CiscoLive 2013 concluded last week in Orlando. Some of the sessions are available for viewing at www.ciscolive365.com. One of the keynote addresses featured an AVA 500 robot from irobot (Registration required – Hour and 48 mins into the video). The robot brought a flood of memories from my days as a grad student. I was a student participant in a consortium of companies striving for manufacturing excellence. There was a major push in the 90’s to improve US Manufacturing and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was instituted to spur progress. It is now awarded to companies for performance excellence and the 2010 the winner was the parent company of two Texas restaurant chains – Rudys and Mighty fine burgers.
So what has this got to do with Cisco UCS you ask? Large scale data centers are ushering in the industrialization of IT services with standardization and stringent service level agreements. Cisco UCS is the infrastructure platform for delivery of IT Services and has the main ingredients to power service excellence.
Service excellence come about with reduction in variation in the process. Good service principles and practices bring about consistency, reliability and predictability. The slide deck which was a result of work with Forrestor analyst Glenn O’donnell a couple of years ago, gives more details on service orchestration, and the business case to invest in it.
The presentation addresses how orchestration goes beyond automation. The two key points were:
- Automation is restricted to a single domain or systems whereas Orchestration encompasses multiple domains.
- Orchestration takes into account real time feedback of the system where as automation does not do so.
To give a more concrete example, provisioning of a Cisco UCS server for a service with a script or software program, would be automation. Adding server capacity for the service when 90% of compute capacity is in use, would be orchestration.
Automation of tasks is however the foundation for service orchestration and Cisco UCS excels at it. The Cisco UCS XML API enables automation regardless of user preferences. Since I will be attending Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, TX next week, I expect to meet many Microsoft Powershell users who can now exploit Cisco UCS C-Series PowerTool to manage standalone UCS (needs CIMC v1.5) rack servers. With Cisco UCS PowerTool, users can enjoy the benefits of automation and hence service orchestration in their data centers. If you are attending the conference come by and check out all the Cisco solutions including the Cisco UCS Manager and Cisco UCS PowerTool.
Tags: Cisco UCS, quality, UCS Manager
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.
Tags: Cisco, FlexPod, Hyper-V, Microsoft, Nexus 1000v, UCS, UCS Manager, vspex, Windows Server 2012
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 Cisco.com.
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.
- Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, Q1 2013 Revenue Share, May 2013
Tags: 1000V, B-Series, blade, C-Series, Cisco, datacenter, Exchange, FlexPod, Microsoft, N1KV, nexus, partner, PowerShell, PowerTool, rack, server, SQL, UCS, UCS Manager
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
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.
- Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, Q1 2013 Revenue Share, May 2013
Tags: 2208XP, 6248UP, 6296UP, B200 M3, blade server, capex, Cisco, CMM, CN4093, Fabric Interconnect, fex, Flex System, FSM, G8264R, IBM, patterns, Principled Technologies, rack server, ROI, service profile, tco, UCS, UCS Manager, x240
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 http://blogs.cisco.com/ioe/how-the-internet-of-everything-will-change-the-worldfor-the-better-infographic/
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 »
Tags: Big Data, Cisco UCSM, UCS, UCS Manager