Integration of Cisco UCS with Windows PowerShell through the Cisco UCS PowerTool, enabling administrators to manage infrastructure alongside operating systems and applications on UCS B-series, C-series, and stand-alone C-series servers by using a command line interface.
     
  • The UCS Manager XML API, providing a common programmatic means of managing Cisco UCS.

These new technologies can help IT staffs manage and orchestrate server and networking infrastructure and the Microsoft software stack holistically. Organizations can build on this foundation to achieve a data center that is integrated, with the network as the core foundation for innovation; highly available within and between data centers; and open, through support for standards and innovation for the best possible integration across systems.

To test drive UCS Manager, please visit: http://www.cisco.com/assets/sol/ucp/flash/cisco-ucs-test-drive/ .

To download PowerTool and our Microsoft System Center management packs, please visit: http://developer.cisco.com/web/cdc/tech/unifiedcomputing .

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Cisco at Enterprise Connect: Advancing the Post-PC Era

Today’s enterprise employees don’t access e-mail from just their desktop computers. Whether they are working in their office or pulled into a mission critical meeting, working remotely, or on the go and accessing work via their mobile devices – they need to be able to collaborate on their own terms. As a market leader in collaboration Cisco is continuing to address this need; today, we are announcing new solutions at Enterprise Connect that advance the idea of people-centric collaboration – connecting people instead of devices. Cisco’s news is all about providing customers with a wide range of integrated and interoperable collaboration options so users can connect and collaborate with their peers from any device, at any time.

First, Cisco is introducing the new Jabber for iPad and Jabber for Windows. These new clients build on previous Jabber announcements that include Jabber for Android, iOS, Mac, BlackBerry and Cisco Cius tablets. Today’s announcement provides customers using a wide range of major devices with collaboration capabilities, including:

  • high quality video
  • voice, presence
  • IM
  • conferencing
  • visual voicemail

With Jabber, users are able to have a cohesive user experience across any platform and collaborate the way that they prefer. For example, Cisco Jabber for iPad provides high definition video calling, including seamless integration with Cisco’s TelePresence solutions within the enterprise. Check out the video clip below, part of a demo from our upcoming Collaboration Announcements Webcast; Laurent Philonenko, Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Clients and Mobility Business demonstrates a video call using Cisco Jabber for iPad:

Cisco is also introducing a new immersive telepresence system, the Cisco TelePresence TX9000 Series. The TX9000 expands Cisco’s broad portfolio of telepresence offerings, which includes fully immersive systems, multipurpose room-based solutions, desktop and personal video solutions, and cloud-based managed offerings such as Cisco Callway, introduced in October 2011, ideal for small and medium-sized businesses looking to scale their workforce.

The TX9000 is built using a new industrial design that offers offers customers the highest level of video immersion, while reducing the bandwidth needed by 20 percent. Read More »

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

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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