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Cisco Validated Designs for Cloud – Part 3 – Flexpod

November 9, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

Over the past two weeks, Tom Nallen introduced the concept and benefits of the Cisco Validated Design , then Laszlo Bojtos,  illustrated this concept with the Cloud Service Assurance for Virtualized Multi-Services Data Center 2.2 Cisco Validated Design, with a specific emphasis on the integration with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud .

This week I talked with John Kennedy, a Cisco engineer who put a lot of energy on the FlexPod CVDs.

“So John, what is FlexPod ?
FlexPod is the result of collaboration between NetApp© and Cisco to create a cost-effective, scalable solution for cloud applications as well as standard virtualization support.  The FlexPod(t), a pre-defined, pre-tested solution, includes the compute, networking, and storage customers need in a validated (as in CVD) package. But unlike other validated solutions, FlexPod can be scaled up or out, not just one or the other.

What need does FlexPod address ?
It’s probably been a while since you had to source a motherboard. Many of us have done this in the past, in order to get desktop computer system that met our needs. Pre-configured systems were limited in their abilities, and custom design was beneficial.

But choices of personal computer systems have increased, and most folks don’t need to customize anymore, preferring to buy an entire computer system that’s been tested and designed to meet their needs. On the other hand, customers want to be able to expand the system they have to keep up with new technology, or to add capabilities.

Customers need to support multiple types of applications and have multiple purposes for their infrastructure, and the Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) for FlexPod reflect that need. The architectures have been validated by engineers from both companies to ensure performance and stability.
But that’s just the beginning. The Cisco Validated Design documents include multiple configurations with multiple types of application and operating systems  Read More »

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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 8): Stretch Clustering

November 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm PST

In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, storage industry luminaries Chad Sakac  (@sakacc) of EMC and Vaughn Stewart (@vstewed) of NetApp discuss the concept of Stretch Clustering, a topic they’ve been covering at tech events for awhile now. Check out their discussion here:

 

Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns
Collaborative Storage Unicorn, courtesy of Chad Sakac and Vaughn Stewart

Collaborative Storage Unicorn, courtesy of Chad Sakac and Vaughn Stewart

For more information on stretch clustering and all storage topics, be sure to check out Chad’s blog and Vaughn’s blog. Questions, comments, thoughts? Post them here or join the conversation with @CiscoDC on Twitter!

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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 5): Data Protection

October 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm PST

In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, NetApp’s Nick Howell (@that1guynick) walks through the basics of data protection with Cisco’s Marcus Phipps (@mmphipps). More than ones and zeroes, it’s applications. Follow along here:

Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns
A data protected unicorn is a happy unicorn.

A data protected unicorn is a happy unicorn.

Is your data protected? Post a comment here, or join the conversation with @ciscoDC on Twitter.

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Leveraging strong partnerships to bring the SAP HANA Scale-out solution to market

October 8, 2012 at 6:34 am PST

On Tuesday October 9th at 9:00 am PST  , NetApp will join the conversation between Cisco and SAP on Cisco UCS Data Center Solutions for  SAP® Solution. An opportunity to discover how the SAP HANA® platform on Cisco UCS gives organizations instant insight into business operations.  Registration here for the 10/9 Webcast.

NetApp, as well as Cisco,  will be also present October 15-18  at SAP TechEd  Las Vegas. In preparation of these events, I asked Thomas Stanley, NetApp VP Global Alliances and System Integrators to tell us more about NetApp, Cisco,  SAP partnership. 

NetApp’s strong partnerships with both SAP and Cisco have resulted in over ten years of breakthrough innovations.  Our partnership with Cisco has led to pre-validated solutions such as FlexPod.  By combining SAP applications with the FlexPod architecture, we delivered the SAP applications built on FlexPod solution to help SAP customers smoothly transition to the cloud.  NetApp’s collaboration with SAP started with the joint development of Adaptive Computing; then came NetApp’s SnapManager for SAP product; and more recently, the integration with NetWeaver Landscape Virtualization Manager.  So it makes perfect sense that the three-way collaboration would extend to delivering a scale-out solution for SAP HANA. In fact, SAP used NetApp storage systems internally for the development of HANA.

The Cisco and NetApp Scale-out solution for SAP HANA combines the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) with the innovative NetApp unified storage systems to deliver a high-performance, scalable infrastructure that works right out of the box.  Cisco UCS enables SAP customers to manage an overall SAP data center with one management tool, Cisco UCS Manager.  Thus, the system delivers network simplicity in a smaller footprint, resulting in lower capital and operating cost.  NetApp storage has delivered powerful, shared access solutions to “classic” SAP and SAP Business Warehouse Accelerator (BWA) customers for many years due to its infinite modular scalability, high availability, and overall ease of deployment. Now SAP HANA customers can benefit from the same persistent storage. Using a unified storage architecture, NetApp solutions create a single end-to-end foundation for dynamic data management that can scale from small to large without sacrificing application performance and service levels.

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Real Time Business with Cisco Unified Data Center for SAP Solutions

October 2, 2012 at 6:43 am PST

If you have deployed a SAP solutions, chances are that you have also Cisco network solutions in your company. But do you realize that you can get much more out of the presence of the two vendors in your company? And if you run also solutions either from EMC and NetApp you are now literally seating on a golden opportunity. October 9th webcast is your chance to know more.

Cisco and SAP are very natural partners – Both companies are very interested in providing what business customers are increasingly eager to get out of an intelligent infrastructure ready for cloud, big data , and data analytics : Improve personal productivity, increase process visibility, expand customer insight, manage risks and provide security, with the promise of achieving unprecedented level of  business agility,  financial efficiency and IT simplification.

Over the past years , SAP introduced a new concept with SAP HANA, “a game changer in Memory platform, allowing customers to run the business differently thanks to an easy , near real-time access to a vast amount of data”  to quote  Ryan Veerubhotla, SAP AG , VP Ecosystem and channels – If you  haven’t already seen this educative , easy to understand video, check out . A great way to  see how data in motion become data in action!

Truth is ..for a solution such a SAP HANA to be very successful , it requires an outstanding infrastructure – And that’s where the Cisco Unified Data Center plays a central role –

Whether we talk about Unified Computing Systems, Unified Fabric or Unified management including Intelligent Automation, the Data Center portfolio of solutions that Cisco can deploy for a SAP user makes a tremendous difference in terms of ease of deployment, ease of management , cost reduction and containment and of course performances. (a quick reminder that Cisco UCS broke in less than 3 years  + 70 world-record benchmarks including this week a TPC-C benchmark)

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