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Cisco’s Microsoft Momentum Continues…

November 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm PST

MSFT Logo New

The Microsoft ecosystem continues to be an important area of focus with our Cisco Datacenter product and solution teams. UCS, Nexus, UCS Management, and ACI teams have continued to innovate and launch new offerings during the past few months. Let’s take a look at our recent happenings and launches that can help enable your organization to deliver an optimal datacenter environment for your Microsoft platforms:

1. PASS, Microsoft SQL Server, and Cisco’s Unified Datacenter…

SQLPASS

We’ve ramped up our focus on Microsoft’s SQL Server platform! Investments in PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server), Pass Summit 2013, and the PASS Virtualization Chapter afford us the opportunity to educate this world-wide BI and Data Management audience on UCS, Nexus, FlexPod, and VSPEX. Stay tuned for more from us, too as Microsoft gets closer to shipping their SQL Server 2014 platform.

2. Cisco and the Microsoft Cloud OS Launch…

CloudOSOccurring around the world during the November 2013 to January 2014 timeframe is Microsoft’s Cloud OS launch – the coming out party for Windows Server 2012 R2 as well as System Center 2012 R2. Cisco will be a local sponsor at many of these events – in fact as of this writing we have wrapped up our participation at multiple events in Canada, Germany, and South Africa. Please stop by your local Microsoft Cloud OS event and visit the Cisco booth to learn more as well as listen to Cisco’s Chief Technology & Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior on our Microsoft alliance and datacenter solutions.

3. Cisco, Microsoft, and the Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)…

SatyaJohnMicrosoft was a key strategic partner at our recent New York City ACI launch with strong support from key Microsoft leaders such as Satya Nadella, Executive Vice President of their Cloud and Enterprise business unit. Satya shared the stage with Cisco CEO John Chambers in announcing ACI to the public.  In addition, Microsoft’s Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, System Center blogged on the event and created a video on his ACI thoughts.  Microsoft -- with their key platforms of Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint – sees ACI as a way to deliver ‘…datacenter without boundaries for our customers…

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Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and the Application Virtual Switch (AVS)

November 11, 2013 at 4:00 am PST

Following our launch of the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), we continue with our series exploring in more detail key aspects of the ACI policy model and partner ecosystem. In Part 1 of my series on ACI, we looked at why application policies were an ideal model to build infrastructure automation around, and how application policies are better suited to mirror business objectives and requirements than traditional IT infrastructure policies. The key benefits for customers end up being vastly greater degrees of automation, process improvement and business agility.

In Part 2, we looked into one example of the difficulty in deploying and managing applications and the level of complexity that must be overcome to truly automate application-oriented tasks: application-specific network services and security policies (as well as a separate post on the partner ecosystem for application services and security solutions that support the ACI model).

In this Part 3, we’ll look at one of the components of the ACI fabric that we also announced, the Application Virtual Switch (AVS). We’ve received a number of follow-on questions in this area that can be addressed here. By way of introduction, I had the chance to sit down with AVS and Nexus 1000V Director of Product Management, Balaji Sivasubramanian to talk about the new AVS and how it relates to both ACI and the Nexus 1000V virtual switch (Balaji also had a related post on AVS):

But wait, there’s more…  Read More »

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Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI): Application Network Profiles for Security and Network Services

November 7, 2013 at 4:00 am PST

Now that we’ve announced the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), everyone is trying to come up to speed quickly on this new fabric architecture and the power that this revolutionary application-centric model will bring to data center and cloud automation. One of the best insights to ACI I have seen comes in the form of a 140 char tweet from Insieme TME Joe Onisick (he also blogs at definethecloud.net) who says, “Building intelligent networks is a fool’s errand. Build a network to take orders, then teach it to do so in a business relevant language.” If you truly understand that, you’ll easily grock ACI. The rest are implementation details.

Joe Onisick tweet

What ACI has done is backed off from all the network complexity in trying to build more and more intelligence directly in the fabric. Building the network to be externally automated can centralize the intelligence and control, while simplifying the design and operations of the fabric greatly (also a goal of SDN, by the way). But what’s really new about ACI is that the programmability and orchestration of the infrastructure (how it takes the orders) is now done in a business-relevant policy language/model.

In a pre-launch post, I looked at why application policies were an ideal model to build infrastructure automation around, and how application policies are better suited to mirror business objectives and requirements than traditional IT infrastructure policies. The fact is that applications are the brains of the business and best reflect the activity and dynamic requirements of the business. Application policies are inherently business-relevant. The key benefits for customers end up being vastly greater degrees of automation, process improvement and business agility. [Note: It will be left as an exercise for the reader to prove that OpenFlow, e.g., is not a business-oriented policy language.]

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Channel Partner Webcast – Virtual Networking for Hyper-V Environments

July 22, 2013 at 9:29 am PST

Hyper V First SlideCisco and Microsoft have a developed a powerful alliance in the data center that extends the value of the Cisco Unified Fabric, Unified Computing System, and Unified Network Services through leading-edge integrated solutions with Microsoft Windows Server, Hyper-V and System Center. These integrations provide an opportunity for Channel Partners to deliver differentiated solutions that address their customer’s most pressing business and  IT challenges.

BOTE2013_Winner_ProdAwardsThe Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V stands out as an example of how Cisco and Microsoft are collaborating to offer integrated solutions to customers and partners. The Nexus 1000V extends Cisco networking benefits to Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V deployments and provides a consistent operational model across physical and virtual environments. Cisco was the first company to integrate with Hyper-V and the industry is taking notice. Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V was recently recognized as Best of TechEd 2013 in the Virtualization category.

If you’d like to learn more about Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V, you’re in luck. Redmond Channel Partner is hosting a webinar on Cisco Nexus 1000V: Virtual Networking for Hyper-V Environments on Thursday, July 25, 2013, at 11am PT / 2pm ET.

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Cisco at Microsoft WPC 2013 Video Collection

July 18, 2013 at 11:59 am PST
Cisco intern, Renee Yao recording videos from WPC 2013

Cisco intern, Renee Yao recording videos at WPC 2013

The Cisco Data Center team recently wrapped up a great week at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2013. Cisco’s VP of Unified Computing Marketing, Jim McHugh took the opportunity to interview Cisco experts about how Cisco UCS provides an optimal platform for Microsoft oriented data centers and creates opportunities for channel partners to drive new customer engagements and increase sales.

Special thanks Renee Yao for producing these videos as part of her summer internship at Cisco. Renee is a rising senior at UC Berkeley and has done a great job for the UCS marketing team this summer.

Check out our WPC 2013 video collection to learn about joint channel programs and solutions from Cisco, Microsoft and our partners.

Empowering Cisco and Microsoft Partners in the Data Center

Listen as Brian Allison, Cisco Director of Partner Solutions discusses how the Cisco Microsoft Alliance is creating business opportunities for channel partners.

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