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Cisco and Microsoft: Radically Improving I.T. Effectiveness Together

Today at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) in Washington D.C. we entered into a new phase of our Microsoft relationship. Together Cisco and Microsoft announced a multi-year, worldwide sales and channel program focused on driving infrastructure solutions for Server Migration, Private Cloud, and SQL Server engagements. Based on key technologies such as UCS, Nexus, Hyper-V, and Windows Server 2012 R2 these solutions help to enable I.T. organizations to radically improve their I.T. effectiveness while improving their business outcomes.

At Cisco we believe our foundational technologies -- with UCS as the compute platform, Nexus as the switching platform, and with UCS Manager and System Center management integration – provide customers an optimal infrastructure for their Microsoft Windows Server workloads of SQL, SharePoint, Exchange, and Cloud.  Our industry leading UCS integrated infrastructure solutions combined with storage from EMC or NetApp, delivers an even more robust end-to-end value proposition via our FlexPod or VSPEX offerings to our customers. These solutions position our customers well on their respective journeys to the cloud. You’ve read my thoughts here; but let’s hear from Microsoft and their comments on Cisco, Microsoft, our partnership, and value to our joint customers:

We have focused heavily on infrastructure solutions for the Microsoft ecosystem over the past ~2 years and now that our UCS integrated infrastructure architectures are proven we will be putting more emphasis on discrete Microsoft workload solutions. Our initial focus will be on Microsoft SQL Server 2014 and how UCS and its differentiated features, such as Service Profiles and Cisco SingleConnect, deliver improved performance, availability, and scalability.  Satinder Sethi, Vice President of UCS Engineering, details out the benefits of UCS and SQL Server 2014 in this video:

The solutions we deliver to our customers, whether they be private or hybrid cloud, workload or infrastructure focused, are architected and engineered by Cisco, and certified for the Cisco Validated Design (CVD) program as well as certified for the Microsoft Fast Track program. This delivers more value for customers as the prescriptive guidance in each solution offering enables customers to accelerate their deployments with lower risk.

If you happen to be at WPC 2014, please stop by the Cisco booth #801 to speak with our Experts; see things hands on; and simply learn a bit more.  You can also read more about Cisco’s channel programs for the Microsoft ecosystem in Cisco VP Denny Trevett’s blog.  Finally, please feel free to visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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Cisco at Microsoft Tech Ed: 3 Years of Innovation and Recognition Has Prepared Us for Today’s and Tomorrow’s I.T. Demands

June 18, 2013 at 9:14 pm PST

TechEdAwards

Like many of you I have spent the past week or so getting caught up with work and office goings on after a very successful and informative Microsoft Tech Ed North America 2013 event in New Orleans. At Cisco, our Microsoft team is already ramped up for next week’s Microsoft Tech Ed Europe event and then we go at it once again in Houston at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference.  At each of these events Cisco is a Gold Sponsor and we will be showcasing our award winning Microsoft datacenter oriented products and solutions: UCS, Nexus, FlexPod, and VSPEX. Stop by our booths and grab one of our 2013 Microsoft Event Tour t-shirts!

Over the past 3 years we’ve had quite a run of good luck at Microsoft Tech Ed winning “Best of Tech Ed” awards in 2011, 2012, and 2013! Frankly this is due to the consistent, ongoing industry-leading innovation that Cisco’s R&D teams in our Datacenter Group are delivering to the market place. In 2011 our Cisco UCS B250 series server family was recognized with a Best of Tech Ed award. In 2012 UCS Manager was awarded the Breakthrough Technology Award at Tech Ed. Finally, just recently for 2013, our Nexus 1000V software switch for Hyper-V and our FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution won Best of Tech Ed accolades.

This innovation stream from Cisco has prepared us for the I.T. demands that we are all facing today – how to move to a more agile and efficient I.T. technology base as well as driving maximum budgetary efficiencies in OpEx and CapEx . Our Cisco Microsoft solutions are available today and can assist your organizations as they move to a Microsoft private cloud infrastructure and help you achieve positive ROI and TCO advantages.

Here’s a listing of our recent Tech Ed North America blogs – feel free to peruse them and learn more about our compute, network, storage, and architecture solutions for all things Microsoft:

Finally, to keep this information at hand, please bookmark our Cisco’s solutions for a Microsoft datacenter site at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft

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Virtual Networking for Microsoft Hyper-V: Upcoming Nexus 1000V Webinar and Resources

June 18, 2013 at 10:28 am PST

N1KVWebAre you using or evaluating Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft System Center 2012 to deliver higher performance and scale for your workloads? If so, then take advantage of an upcoming joint Cisco / Microsoft webinar to learn how the Cisco Nexus 1000V can simplify your Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V environments through a non-disruptive operational model, policy based provisioning, and a strong services ecosystem.

The webinar will focus on Cisco’s Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V offering. You’ll learn about the new networking stack introduced in Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012, Cisco Nexus 1000V architecture, how it integrates with the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) component of System Center 2012 and the rich networking capabilities it brings to Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V environments.

