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“Rules of Thumb” for Co-Locating UC Hosts on Cisco UCS Servers

One part of my job involves designing the virtualization model for our internal unified communications (UC) system deployments around the world. A critical task in this design is specifying which UC virtual machines (VMs) can share a Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) server chassis or blade and which ones can’t. When migrating UC servers to a shared virtual environment, we need to make sure we carefully balance each VM’s needs for CPU, storage, network and memory. Read More »

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Upgrading Five UC Clusters to Cisco UCS Reduces Servers and Costs

In an earlier post, my colleague Reid Bourdet described how we migrated our largest Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco UCM) cluster to a virtual machine environment running on Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) servers.  This was the 19-node (server) Cisco UCM cluster that serves the Cisco headquarters campus in San Jose, California; and we completed the migration over a weekend.

What makes that move even more interesting is that we’re nearly done consolidating 5 separate clusters into one virtual environment, and reducing the total number of servers by a factor of four. Virtualization on the Cisco UCS hardware allows us to consolidate multiple UCM nodes on a single blade.  In this post, I’ll provide more details about the scope of this migration, the results we’ve gained, and how we’ll continue migrating other Cisco UCM clusters to Cisco UCS servers around the world.

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Cisco UCS Servers with World-Record Performance are now Smart Plays

If you haven’t already found your way into Cisco’s new online UCS Build and Price portal, there are some very interesting “Smart Plays” awaiting you.  You can check our new UCS promotions page regularly to find the latest UCS Server Smart Plays such as the UCS B200 M3 Value Smart Play, currently offered (limited time) at only $7600.  This includes two Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2650′s with 16 cores, 64 GB of memory, one VIC 1240 and one VIC 1280 virtual interface card offering a combined 80Gb of IO throughput in a half-width blade server.  This blade server is a real powerhouse in a compact package and now it’s offered at an exceptional price through Cisco Build and Price.

See the new line-up of Cisco UCS blade servers and rack servers with Intel Xeon processors that just claimed another eight new world-record industry benchmarks.

Cisco UCS Performance Brief

Cisco UCS B200 M3 Blade Server
These same servers are now available at competitive prices as Smart Plays on Cisco’s new Build and Price portal. Download specifications, performance reports and compare blade server prices on these popular servers while they last.

In his most recent Blog on October 8th, Girish Kulkarni highlights several new World Record Benchmarks for Oracle E-Business Suite on the UCS B200 M3 Blade Server.  You can see all UCS Rack Server and Blade Server World-Record Benchmarks on our Performance Benchmarks page on Cisco.com.

 

 

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Customer Insight: How one Cloud services provider reduced provisioning time by 50% with Cisco Unified Computing System ™ and FlexPod

October 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm PST

What comes to mind when you think about the color blue? Whenever I think about the color blue in nature, I’m transported to the clear blue skies and turquoise ocean waves of Hawaii. For many people, the color blue has a restorative quality: It’s invigorating and puts us back in control of priorities. My affinity for “all things blue,” is why I was attracted to this story about Cisco customer, BlueWave Computing, LLC., a cloud services provider based in Atlanta, Georgia. BlueWave’s existing server and storage infrastructure had reached its limits and was creating performance and reliability issues. That’s when BlueWave decided it was time for a change. They worked with Cisco to reinvigorate their data center, making it ready for next generation of cloud services, and clearing the way for ”nothing but blue skies ahead.”

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The Three Pillars to Cisco’s Secure Data Center Strategy: Part 3 Visibility

In this last part of this series I will discuss the top customer priority of visibility.  Cisco offers customers the ability to gain insight into what’s happening in their network and, at the same time, maintain compliance and business operations.

But before we dive into that let’s do a recap of part two of our series on Cisco’s Secure Data Center Strategy on threat defense. In summary, Cisco understands that to prevent threats both internally and externally it’s not a permit or deny of data, but rather that data needs deeper inspection. Cisco offers two leading platforms that work with the ASA 5585-X Series Adaptive Security Appliance to protect the data center and they are the new IPS 4500 Series Sensor platform for high data rate environments and the ASA CX Context Aware Security for application control.  To learn more go to part 2 here.

As customers move from the physical to virtual to cloud data centers, a challenge heard over is over is that they desire to maintain their compliance, security, and policies across these varying instantiations of their data center. In other words, they want to same controls in the physical world present in the virtual – one policy, one set of security capabilities.  This will maintain compliance, overall security and ease business operations.

By offering better visibility into users, their devices, applications and access controls this not only helps with maintaining compliance but also deal with the threat defense requirements in our overall data center.  Cisco’s visibility tools gives our customers the insight they need to make decisions about who gets access to what kinds of information, where segmentation is needed, what are the boundaries in your data center, whether these boundaries are physical or virtual and the ability to do the right level of policy orchestration to maintain compliance and the overall security posture.  These tools have been grouped into three key areas: management and reporting, insights, and policy orchestration.

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