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Cisco UCS in a converged world

August 2, 2013 at 8:40 am PST

071913 MI MissionPeninsula-31-1

After a refreshing summer road trip through the beautiful Michigan Upper Peninsula I am happy to be back at work.  I even got a fresh perspective on the phrase “cherry picking”.

 

 

Henry Moore Nuclear Energy sculptureThe geek in me got to see the “Nuclear Energy” sculpture at site where Enrico Fermi’s Manhattan Project team devised a nuclear reactor to produce the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago. ( image from - http://www.chicagobauhausbeyond.org/ )

 

 

While I was away, I missed an interesting webinar on optimizing operations of Cisco Data Center environments with converged infrastructure management. Thanks to video archiving, I was able to review it this week. EMA analyst Jim Frey gave a comprehensive view of data center management using converged infrastructure.  Some key takeaways from my perspective were:

  1. Converged infrastructure will usher in a renewed focus on application performance and service quality.
  2. The need for automated discovery and configuration will become all the more important with converged infrastructure.
  3. The increased interest in converged infrastructure answered my question “Was 2012 year of the converged infrastructure solutions”

It was very interesting to see a customer -- Molina Healthcare -- discuss their journey to a service oriented data center.  The reorganization of the IT department along the lines of service delivery was fascinating.  Like other UCS customers, they had seen quantifiable benefits from the Cisco UCS management capabilities.

  • Speed of deployment improved 50- 75% (down to 1 week from 2-4 weeks)
  • Support costs reduced by 60%.
  • Discernable improvements in reliability and availability of the infrastructure.

As integrated infrastructure gains importance in data centers with physical and virtual environments that support application services, simplified management of these assets becomes very important.  The Cisco UCS management portfolio was recently enhanced with the Cisco UCS Director. It provides unified management of industry-leading integrated infrastructure solutions that Cisco delivers with EMC (VSPEX) Read More »

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Would You Like to Reduce Costs by $264,000?

Of course you would. In a recent Forrester report on the economic impact of FlexPod, that is exactly the cost savings estimated by utilizing centralized automation and orchestration. So I ask, what new projects or services could your IT organization deliver with cost savings of $264,000? To get a copy of the Forrester report, go here.

This report details the impressive cost savings, not to mention a potential nine month ROI, available with FlexPod. But more importantly, this is the first time I have ever seen financial details or savings achieved with centralized automation, orchestration and management.

FlexPod has three certified solution partners. From my viewpoint the first to be certified, UCS Director (formerly Cisco Cloupia), provides the utmost in comprehensive management as well as the perfect complement for FlexPod. Watch this video to learn why UCS Director and FlexPod are the perfect one-two combination for your organization.

In this blog I would like to focus on two reasons why UCS Director should be your choice for managing FlexPod.

Comprehensive Management
UCS Director manages physical, virtual and bare metal environments from a single pane of glass. No purchasing of multiple product licenses that need to be cobbled together by a service engagement or dealing with component adaptors. UCS Director installs in less than two hours and can have you productive and provisioning simple infrastructure workflows in one day. Best of all, you can manage your entire IT infrastructure — not just the virtual infrastructure.

Native management
UCS Director natively manages all the components of FlexPod: Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus and FAS storage. Why does native management matter? With native management your organization has access to all the functionality of each component layer because UCS Director speaks fluent Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus and NetApp ONTAP and OnCommand. This is a significant advantage over solutions that only utilize “plug-ins” or adapters.

Solutions that utilize plug-ins, place the development responsibility of these solutions onto the hardware vendor. With already busy development schedules, vendors develop to the minimum viable feature set.

Best of all, UCS Director speaks fluent FlexPod 7-Mode, Cluster Mode ONTAP, and ExpressPod.

Forrester has lots of financial data in their report and the $264,000 is only an estimate that is worth your time understanding. Across the board industry analysts agree that seamless, automated orchestration and management is crucial for organizations to achieve the full experience of elastic infrastructure pools that become the foundation for as-a-service.

Cost savings of $264,000. Just imagine what your organization could do.

To obtain an evaluation copy of UCS Director, go here and choose free evaluation copy.

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Serious Simplification Advancement

Recently I spent time at Cisco Live Orlando where I caught up with Trey Layton, CTO, VCE. We had an opportunity to talk about automation and orchestration of Vblock with Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia). Over recent months, we have been doing even more work for our customers, collectively between our companies, to do deeper integration and to simplify the management, administration, provisioning and automation of our converged infrastructures.

As we see the continued trend to move to a services model in IT and adopt a private cloud infrastructure, Cisco UCS Director is the only solution to provide single pane of glass automation and provisioning of all virtual and physical assets and can provide end-to-end orchestration across server, network and storage resources.  With Vblock, it provides our mutual customers an elastic pool of resources to be able to consume and adapt to various applications and use cases that customers are deploying in the virtualized or bare metal environments.

We are excited about the developments around both what UCS Director and Vblock are delivering, and there is a lot more in the works moving forward to continue to support simplification and agility for our customers’ data center architecture.

  • The next release of UCS Director will add VMAX and VNXE storage support to the product by September.  This will allow UCS Director to support all Vblock models with complete server, network and storage provisioning automation.
  • The UCS Director task library will include over 50 Vblock specific tasks to allow users to easily build model-based automation workflows to dynamically provision the system.

Cisco continues to innovate, delivering technology and solutions that provide real value to our customers. Tomorrow starts here.

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