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.
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.
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
Understanding the true capacity of an application and how it responds under stress is always top of mind for ISV’s as they bring solutions to market. Recently at Microsoft’s Partner Solutions Center (MPSC) in Redmond we and our partners X-IO and Scalability Experts worked with ISV Riversand Technologies to provide the ‘hard proof’ that their SQL Server based retail application could scale to expected demands.
Comprised of UCS servers for compute, Windows Server and SQL Server for the Microsoft stack, and X-IO storage system components we worked with the technical staff of Scalability Experts and our aforementioned partners to execute a comprehensive benchmark test on the Riversand solution MDMCenter.
The joint benchmark test not only confirmed MDMCenter solutions capabilities, but additionally showcased its speed and scalability that exceeded all expectations of the aspects that the benchmark aimed to measure. Read the case study here and learn how Cisco UCS, working with our technology partners, can deliver high-end SQL Server performance.
A truly “Better Together” story is the pairing of two strong management utilities -- Cisco UCS Manager’s PowerTool offering with Microsoft’s PowerShell solution. Together they afford UCS System Administrators the ability to quickly automate and customize a multitude of management tasks resulting increased efficiency and quality utilization of IT resources and staff.
PowerTool is a Microsoft PowerShell module which helps automate all aspects of Cisco UCS management including server, network, storage and hypervisor management. A new PowerTool Quick Guide has been developed that can help jumpstart your learning and use of PowerTool with PowerShell. Available from Cisco’s Developer Network Community, http://developer.cisco.com, the document can be downloaded here.
PowerTool incorporated with use of Cisco’s UCS Manager and Microsoft’s System Center portfolio can help speed your Microsoft oriented deployments be they FlexPod (Cisco + NetApp) or VSPEX (Cisco + EMC) infrastructure based or platform focused on Windows Server 2012, Exchange 2010, or SQL Server 2012.
Feel free to download the Quick Start Guide and start exploring the power of PowerTool for your Microsoft datacenter environments. To learn more about Microsoft on UCS, please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.
I was flying back home late last week after participating in Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 launch event in Denver. As I scanned through my email InBox I saw the John Chambers quote from an interview he had done with CRN . John’s quote is timely given our many Cisco engineering and marketing activities going on with Microsoft as well as with our key partners EMC and NetApp. Let’s take a look and see what’s happening:
UCS PowerTool delivers industry leading – and in this case this phrase is really well deserved – integration with Microsoft’s PowerShell technology affording ease of automation for deployment and rapid configuration of UCS and Microsoft applications such as Exchange and SQL Server.
Nexus 1000V enables virtual networking scenarios in Microsoft Windows Server 2012’s new Hyper-V Extensible Switch – a result of great teamwork between Microsoft and Cisco R&D organizations. View our recent WindowsITPro webinar on virtual networking and Nexus 1000V here.
These Cisco technologies and solutions bring UCS, Nexus, and UCS Manager into your environment helping to create a better datacenter for your Microsoft private clouds and applications. We will continue to work closely with Microsoft and key partners on various Microsoft/Cisco initiatives. Our combined efforts allow you more choice in determining how to spend your IT budget and a Cisco based datacenter for Microsoft applications is a good choice indeed!
The University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada was one of our first FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud engagements this year. Alantex, based in Woodbridge, Ontario was the Cisco Advanced Technology Partner driving the project. Vlad Kryukov, CEO of Alantex, and his crew delivered the integrated value of the FlexPod solution to the University.
View this video to hear from the University of Waterloo’s Infrastructure Architect Greg Parks on the results and their satisfaction with Cisco, NetApp, and Microsoft.