Date/Time: Thursday, June 20th at 0800 PST

Registration: https://cisco.webex.com/cisco/onstage/g.php?t=a&d=201380230

Speakers: 

Appaji Malla, Product Manager, Cisco Systems

Gunnar Anderson, Product Manager, Cisco Systems

Ananthanarayan Sundaram, Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft

Prabhu Ramabadran, Technical Product Manager, Microsoft

Finally, please be aware of these Nexus 1000V resources to assist in your learning, deployment, and operations of your virtual networking environments:

Cisco Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V: http://www.cisco.com/go/1000v/hyper-v

Cisco Nexus 1000V portfolio: http://www.cisco.com/go/1000v

Cisco Virtual Security Gateway: http://www.cisco.com/go/vsg

Cisco Nexus 1100 Cloud Services Platform: http://www.cisco.com/go/1100

Cisco Microsoft partnership: http://www.cisco.com/go/microsoft

Cisco N1KV Public Community: http://www.cisco.com/go/1000vcommunity

 

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Cisco Innovation Three-peats and Doubles at Microsoft Tech Ed 2013!

June 5, 2013 at 5:29 pm PST

BOTE2013_Winner_ProdAwardsThis afternoon here in New Orleans at Microsoft’s Tech Ed 2013 North America event Cisco was honored with two Best of Tech Ed (BoTE) awards for our innovation and technology.

Our Nexus 1000V switch for Microsoft Hyper-V was awarded with a Best of Tech Ed award in the ‘Virtualization’ category. Our FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud reference architecture, developed jointly with our strategic partner NetApp, was recognized with the Best of Tech Ed award in the “Systems Management” category.

This is the third year in a row that Cisco innovation has been recognized by the Tech Ed judges and attendees – a rare three-peat! In 2011 our UCS B250 solution was recognized with a BOTE award in the hardware category. In 2012 our UCS Manager platform was recognized with the BOTE Breakthrough Technology award.

Nexus 1000V extends Cisco’s networking benefits to your Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V deployments. It offers a consistent operational model across your physical and virtual environments. As a distributed virtual switching platform, it provides advanced features and is tightly integrated with the Hyper-V Extensible Switch. Here’s some very good blog post links from Cisco Product Manager Gary Kinghorn to help you learn more on our Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V Switch – Blog 1, Blog 2.

FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud is a Microsoft validated Fast Track 3.0 reference architecture for Microsoft private clouds based on Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012. Developed and marketed with our strategic storage partner NetApp, FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud can help to jumpstart your IT. infrastructure projects for Windows Server 2012 with confidence and support. Here’s a Cisco Data Center guest blog on FlexPod from NetApp Product Manager Calvin Neih.

To learn more about Cisco’s award-winning Microsoft solutions and technologies please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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Microsoft on UCS: Simplify Your IT and Transform Your Business

April 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm PST

We’re at the final day of Microsoft’s Management Summit 2013 (MMS 2013) here in Las Vegas. We’ve handed out ~1,500 t-shirts; performed hundreds of demos on our technologies Nexus 1000V, UCS Manager, VM-FEX, and Cisco PowerTool; evangelized our Microsoft Cloud OS solutions FlexPod and VSPEX; and generally interacted with most of the 5,000+ attendees here.

Show attendees now have a better understanding of our technologies but also and perhaps more importantly, have a better and growing understanding of the true value we bring to their Microsoft oriented data centers.

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Figure 1.

 As Figure 1 shows, organizations are challenged in many ways – staff inefficiency, unscheduled downtime, OpEx and CapEx pressures, etc. We feel our Cisco Unified Data Center is a viable solution to these challenges. It delivers operational simplicity and business agility -- essential for cloud computing. The Microsoft and Cisco alliance extends the value of the Cisco Unified Data Center by integrating Windows Server, Hyper-V, Microsoft workloads such as SQL and Exchange, and finally System Center and UCS Manager management stacks into manageable and scalable solutions. As a highly secure, scalable environment for your organization the Cisco Unified Data Center automates and simplifies deployment, orchestration, and management across server, network, and cloud.

The value derived from a Cisco Unified Data Center we is that we can now help your data center scale to meet your business dynamics; simplify your I.T. management processes; lower your operating costs while delivering world class performance. In the world of Microsoft oriented data centers, we deliver this value to your organization through:

  • Cisco Validated Designs for Microsoft Private Cloud Solutions

Move to the cloud quickly and easily with the help of Cisco Validated Designs. Part of the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track program, these preconfigured solutions consist of industry-leading technologies from Cisco, EMC (VSPEX) and NetApp (FlexPod). Reduce your risk and enjoy end-to-end architectural and deployment guidance with pretested design guides

  • Cisco Validated Designs for Microsoft Workloads

To ensure Cisco customers running Microsoft software get the most from their data centers, Cisco designs, pretests, validates, and provides support for a growing list of Microsoft solutions such as Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, and SharePoint Server.

  • Ability to Consolidate and Virtualize Microsoft Applications

Microsoft applications such as SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and Exchange Server are often prime candidates for consolidation and virtualization. Administrators can expedite and simplify virtualization deployment, management, and operations by using Cisco’s high-bandwidth, low-latency, virtualization-aware unified network fabric, Cisco UCS and Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

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As you can see from the various customer quotes – Xerox, Cassidy Turley, and ING Direct -- true value in terms of economies of scale, improved performance, and efficiencies are seen. To learn more about our Cisco Unified Data Center and its transformational power, please feel free to download our new brochure Microsoft on UCS: Simplify Your IT and Transform Your Business

To learn more about Cisco’s Microsoft data center capabilities, please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft

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