Previously I talked about the growing demands and how the role of IT has to change from a cost center to a business strategic partner. It’s important to acknowledge that getting an organization to the point where it can implement IT as a Service isn’t easy, nor does it take place all at once. Every customer has their own journey and different customers will take different journeys. For some, it’s all about doing what they do now, only more efficiently or perhaps adding new capabilities. For others, it’s about making that full-blown transformation to service-driven IT.
So how do you get there? Each phase expands into a series of key initiatives…
It all starts with moving into more of a unified architecture of network fabric and corresponding operations.
Is your network ready to help you transform and be the strategic partner that you can be? Let’s face it… Today’s data centers are challenged with siloed resources and facilities… Limited scalability… Poor resource utilization… Growing complexity…Perhaps the biggest challenge is time. When 80% of your resources are dedicated to “keeping the lights on” and managing all what you have, there is very little time left for innovation that benefits the business.
And the reality is that the role of IT has to change – from a cost center to a business strategic partner! Why? Because there are increasing demands on IT to help your business differentiate in order to survive and grow in these rough economic conditions. And let’s not forget that the increasing cost pressures, technology changes, and the advent of game-changers like cloud are forcing IT executives to look at how to deliver IT differently.
These growing demands put even more pressure on the shoulders of IT especially given the current state of your Data Centers. The data center network sits at the core of IT and is key to how IT can deliver services and provide value back to the business.
In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, storage industry luminaries Chad Sakac (@sakacc) of EMC and Vaughn Stewart (@vstewed) of NetApp discuss the concept of Stretch Clustering, a topic they’ve been covering at tech events for awhile now. Check out their discussion here:
Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
Practice drawing unicorns
Collaborative Storage Unicorn, courtesy of Chad Sakac and Vaughn Stewart
For more information on stretch clustering and all storage topics, be sure to check out Chad’s blog and Vaughn’s blog. Questions, comments, thoughts? Post them here or join the conversation with @CiscoDC on Twitter!
The lack of programmability in existing networking hardware is certainly a problem, but VMware’s acquisition of Nicira does not mean that Cisco and its ilk will be marginalized… It does mean the role and management of the physical network is changing, and I think Cisco is further ahead than most of its competitors in creating a vision for the next phase of networking.
My take here was that the VMware-Nicira acquisition did not portend a strategic break with Cisco, and while there are some obvious overlaps in our product lines, there are still a number of areas of collaboration, cooperation and interoperability. The virtual network infrastructure is just one piece of a larger software stack and the differentiation will likely be decided in the orchestration, management and applications built on top of the newly programmable infrastructures sometime down the road. Read More »
Continuing on our theme of virtual network overlays and programmable networks, today we’ll look at how to increase workload mobility over more data center and cloud resources. If server virtualization increases resource utilization and reduces costs, and data center consolidation is a good thing, then it follows that the larger the resource pool that your virtual workloads can migrate over, the more cost effective your IT operation can be. And if your mobility diameter spans multiple sites, you can obviously improve your fault tolerance as well. We call this increasing your mobility diameter, and we’ll complement what we’ve already learned about VXLAN and virtual overlays with some new technologies to seamlessly scale your diameter up. (Sounds like some sort of bizarre reverse Weight Watchers program, doesn’t it?).
As we noted in our VXLAN overview, VXLANs enable private virtual overlays over layer 3 boundaries via their MAC in UDP encapsulation and the cool way they filter MAC address broadcasts to only the right subnets. However, when you are doing full on application migration over a layer 3 boundary, VXLAN alone isn’t going to do it alone. In order to extend virtual workload mobility beyond layer 2 boundaries, Cisco came up with Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) that can work in conjunction with VXLAN to extend application mobility to any point the VXLAN virtual overlay can reach. And not surprisingly, the media wizards over at TechWise TV have a great video that takes all the complexity of OTV and makes it cartoonishly simple.