You meet the most interesting people at trade shows! This morning at Microsoft’s Tech Ed event here in Orlando the Cisco booth was humming with activity as the exhibit hall opened for the attendees. One early visitor to our booth turned out to have a very interesting – and quite fun – Cisco UCS story.
Jeff Stahl of Kindred Healthcare was the early visitor with the unique story. I started off my conversation with Jeff commenting on the complementary “Got Servers?” Cisco t-shirt he had just picked up. Jeff quickly mentioned he was a Cisco UCS customer and in fact was ‘our first’ customer as he has UCS serial # …0001 in his datacenter. What followed over the next few minutes was a fun conversation with Jeff and a few Cisco Engineers hearing about Kindred Healthcare’s UCS experience.
The Kindred Healthcare case study is available online here – and the benefits they accrued in moving to Cisco’s UCS server platform make a great read:
For instance, their comments on UCS and management are timely as our UCS Manager solution is up for a “Best of Show” award here at Tech Ed 2012 – “In addition to these savings, the Kindred team was also impressed by the centralized management that UCS offered, including service profiles that ensure consistent configurations. “We evaluated a number of different server solutions, but Cisco UCS really came out on top,” says King. “We didn’t consider the decision a mere hardware upgrade. Rather, UCS presented us the opportunity to truly transform the way we deliver services.”
Also great to hear and read up on was the savings in overall operating costs and improved licensing compliance for their Microsoft solutions such as SQL Server and SharePoint – “The elastic characteristics of the UCS-based infrastructure have allowed Kindred to temporarily extend its virtualization services … As a result, the company reduced its operational costs by more than $80,000 a month. Kindred also saw Microsoft licensing savings. “We are now able to leverage our existing investment in Microsoft infrastructure service licenses by landing their services on our shared infrastructure, giving us immediate concurrency and the ability to upgrade as desired.”
Well, Interop Las Vegas 2012 has come and gone, and it was another exciting week for us. The folks at TechWiseTV caught up with Prashant Gandhi, our Senior Director of Product Marketing for network virtualization technology, to talk all about the latest innovation in the Nexus 1000V portfolio and where we are heading with what is increasingly becoming a very strategic platform for Cisco. Prashant really hits this interview out of the park, as he ties the whole architecture and recent innovations together very well.
A key component of Cisco’s Unified Data Center and our virtual networking portfolio is the Nexus 1010 virtual services appliance. We were excited last month when we announced a more scalable version, the Nexus 1010-X. As I pointed out before, the idea of a virtual services appliance is to provide a dedicated hardware platform for running a wide range of network services, monitoring and security virtual machines rather than having them share server resources with key business applications. From an administrative point of view, these network services VM’s can be managed by the networking team, rather than the teams running VM’s on the application servers, which is the right division of labor. The Nexus 1010 platform runs NX-OS and basically looks like a network device rather than a VM host, helping the network admins manage the service policies.
Now we are releasing a case study of an Italian service provider, FASTWEB, who is using the Nexus 1010 to simplify the management of their virtual network, and network service policies. As part of a sustained and forward looking strategy, the Italian service provider has built a next-generation network for delivering converged voice, video, data and mobile services. This investment has enabled FASTWEB to accelerate the creation of new, differentiated offers for business and residential customers, while reducing operational complexity and overhead.
The Nexus 1010 supports network analysis down to the VM layer, giving FASTWEB’s network administrators granular visibility to virtual workloads, without having to trouble the storage and virtualization operations teams.
A key WAN optimization benefit is the mitigation on bandwidth consumption during the huge traffic burst on Mondays, when employees arrive at work and email attachments come to their mailboxes. This chart shows actual bandwidth consumption well below what applications would have required.
A few weeks back I highlighted a report from VCE about our virtual WAAS (vWAAS) WAN optimization solution running on the Vblock platform. Now comes a new case study of a vWAAS deployment at Georgetown, Kentucky-based Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. (TAI). For the Georgetown data center, TAI decided on vWAAS rather than WAAS appliances. The detailed case study is a compelling argument for virtualizing WAN optimization for improved high-availability and more streamlined operations.
“We were an early adopter of vWAAS,” says Chris Jones, TAI Manager of Infrastructure and Operations, “and we perceived value in placing WAN optimization close to the data rather than near the WAN edge. In particular, we felt we could have lower-cost high availability (HA) for WAN optimization by leveraging the Vblock HA. And we perceived operational simplicity in the event of failure, compared with replacing a physical appliance and rebuilding the cache.” Read More »