Note: This guest blog is from our partner NetApp. VDI Reference Architect Rob Briggs introduces ExpressPod for the Microsoft private cloud as well as comments on FlexPod successes. Rex.
FlexPod, ExpressPod, and Windows Server 2012 RDS -- “It’s in the Box!”
I’ve seen a lot of great discussion and buzz this week at the Microsoft Management Summit on deployment of private cloud, Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1. Around the Cisco and NetApp booths, it’s been exciting to see the interest attendees have shown around our new Private Cloud Fast Track 3.0 validated FlexPod solution – FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud.
But what exactly does this mean for customers? Take a look at ING Direct, which has deployed FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud and achieved massive cost and time to market savings. With their “Bank in the Box” solution, ING Direct made “copies” of the entire bank environment for their developers in 10 minutes, compared to a previous 12 week turnaround. This dramatically accelerated time to market of new products and services.
For many small to medium sized businesses or remote offices, FlexPod, System Center and a private cloud infrastructure may be more than what is required. Instead, we’ve seen that many of these customers want to start with a simple to deploy virtualization solution. ExpressPod, with all of benefits of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V , it is a pre-packaged and tested solution for growing small and medium sized organizations with exactly this scenario in mind. Think of it as having many of the benefits of FlexPod, but priced, sized and packaged for small to medium sized deployments.
The hardware that comprises this solution is nothing to scoff at: ExpressPod integrates Cisco UCS® C-Series servers, NetApp FAS2220-series storage, and Cisco Nexus® 3048 switches with infrastructure management, into an affordable, easy-to-deploy shared virtualization infrastructure solution. ExpressPod supports an open ecosystem of management and hypervisor solutions and comes in two configurations, small and medium.
The small and medium ExpressPod configurations are low-cost, standardized infrastructure solutions, well-suited for virtualization of business critical applications. The configurations have been built and tested to deliver a cost-effective, high-value, and best practice architecture.
Each configuration provides a standardized base platform capable of running a number of business-critical applications while providing scalability options to enable the infrastructure to grow with business demands. One such application workload that ExpressPod is well-equipped to run is Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Services (RDS).
A solution perfectly suited for the value of ExpressPod
As a desktop virtualization solution, RDS offers lower cost deployments. In addition to the cost-effectiveness of using ExpressPod, Microsoft Windows Server 2012 RDS reduces both the capital and operational expenditures of VDI. Simply said, “It’s in the box”. Software box that is. There are no additional software dependencies to roll out an effective VDI solution. Also, I’m happy to say that RDS deployments have been drastically simplified with Windows Server 2012, which reduces management costs.
If you are at MMS this week please be sure to stop by the Cisco or NetApp booths. We’d be happy to further discuss the benefits that either FlexPod or ExpressPod can bring your organization. You can also find out more about these solutions from certified Cisco and NetApp resellers.
At Microsoft Management Summit 2013 in Las Vegas this week, Cisco is showing a host of new technology innovations and integrated solutions for the virtualized data center. By bringing Cisco virtual networking and UCS solutions together with Microsoft cloud solutions, we are expanding the market for our technology, while providing more technology options and flexibility for our customers.
Our new version of Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V has been in wide use for the last several weeks since we opened up the public beta to all volunteers. The availability of Nexus 1000V and these go to market initiatives with Microsoft are the culmination of 3 years of joint effort between the companies, including developing the ecosystem for completely integrated solutions. These fully integrated solutions include VSPEX, FlexPod (with EMC and NetApp) that enable channel partners to deliver value to end customers.
The feedback we’ve been getting from the beta users of the new Nexus 1000V has been really positive. If you missed the insights from Microsoft MVP, Damian Flynn, when he presented at one of our online webinars, you can hear him talk about his experiences here.
What we consistently hear from customers is the Cisco Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V:
Offers consistent operational experience across physical, virtual, and mixed hypervisor environments
Reduces operational complexity through dynamic policy provisioning and mobility aware network policies
Improves security through integrated virtual services and advanced Cisco NX-OS features
While some may be wary of the number 13, for 3 Oracle user groups (IOUG, OAUG, Quest Intl.) 13 is a measure of success for their joint (collaborative?) conference “Collaborate”, next week in Denver. Now in its 13th year, the 6000 attendee strong Collaborate is the world’s largest independent Oracle user group gathering. And Cisco, along with our storage partners NetApp and EMC will be there demonstrating a breadth of Oracle infrastructure solutions (check Cisco activities and major speaking sessions here)
In addition, Cisco is the sponsor of both the Women in Technology reception and Women in Technology panel discussion. Cisco CEO John Chambers has made news recently with his women’s initiatives at Cisco, so extending that support at Collaborate 13 is a natural.
