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Top Things to Know About DFA Before Cisco Live Milan

January 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm PST

Two weeks ago, I presented a webinar on Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) and went over the allocated 1 hour to cover the content.  Yesterday, as I was doing follow up with a hands-on demo, I went over time too. This illustrates how rich DFA is, and how much there is to say about it! Dynamic Fabric Automation is an environment for data center automation that is centered on the CPOM (Central Point of Management), a set of services that are provided with the new Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) release 7.0(1).

The services available on the CPOM provide the following:

  1. Power On Auto Provisioning (POAP)
  2. Inter-switch link connection verification
  3. A single console for configuration
  4. Network Auto-Config Profile provisioning
  5. Message processing for external orchestrator
  6. Automatic host provisioning
  7. Embedded management for network monitoring and data collection

All of these services are provided using standard protocols and applications. For example, the POAP service uses DHCP, TFTP and SCP/SFTP, but using a combination of templates and a very intuitive and easy-to-use GUI, DCNM provides a simplified and systematic way of bringing up your data center fabric. The inter-switch link validation or cable consistency check allows the operator to verify the fabric connections against a predefined template and prevent unexpected connections to come up.

The Jabber process provides the single console for configuration, statistics and troubleshooting. Using any XMPP client, an operator can “chat” with the fabric devices; this approach offers the possibility to organize devices in chat groups that match their role, their location or simply some administrative set. With XMPP, a single command can be sent to multiple devices in a secure way.

The most important element of the CPOM is certainly the network profile provisioning. Read More »

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Cloud-based ITaaS: Transforming IT from Support to Service Brokerage

Cloud computing is more mainstream today than ever before, but it’s important to note that there are still significant opportunities for IT leaders to innovate and leverage cloud delivery options to capture new business opportunities and implement new IT models.

The Evolution of ITaaS: The Convergence of Two Roads

On one hand, traditional private cloud services within customer IT services are driving different degrees of completeness depending on organizational needs. Virtualization, consolidation and on-premise shared services are some of the drivers within the private cloud space.

On the other hand, public cloud services are evolving to include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Today, these two tracks are intersecting to create demand for a hybrid cloud model. While the concept of the “Hybrid” cloud has developed mostly as a consequence of the availability of different cloud services, this same availability is also driving the evolution of IT as a Service.

What does this mean for business? It means that fundamentally, IT is adopting a supply chain management logic by deciding whether to make or buy a specific service based on a variety of organizational goals, market pressures, and available options.

The Ongoing IT Sourcing Strategy: Make vs. Buy 

Read More »

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Come See How UCS Director Can Work For You!

Cisco UCS Director delivers unified orchestration and management for converged infrastructure solutions by abstracting the complexity of individual devices, hypervisors, and virtual machines.  This provides administrators with a holistic, converged infrastructure management experience.

Some UCS Director advantages include:

  • Open and flexible system, providing multi-vendor IT infrastructure management
  • Turnkey solution, quick time-to-value via setup within an hour
  • Out-of-the-box support for the most widely deployed converged and integrated infrastructure systems: Vblock, FlexPod, and VSPEX
  • Cisco’s unified management approach reduces deployment times from weeks to minutes – for either virtual or bare-metal environments
  • Automate your infrastructure management so that your staff can focus on more important business-critical initiatives instead of mundane manual tasks

But don’t just take our word for it.  Check out a live technical demo and see for yourself the value and benefits that UCS Director can bring by automating your converged infrastructure.  We are currently offering morning and afternoon sessions on December 11th, December 17th and January 14th.

To register for the live webcast, please visit here.

To further familiarize yourself with Cisco UCS Director, watch this video.

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Industrialization of IT – Are you ready for IT?

I was at the recent Gartner Symposium in Orlando and the topic of industrialization of IT services came up in some sessions presented by Gartner analyst, William Maurer. This is a timely and interesting topic given that the Centennial celebrations of the Ford moving assembly line were held earlier this month.  It was a hundred years ago on Oct 7 that Ford’s Highland Park Plant began using the first moving assembly line.  The goal was to produce the Model T at scale, and at a price people could afford.  Henry Ford found the inspiration in the “dis-assembly lines” of the slaughterhouses of Chicago and Cincinnati.  Beef carcasses hung from conveyor belts and workers along the way were assigned to slice off a specific cut of meat. Ford managers turned it around by starting with a basic Model T frame, and adding specific parts to it on a moving conveyor belt with stations where workers assembled a single piece of the vehicle, over and over again.  The end result was a mass produced car with economies of scale that a large group of the population could afford.

 

FMC_line

Courtesy – Ford Motor Corporation

A recent NPR interview questioned how the assembly line impacted the lives of workers when it debuted.  The response indicated  a fundamental shift in the skills needed.  Prior to the assembly line, workers were craftsmen. Workers were there for their brawn and their speed. Since these were tough working conditions, the average wages went up. So what has changed in the last hundred years?  According to the program -- “Workers today are hired as much for their brainpower as they are for their brawn, because they have to be a participant in the quality process.”

In this information age what should we expect with Industrialization of IT?  We certainly should not see debacles such as the US government Read More »

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Cisco Domain Ten: The Compendium

October 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm PST

It’s hard to believe but it’s ten months since I first blogged on  Cisco Domain TenSM,  which is Cisco Service’s framework to guide you on your path to data center and cloud transformation. I’ve now covered all ten domains of this concise and powerful model.  I’ll now collect all articles -- including my most Cisco Domain Ten article around the breadth of SDN adoption challenges -- into this one article as a useful summary.  So forgive the brevity and please do dive into the links/URLs for more information if indeed you missed these articles first time. And if you’ve read every article and watched our VoDs, please do let me know what you thought of the series -- oh, and thanks!

Going back, now, I started in December 2012, with our launch of Cisco Domain Ten, where I set the focus for my series of articles as cloud transformation.  Let me summarize each article with (and for those that know me you’ll know this is a struggle :-) ) just one sentence with the key message from each blog/domain.

Read More »

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