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Enhancing the MSE User Experience: Backup & Restore, Menu-based Device Setup

Following the last MSE blog on CleanAir, today I wish to explain how we prioritize the Mobility Service Engine’s user experience.

Listening to customers and implementing changes/features based on customer feedback has been a great strength of Cisco products. We from the Mobility Services Engine team strongly believe in this principle and make sure that we reach out to each and every customer who has provided a feedback on Cisco MSE and take their experience with MSE into consideration when designing future features and enhancements.

After analyzing the feedback we received during the MSE 7.4 release, I am pleased to announce that we have decided to implement the following two features as part of series of enhancements that we believe will improve the customer’s user experience with MSE.

Convenient Backup and Restore

Until the 7.4 release, MSE users had limited options in backing up their MSE data. The only supported option was to use the NCS FTP server as the destination for MSE data backups. Due to the limited disk capacity on NCS, as well as sharing of the disk space with other network elements, disk space limitations prevented MSE users from regularly backing up their data. If you are one of those users who always wished you could regularly backup MSE data without running into NCS disk space limitation, or if you wish you could back up your MSE data to non-NCS devices, we have some good news for you.

In the latest MSE 7.5 release, we have added the option to backup and restore your MSE data on remote FTP servers, provided there is connectivity between the MSE and the FTP server.  Similar to NCS Backups, MSE data can be backed up to configured repositories (internal or external FTP servers).  Love the command shell? We will also be coming up with CLI to backup MSE data. You can now start MSE backup using just a single command.

msecsat1 Read More »

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Blade Server TCO and Architecture – You Cannot Separate Them

September 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm PST

I have heard this a lot over the years, in one way or another – “The only price that really counts is what I actually pay for my server.” 

Alright, so why bother with a TCO analysis?  The truth is that server acquisition costs only contribute 20% (or less) to a 3 year server TCO.  Management and other OpEx costs contribute the remaining 80%.  If you go to 5 years, the acquisition cost starts to fade into obscurity.

There are a number of studies you can find online that call out server acquisition cost at 15% to 17% of TCO, or even less.  One is an Information Week report that quotes a 2007 IDC study.  The Information Week article is very good, with multiple sources and definitely worth a read.  Since 2007 there have been myriad improvements in processor performance, as well as, server and architectural innovations (Cisco UCS).  All of these supply ample rationale for a low CapEx component for Server / Data Center Total Cost of Ownership, see the figures below.  

[The WW Server Related Spend… chart is from IDC, “New Econmoinc Model of the Datacenter”; IDC 2011]  [Only the graph is from the cited source, the table is my analysis of the numbers presented by the graph.]

WW Server Spend & Mgmt

Summary of the figures above:

  • Server purchase spend and associated power & cooling spending is flat (red and green bands above)
  • Physical server management cost is the down (blue aband bove)
  • Virtual server management cost are way up and increasing (orange band above)

  Read More »

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[Cartoon Catalyst Blog Series] K-12 BYOD. Secure Students, Determine Internet Access, and Yet Provide Awesome Network Performance?

Students bounding into schools touting the latest device is creating big problem for K-12 IT departments. How can schools support BYOD initiatives while securing these mobile devices and the student information embedded within them if IT staff numbers aren’t growing?

In his latest blog, K-12 BYOD. Secure Students, Determine Internet Access, and Yet Provide Awesome Network Performance?, Cisco’s Rahul Chohan discusses how Identity Services Engine policy deployment as a part of Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education helps simplify mobile device security streamlines the IT security processes required to deploy BYOD. Rahul’s blog covers how ISE helps protect minors, ensure performance, and simplify IT over the wired and wireless infrastructure. How exactly can it do this? You’ll have to read his blog to find out.

For more on Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education page.

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[Cartoon Catalyst Blog Series] K-12 BYOD. Secure Students, Determine Internet Access, and Yet Provide Awesome Network Performance?

So many students, so many devices, yet zero increase in number of IT staffers. The increasingly unbalanced ratio is enough to cause a few nightmares for any IT professional.  Luckily, supporting student IT requirements, while remaining secure, has become a bit simpler with Identity Service Engine (ISE)  Policy Deployment, part of Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education.   With ISE, IT staffers can quickly add and support student’s devices like laptops, smart phones and tablets and at the same time ensure the protection of student information access, dynamically control who gets access to what and provide optimal network user experience.  You can be rest assured that we have your back while you balance it all.

K-12 TightRope1    

Protection of Minors – Let’s face it – K-12 means we’re talking about minors, so we need to tread quite carefully. Extending network access across wired and wireless opens education to a world of innovation; yet it also opens the network up to security threats. 64% of parents feel it is a schools responsibility to effectively teach students how to use their mobile devices safely [Info graphic].  Protection of access to and access by students is a high-priority.  It is critical to restrict access to confidential student records while making sure students get the right access to resources they need for learning. The ISE component of the  K12 BYOD Solution protects student information through secure,   role-based, application access – simply -- over the wired and wireless infrastructure. Read More »

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Cisco Datacenter Solutions at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

June 27, 2013 at 5:38 am PST

Next week, Microsoft will be hosting over 16,000 attendees from over 160 countries at their Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, Texas. Cisco is again a proud sponsor of this event and complete details about our participation are available on Cisco.com.

Stop by booth #1401 where Cisco will be demonstrating:

In addition to demonstrating the products and solutions that have catapulted Cisco to the #2 blade server vendor worldwide1, Rex Backman will be speaking on “Leveraging Cisco Datacenter Assets to Drive Private Cloud Revenue” Wednesday (4:00 – 5:00 PM, Hilton America Grand Ballroom D).

Both the Nexus 1000V and FlexPod won Best of TechEd 2013 awards. This was the third year in a row for a Cisco product to be so honored.

BOTE2013_Winner_ProdAwards

We’re looking forward to seeing you at WPC. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #CiscoWPC. If you won’t be able to join us and would like to learn more about how Cisco is changing the economics of the datacenter, I would encourage you to review this presentation on SlideShare  or my previous series of blog posts, Yes, Cisco UCS servers are that good. Or visit the Microsoft Cisco UCS portal.

  1. Source:  IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, Q1 2013 Revenue Share, May 2013

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