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There’s no 1-tier network… Do you have a problem with that?

I’m not a car person and I don’t worry too much about what’s under the hood. That means that I’m just a car user, I only want to turn the ignition key and drive. In the Data Center world, the server team is typically a user of the network. Server guys don’t want to know how the network is implemented. They just want their VLANs to extend to the whole network so that they can connect their devices with no constraint, without having to worry about high availability, risk containment, link provisioning… network stuff. That’s precisely what FabricPath is designed to offer them: a network that looks like a single switch, the simplest networking entity. This “Fabric” offers efficient any-to-any connectivity with high bandwidth and low latency, all without having to understand how it works.

User view, a single switch

Figure 1

Of course, this user perspective is an abstraction. The following Figure 2 represents an example of the physical topology of the network, a Clos fabric, typical in Data Center environments. Note that this could just as well be a ring, a star, or even a network distributed across two sites. FabricPath turns an arbitrary topology into a Fabric and does not lock you into a particular model.

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FlexPod: More Flexible Than Ever, and Gaining Customers

What’s a FlexPod—is it a highly flexible case for your favorite MP3 player? A cool new modern chair? No, FlexPod is a design architecture combining networking, computing and storage infrastructure that’s now available through 120 channel partners worldwide!

Yes, that’s right—since its launch in November of last year, FlexPod has seen tremendous growth in the marketplace, with 120 partners worldwide now offering this flexible, scalable shared infrastructure that helps customers lower deployment risk, increase data center efficiencies, and create a flexible IT environment to build a private cloud. FlexPod, which is built on the Cisco UCS server platform, Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp unified storage, has also been adopted by more than 150 customers.

Furthermore, to make it even easier to purchase and deploy a FlexPod, Avnet Technology Solutions today announced it is pre-bundling the FlexPod, based on the Cisco and NetApp reference design architecture guides, for our resellers partners in the U.S. and Canada. Avnet will now provide a single source through its newly introduced FlexPod Services, offering partners all the products, assembly, testing, technical expertise, and support they need to successfully bring FlexPod to market.

Do your customers use SAP applications? Then you’ll also be interested in the last piece of today’s FlexPod news.

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Convergence, Now with Scale and Intelligence

April 28, 2011 at 3:06 pm PST

Welcome to the shownotes for Episode 89 The Agile Data Center -- a veritable smorgasbord of data center innovation…this show is packed and the details are many. All of this centers around massive new technology announcements. (Click here to go right to our show)

Cisco recently shipped its one millionth Nexus 10Gb Ethernet port, bringing the total number of Nexus ports in customer production environments to more than 7,000,000. We have also surpassed 10,000 NX-OS customers and neared 4,000 Unified Computing Systems.  Wow. Good times.

The linkage and capabilities continue to build and this show covers the next step on our very mature convergence storyline adding scale and intelligence to the mix.

So what all did we cover?

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Cisco ‘Walks the Walk’ – Showcasing in Their Second Data Center in Allen, Texas

April 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm PST

On April 15th Cisco will be opening a second data center in Allen, Texas.  This is not just any data center ladies and gents, this state-of-the-art data center demonstrates Cisco’s architectural vision and strategy by incorporation their latest innovations; Unified Computing System (UCS), Nexus switch portfolios, and the latest green technologies.

What degree of green are we talking about? LED lighting – naturally, solar power -- absolutely,  water-efficient landscaping – by all means, use of recycled building materials – affirmative. But to take it up a notch, Cisco used LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) when building the data center.   LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system that provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built using strategies intended to improve performance metrics such as energy saving, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reductions, etc.  

You can listen to a live broadcast on April 15that 3:30pm, ET with CIO Rebecca Jacoby and VP of IT John Manville.   They will discuss in more detail about how it was built to be “ultra green” and how this data center fits into Cisco’s overall data center and cloud strategy: www.ustream.tv/ciscotv.   

It is exciting to see what was first a vision of a data center strategy, that developed into products to grow with that strategy.  Makes me ponder what will the 3rddata center be comprised of?  Walk that walk Cisco (with a carbon-free footprint of course).

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New Innovations in Data Center and Virtualization Promise More Agility

Yet another way for your business to become even more agile: That’s the promise of new updates to Cisco’s Data Center and Virtualization architectures. Today we’re announcing new innovations for virtualized and secure cloud-ready environments that deliver on Cisco’s architectural flexibility, investment protection, and operational simplicity in a secure and scalable manner.

So what’s new? Well, for starters, we’ll have wire-once, end-to-end data center convergence from server to storage array with director class, multihop FCoE for the Nexus 7000 and MDS 9500 platforms. We’ll also offer converged Data Center Management with Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) for single pane of glass visibility across LAN & SAN.

We will also offer you the ability to build a secure, cloud-ready fabric infrastructure, with LISP and MPLS on the Nexus 7000, ES-40 module on the Catalyst 6500, ACE-30 with Cloudburst (dynamic workload scaling) functionality leveraging OTV, a new Firewall Service Module (FWSM) on the Catalyst 6500, and DCNM APIs for Cloud orchestration.

What’s in it for partners? Here’s the scoop. Read More »

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