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Your Guide to Cisco at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2013

We’re just a week away from Microsoft’s annual partner soiree – Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (WPC) – where ~16,000 channel partners from around the world will converge in Houston to learn about all things Windows Server, SQL Server, Surface, Office 365, System Center, and much more…


 Why Cisco @ WPC 2013?

Cisco is at WPC as Microsoft is a strategic partner in the datacenter.  Working with Microsoft helps Cisco bring IT solutions to market that our customers are demanding be it private cloud solutions around Windows Server or upgrades to large Exchange and SharePoint environments. These requests are absolutely in line with what we have been hearing from customers:  Cisco is their strategic IT partner, not just a communications partner.


What Should I look for?

My colleague Bill Shields posted a Cisco Data Center blog post the other day on our booth area and the solutions we will be showcasing:   UCS B-Series blade and C-Series rack servers and solutions such as FlexPod and VSPEX;  SQL and Exchange solutions; Cisco UCS Manager and PowerTool, Cisco’s PowerShell utility; and Windows Server 2012 networking featuring Cisco Nexus 1000V. There is a reason UCS, UCS Manager, and Nexus 1000V have been awarded Best of Tech Ed recognition three years running… Stop by booth #1401 and see why!


Cool Must See Item #1: Nexus 1000V Switch for Hyper-V

We just started shipping our Nexus 1000V Switch for Hyper-V. It brings enterprise-class cloud networking to Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V. The Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V offers consistent operational experience across physical, virtual, and mixed hypervisor environments; reduces operational complexity through dynamic policy provisioning and mobility-aware network policies; and improves security through integrated virtual services and advanced Cisco NX-OS features


 Cool Must See Item #2: Cisco PowerTool for PowerShell

Over the past several years we have seen PowerShell emerge from Microsoft as a base platform for management tool offerings such as System Center as well as being a scripting platform used by IT Administrators to drive increased automation and consistency in various deployment, configuration, and maintenance tasks. Cisco’s PowerTool for PowerShell is our ‘PowerShell library’. It provides a wealth of UCS, UCS Manager, and Nexus 1000V cmdlets that can improve the management of your Microsoft oriented datacenter. 

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Cisco Datacenter Solutions at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

Next week, Microsoft will be hosting over 16,000 attendees from over 160 countries at their Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, Texas. Cisco is again a proud sponsor of this event and complete details about our participation are available on

Stop by booth #1401 where Cisco will be demonstrating:

In addition to demonstrating the products and solutions that have catapulted Cisco to the #2 blade server vendor worldwide1, Rex Backman will be speaking on “Leveraging Cisco Datacenter Assets to Drive Private Cloud Revenue” Wednesday (4:00 – 5:00 PM, Hilton America Grand Ballroom D).

Both the Nexus 1000V and FlexPod won Best of TechEd 2013 awards. This was the third year in a row for a Cisco product to be so honored.


We’re looking forward to seeing you at WPC. Join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #CiscoWPC. If you won’t be able to join us and would like to learn more about how Cisco is changing the economics of the datacenter, I would encourage you to review this presentation on SlideShare  or my previous series of blog posts, Yes, Cisco UCS servers are that good. Or visit the Microsoft Cisco UCS portal.

  1. Source:  IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, Q1 2013 Revenue Share, May 2013

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Cisco UCS vs. IBM Flex System: Complexity and Cost Comparison

Complexity and Cost Comparison: Cisco UCS vs. IBM Flex System is report recently published by Principled Technologies.

They evaluated both the technologies and costs of each solution and found a UCS solution is both less expensive to deploy and less complex to manage than an IBM Flex System.

Off all the ways Principled Technologies shows how UCS is a superior solution, I wanted to touch on just one: highly available and scalable management. A UCS management domain consists of a pair of Fabric Interconnects and supports up to 160 blade and/or rack servers. In contrast, IBM is limited to 54 blade servers plus a non-redundant Flex System Manager node. Quoting from the paper:

Because IBM Flex System Manager nodes do not failover automatically like the Cisco UCS solution, administrators must manually connect to a backup node and bring it online. Each target system has an OS agent that remains registered to the original FSM node and does not recognize the new FSM. Admins must manually unregister each of these agents from the failed node and then register the new FSM node. [page 7]

Read the full report to learn the many additional ways which UCS is shown to be superior solution and why Cisco has leapt ahead of IBM and is now the #2 blade server vendor worldwide1

Principled Technologies Complexity and Cost Comparison Cisco UCS vs. IBM Flex System from Cisco Data Center


Would like to learn more about how Cisco is changing the economics of the datacenter, I would encourage you to review this presentation on SlideShare  or my previous series of blog posts, Yes, Cisco UCS servers are that good.

  1. Source:  IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, Q1 2013 Revenue Share, May 2013

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Cisco UCS in a world with lotsa data

My previous blogs have turned into a “in a world” series introducing the reader to the versatility of the Cisco Unified Computing System.  We are no strangers to the fact that data collection and data records are exploding.  The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to add a lot more data to our treasure trove.  As more objects are embedded with sensors and get the ability to communicate even more data will be collected and stored. Here at Cisco, we see the Internet of Everything (IoE), which goes beyond IoT when we add people, processes and information to the mix.  Cisco defines IoE as bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before—turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.  Check out

Clearly the Internet of everything (IoE) will affect the data center in many ways. In this video Cisco VP Satinder Sethi, gives us a perspective on some of the challenges and how Cisco is partnering with other IT companies to solve the problems.

Organizations can transform, mine or analyze the data collected to create new business models, improve business processes, and reduce costs and risks. The recent NSA scandal of tacking phone records indicates it can be used to improve physical security. Read More »

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Top Three Reasons Why Cisco UCS is a Better Platform for Big Data

One of the hottest topics in the data center lately is around big data and the actual dollar value that businesses are deriving from making sense from tons of unstructured data.  Virtually every field is turning to gathering big data, with mobile sensor networks, cameras everywhere, and information archives.  New techniques are being developed that can mine vast stores of data to inform decision making in ways that were previously unimagined.   The fact that we can derive more knowledge by recognizing correlations can inform and enrich numerous aspects of every day life.

Cisco is partnering with leading software providers to offer a comprehensive infrastructure and management solution, based on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), to support our customers’ big data initiatives.  Taking advantage of Cisco UCS’s Fabric based infrastructure, Cisco can apply significant advantage to big data workloads.

There are actually many advantages to hosting big data applications on Cisco UCS infrastructure.  With UCS, Cisco offers a balance of performance, management and scale that sets UCS apart from other industry solutions.  Although we’ll be discussing the benefits in more detail at Cisco Live next week, here is a sneak peak of what you can expect:

Reason #1 to deploy Cisco UCS for your big data analytics: Form factor independence and administrative parity.


Cisco UCS

Cisco UCS provides a single point of management for the overall infrastructure—whether it’s blade architecture on the enterprise application side or rack architecture on the big data side, including troubleshooting, monitoring, and alerting capabilities. Customers can proactively monitor the system and keep operational costs down.

In other words, Cisco UCS Rack Servers can be managed the same way as UCS Blade servers with full workload mobility across both blades and racks.  This simplifies the management construct and eliminates the need for additional management silos in the data center.  This form factor independence is made possible by Cisco Unified Fabric with single wire management and Cisco Unified Management that includes UCS Manager with Service Profiles.

Read More »

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