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Cisco IT’s Strategy for Cisco Unified Communications Manager Upgrades

Cisco IT maintains about 21 Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) clusters to support  150,000 hardware phones and 51,000 software phones used by our global employees, contractors and contact center agents.  In general, Cisco IT likes to stay up to date, and upgrades to most major releases of the Cisco UCM as soon as possible – frequently this occurs before the code is available to our external customers.  We do this to take advantage of new features and to help the product developers identify needed improvements before the release is made available to customers.

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New Mobile Apps Monitor UCS, Reboot Servers from 30,000 Feet

UCSand app screenshotMobile devices have changed the way we manage our lives—in fact, just the other day I used apps on my smartphone to pull up recipes and locate a nearby grocery store. (Now only if there were an app that could enable a smartphone to cook dinner.)

Did you know that there’s an app that can help you manage your Unified Computing System (UCS), too? UCSand, which is available for Android phones and can be found in the Android Market, enables you to monitor and control your UCS. Sounds pretty cool, don’t you think?

It definitely can be a useful tool, according to Colby Cousens, Systems Administrator for the City of Melrose, Massachusetts.

The city has a secure, multi-tenant FlexPod architecture in their data center. This solution provides the City of Melrose with the ability to offer secure network, storage, and compute resources to their partner communities.

“One of my own shortcomings regarding UCS is that I don’t get into the manager as often as I should to check events and warnings on the system,” Colby said. “The UCSand app highlights the value of Cisco’s XML-API in allowing a program to pull targeted data out of the UCS Manager without requiring an individual to navigate through extra configurations or information at the time.”

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Video and Virtualization: Just Another Day at Citrix Synergy

May 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm PST

If what I saw at the Citrix Synergy conference in San Francisco this week is any indication of what will be coming soon, I’d better invest in a personal hairstylist.

With video becoming more and more prevalent on the network, whether it be mobile phones, Cisco Cius and other tablets, IP phones, or TelePresence – there isn’t a question of whether or not video is here to stay. But one question remains: Is your network ready? (And maybe one more question: how does my hair look?)

If your customers haven’t prepared their networks yet, here’s something that might give them the extra boost that they need: Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecasted that videos will account for 90% of network traffic by 2013.

By selling Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI), you’ll help customers prepare for that change. We visited the Cisco booth at the conference and caught up with Cisco’s Operations Director Jeff Platon. He gave us a full tour of the end-to-end VXI system with products that utilize high-definition video.

Watch the full tour:

What else did we see at Citrix Synergy? Read More »

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Is SAP HANA In-Memory Technology Disruptive?

What is “in-memory”?  “In memory” is a technology that takes Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence to a different level.  CIO’s want information at their fingertips.  In order to obtain that information, they engage in data modeling and “what if” scenarios, the answers of which give them a competitive edge in business.  The biggest concern to-date, is that the data modeling and “what if” scenarios usually take days to process.  SAP HANA in-memory technology allows CIO’s to obtain answers to these complex issues in microseconds instead of the typical wait of days.

Who are the only server platform vendors certified to sell SAP HANA?

  • Cisco
  • Dell
  • Fujitsu
  • HP
  • IBM

What are the benefits to users of SAP HANA?

  • Processes all transactions in memory instead of I/O to disk
  • Processes millions of lines of data in microseconds
  • All processing done outside of normal data processing
  • Reduction of hardware and maintenance costs since SAP HANA is self contained in one appliance

So is SAP HANA “in Memory” technology disruptive?  Absolutely.  Watch Rajiv Thomas’s Video Cisco and SAP HANA about HANA

and judge for yourself and visit the Cisco booth number 2106 at SAP Sapphire 2011 to see a demo of HANA in the booth.

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Cisco UCS : When Opportunity Knocks

April 6, 2011 at 7:14 am PST

If you are managing an Itanium or SPARC based server architecture, you may be experiencing increasing maintenance costs, scarcity of administration resources, shrinking ISV support and unclear roadmaps from vendors like HP and Oracle/Sun.  You may not have thought there was a viable alternative, but imagine if you could unite computing, networking, and storage access resources with a management system designed to deliver the flexibility and agility needed to scale business operations.  

Cisco’s Unified Computing System was designed for the modern data center and has just expanded to include a portfolio of two-socket and four-socket blade and rack-optimized servers based on the new Intel® Xeon® processor E7 family. Check out the nine new world record performance benchmarks here. One of the new offerings is a two-socket Cisco UCS C260 server which can support up to 20 cores,  1 TB of memory and 16 SFF disk drives in a dense, 2U form factor. This is big-time compute, memory, and storage capability in an extremely small footprint. Up to 50 GB of memory per core for demanding enterprise applications, such as large-data-set and transaction-intensive databases, enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, and decision-support systems.

Cisco UCS C260 M2 Rack-Mount Server Video Data Sheet

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