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The Journey to DevOps and Composable Infrastructure

The rate of change is accelerating in IT. The need to provide your enterprise with a competitive advantage and to leverage new technologies is driving the need for rapid change and constant improvement. IT organizations must deliver new business services consisting of new and enhanced applications faster while ensuring SLAs. This environment of frequent and rapid change is what analysts refer to as Mode 2. It requires adopting business practices where development and IT operations work more closely together and more processes are automated. These forces are driving the growing requirement for DevOps and composable infrastructure.

Speed of ChangeAfter watching the videos and reading the press reports from the recent HPE Synergy announcement, you’d think that transitioning to a DevOps and implementing composable infrastructure just requires purchasing the new hardware and launching HPE OneView. Some good marketing, but DevOps is a methodology, not a system. It is an ongoing journey of continuous improvement as well as continuous delivery. Adapting to a faster rate of change requires enhancing processes, better communication and tighter integration of tools as well as some new technology.

You can embrace the speed of change while minimizing the disruption and risk. We’ve developed a new brief that explains how you can make the transition to DevOps and composable infrastructure easier using your existing UCS systems, UCS management software and operations management tools.

Download the brief to learn more.

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Composable Infrastructure Part 5: The Right Tool for the Job

Tool Kit with ToolsWe all know the importance of using the right tool for the job. Having the right tool can make the work much easier and faster. When you think about infrastructure to support the new cloud-scale applications, you also want the right tool. System vendors have offered a range of options for decades. Servers are designed to support the requirements of different applications and workloads. This same principle applies to composable infrastructure.  Even if you pool the infrastructure resources and allocate them dynamically to support each application, there is still a requirement to have different systems architected to support different requirements. A one size fits all approach to this new category of infrastructure is bound to have its limitations.

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2013 – A year in review for UCS Management! What will 2014 bring?

As we come to the end of 2013, there is a lot to look back at, and still more to look forward to in 2014.  Last year I speculated whether 2012 was the year of converged infrastructure and all indications are that it was true.  I was at the Gartner Data Center conference in Las Vegas earlier this month, where they referred to converged infrastructure as Fabric-based infrastructure, and expect it to become mainstream within 2-5 years.

As I look back at 2013, some of the big events, from a UCS and management perspective were:

  1. Cisco entered the ranks of the top 5 server vendors with the UCS.
  2. The virtual UCS community started a monthly UCS Tech talk series.
  3. Cloupia was renamed Cisco UCS Director, and won the Storage, Virtualization and Cloud (SVC) 2013 product of the year award
  4. Cisco extended the innovative concept of the UCS Service profiles and introduced Application Centric Infrastructure.
  5. Updated version of the Cisco UCS Manager (2.2) was released this month

Interestingly at the Gartner conference, data center automation was a topic of great interest and many sessions were dedicated to it. The Cisco UCS Management portfolio products are designed specifically to automate data center operations, increase operating efficiencies and Read More »

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Cisco UCS in an application centric world

Over the past few months I have been blogging about Cisco UCS in the context of various trends in the IT industry.

  1. Cisco UCS in an industrialized world
  2. Cisco UCS in a world with lotsa data
  3. Cisco UCS in the world of open source computing
  4. Cisco UCS in a world with windows
  5. Cisco UCS in a converged world
  6. Cisco UCS is a cloudy world
  7. Cisco UCS in a social world
  8. Cisco UCS in a mobile world

One thing is clear – IT world is changing and at a pace much faster than we have ever known.  It seems appropriate to culminate the series in the world of applications.  All entities, big and small ultimately want their data center infrastructure to run applications.  They could be collaboration applications for internal use or with partners.  The applications could be developed in house or could be commercial off the shelf (COTS). Some of the applications can provide the firm a competitive edge in the market – think recommendation engine used by Amazon.  At the end of the day the application is providing a valuable service.  With the advent of the Internet of Everything (IOE), there are many sources of data and connections that applications have to consider while delivering the service.

Imagine the Amazon recommendation engine taking into account your location and the temperature from a gauge near you.  Assuming that application services are delivered from a data center, the application must also be cognizant of the different access mechanisms, desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets and mobile phones. The rate of change in these new technologies is brisk.  As these rapid changes take place, Cisco offers Application centric infrastructure to ease the transitions.  Read Cisco CTO, Padmasree Warrior’s blog on this.

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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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