Cisco will have a large presence in the Collaborate 13 exhibit hall and will also have multiple conference sessions highlighting how Cisco Unified Computing System has been winning the hearts and minds of Oracle users around the world. Whether the Oracle user wants to “build their own” custom system or buy a preconfigured and fully tested “converged infrastructure” solution, or anything in between, Cisco and its Oracle eco-system partners have an answer.
Here are some examples of customers who deployed Oracle solutions with Cisco Data Center architecture.
We’ve been doing quite a bit of work recently with our strategic partners Intel, NetApp, and Microsoft on Microsoft oriented private cloud solutions. Specifically we’ve been focusing on new innovation going into our joint FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud reference architecture.
A great way to learn about these joint development activities is to join in on an upcoming executive roundtable -- Simplifying Your Journey to Private Cloud - on Wednesday, April 17 at 2 p.m. EDT. Leaders from Cisco, Intel®, NetApp, and special guest Microsoft, will examine key areas where businesses can gain the best return and biggest competitive advantage while adopting a private cloud model.
Our expert panel will spotlight the innovative FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud, solution through customer results and open dialog, to sharing of essential insights. Please feel free to registerhere for this event.
Whether you are amongst those building their own private cloud or amongst those leveraging the solutions of cloud providers, you want to attend Cloud Connect Santa Clara next week.
Cisco has been very active over the past years to accelerate the emergence of the cloud computing model. Padmasree Warrior, Cisco CTO and Lew Tucker Cisco cloud computing CTO have been on the forefront of this evolution, developing the concept of a “World of Many Cloud” and more recently the “Internet of Everything” .
So it’s pretty natural that Cisco is a Diamond Sponsor for Cloud Connect , which is happening April2-5 in Santa Clara , California .
The concentration of very active high tech companies makes this event exciting for the visitors (see exhibitor lists) . You will find Cisco at the booth #201. In addition of the Cisco solutions, partners such as AT&T, Dimension Data, NTT, Savvis, Sunguard, Windstream will be there as well to talk about deployments.
A quick look at the list of speakers, starting with the keynotes makes it even more attractive.
The agenda is organized around tracks reflecting the care about of IT organizations, such as private cloud and hybrid cloud, mobile cloud, risk management and security, enterprise SaaS strategies, performance and availability, WAN and cloud networking , cloud economics, applications design and architecture, but also big data and software defined networking .
If you want more specifically hear from Cisco and partners , here are some suggestions :
Cloud Computing, SDN, And the Internet of Everything
by Lew Tucker Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Cloud Computing | Cisco
Open source cloud platforms such as OpenStack now allow anyone to build their own public or private cloud. This accelerates private cloud platforms usage to not only meet the needs of rapid application development and deployment of enterprise apps, but when combined with SDN also changes the nature of “infrastructure as a service” as a platform for consumer-facing services. Come explore with us this virtuous cycle created by cloud computing, software defined networking, and the internet of everything.
Wednesday, April 3, 10:20-10:35 AM Mission City Ballroom
Choosing Your Strategy in a World of Many Clouds
byPat Adamiak Senior Director, SP Data Center and Cloud Solutions | Cisco
Your organization has many options to choose from in the cloud. We are here to share our expertise on how to safely navigate a world of many clouds. Please join us to hear about the industry trends, strategies, and solutions you can put in a successful cloud playbook.
Thursday, April 4, 2:30-3:15 PM Grand Ballroom G
Enabling IT as a Service – Cloud Management and Orchestration
by Rodrigo Flores Cloud Enterprise Architect | Cisco
The promise of running IT departments as an internal service provider has been elusive. In their quest to deliver ITaaS, many companies have suffered from an emphasis on IT operations and less focus on infrastructure and application development, resulting in a siloed IT environment held together by heroic efforts. The majority of IT spending is dedicated to “keep the lights on” activities, hindering IT’s ability to keep up with the pace of business innovation. This session will address why the answer to this IT quandary lies in the implementation of virtualization and cloud computing, describing these as the essential building blocks for the agility, flexibility, and “services” focus that IT needs to achieve ITaaS. The speaker will describe why IT needs to be delivered as a service and why IT must think in terms of delivering services not servers, and “claims processing” rather than “data processing.
Thursday, April 4 2:30 PM–3:30 PM - Location: Grand Ballroom F