Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Data Center and Cloud

Best Practices for Application Delivery in Virtualized Networks – Part II

As we start off this New Year, how about including a resolution to improve application delivery? In Best Practices for Application Delivery in Virtualized Networks – Part I , we covered key application delivery challenges that have come up due to the complexities of managing the many types of applications that enterprises use today, and further complicated by data center consolidation and virtualization. We then covered some best practices, courtesy of Dr. Jim Metzler’s 2011 Application Service Delivery Handbook, which recommended taking a lifecycle approach to planning and managing application performance.

A key step to the lifecycle approach is to implement network and application optimization tools, such as WAN Optimization solutions and Application Delivery Controllers, including server load balancers. Of course, these solutions are not new to the market and already address many of the needs that exist with delivering enterprise applications in virtualized data centers -- namely, the need to ensure network reliability, availability and security for users accessing these applications. In this post, we will discuss a recent study by IDC, where IT decision makers across Europe and the US spoke out about their strategies for using server load balancers to deal with emerging challenges.



.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What important attributes do you look for in your server load balancers?

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Practices for Application Delivery in Virtualized Networks – Part I

Earlier this year the Webtorials Analyst Division, co-founded by Dr. Jim Metzler, surveyed their subscriber base of IT professionals. Not surprisingly, 75% admitted that when a core business application degrades in performance, the end user notices before IT does. Therefore, 85% also believe that it is important, very important and even critical to senior managers that they take a more proactive approach to managing acceptable application delivery (See Figure 1).

Source: Metzler, Jim, “2011 Application & Service Delivery Handbook”, p. 14

Click here for the 2011 Application Service Delivery Handbook -- Cisco

Contributing to the challenges of ensuring good application performance are the very innovations that are meant to simplify business and IT operations. These include data center consolidation, virtualization and the wide variety of applications that IT must support– all of which creates operational issues for IT. Not to worry – there are best practices that IT organizations can implement as application delivery challenges continue to evolve. In Part I of this blog post on application and services delivery, I’ll share what I consider to be key learnings from Dr. Metzler’s comprehensive 129 page guide. We’ll start with some core challenges:

Key Application Delivery Challenges

Proliferation of different types of applications: Today, companies utilize a wider variety of applications than ever. Some applications are business-critical. Others enable other business functions. And still more applications support communication and collaboration. Not only do they vary in criticality, but they also vary in their demands on the network. For instance, video streaming, which causes a lot of strain on the network may be key on some occasions (think company-wide all hands meetings a la Apple’s tribute to Steve Jobs), but recreational during other times. IT managers must audit company-wide application use, pinpoint a select group of business critical applications and formulate and execute a plan for optimization.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In a Network State of Mind

Innovative managed ISR G2 marketing with crowdsourcing platform jovoto

The ISR G2 is one of Cisco’s most versatile products -- it delivers next generation WAN and network services, enables the cost-effective delivery of high-definition video and collaboration, and provides the secure transition to the next generation of cloud and virtualized network services.  

Cisco has teamed with jovoto on an innovative marketing initiative to develop creative yet focused campaign concepts for managed ISR G2.  jovoto is an online collaboration platform that delivers creative collective intelligence and builds on the concept of co collaboration with its global community. It establishes a sustainable partnership between brands that seek ideas and creative idea-driven individuals and communities.

Launching on August 23, Cisco and jovoto will run a six week contest to challenge the jovoto community to create concepts that communicate a compelling value proposition for the ISR G2. Anyone can submit new ideas, review the submissions, and provide feedback and comments to make them even better. There are prizes for the top ideas and for the highest ‘karma’ points -- the most active participants who comment and help shape these ideas.

We want YOU!  Are you a designer with amazing ideas for how to turn the ISR G2 value proposition into an great marketing campaign? Submit an idea (or five)! Are you an IT professional who we’d want to hook? Give your candid feedback and tell us if these ideas would get you to think about ISR G2.

See the “In a Network State of Mind” contest landing page to get started.

http://bit.ly/networkstateofmind

Tags: , , , ,

Enabling the Network Service Layer for Virtualized and Cloud Infrastructure

The Need for Virtualization
In their quest to reduce administrative and hardware costs and to increase the availability of server resources IT administrators are embracing server virtualization to the point that it has become a fundamental data center technology. Server virtualization makes it possible for IT administrators to move virtual server instances, and the applications that run on them, from one physical machine to another as needed, and have to them running at the new location within moments. This mobility allows IT administrators to optimize server utilization or to take advantage of idle compute resources as well as to recover from server failures almost instantly.

Workload Availability
The mobility of virtual servers is what makes server virtualization so appealing. This mobility not only enables movement of virtual machines from one server to another within the same data center, it also enables movement of virtual machines from one data center to another. Mobility of virtual machines between data centers is critical as it enables IT administrators to make use of available resources in another data center and to recover from data center outages, maintaining availability to applications and business services seamlessly.

The Network Can Help
In the data center application performance, availability and security is enhanced by a number of network services such as server load balancing, WAN Optimization and firewalls, which have been delivered by physical appliances. As IT administrators take advantage of the benefits of server mobility that is enabled by server virtualization they seek to have the same mobility available in the network services that benefit those virtual servers and their applications. While it’s possible to have the same network services appliances running in all data centers the challenge is with configuring them to recognize the specific virtual server instances that have been moved between data centers.

Read More »

Tags: , , ,