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Cisco at Microsoft Tech Ed: 3 Years of Innovation and Recognition Has Prepared Us for Today’s and Tomorrow’s I.T. Demands

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Like many of you I have spent the past week or so getting caught up with work and office goings on after a very successful and informative Microsoft Tech Ed North America 2013 event in New Orleans. At Cisco, our Microsoft team is already ramped up for next week’s Microsoft Tech Ed Europe event and then we go at it once again in Houston at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference.  At each of these events Cisco is a Gold Sponsor and we will be showcasing our award winning Microsoft datacenter oriented products and solutions: UCS, Nexus, FlexPod, and VSPEX. Stop by our booths and grab one of our 2013 Microsoft Event Tour t-shirts!

Over the past 3 years we’ve had quite a run of good luck at Microsoft Tech Ed winning “Best of Tech Ed” awards in 2011, 2012, and 2013! Frankly this is due to the consistent, ongoing industry-leading innovation that Cisco’s R&D teams in our Datacenter Group are delivering to the market place. In 2011 our Cisco UCS B250 series server family was recognized with a Best of Tech Ed award. In 2012 UCS Manager was awarded the Breakthrough Technology Award at Tech Ed. Finally, just recently for 2013, our Nexus 1000V software switch for Hyper-V and our FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution won Best of Tech Ed accolades.

This innovation stream from Cisco has prepared us for the I.T. demands that we are all facing today – how to move to a more agile and efficient I.T. technology base as well as driving maximum budgetary efficiencies in OpEx and CapEx . Our Cisco Microsoft solutions are available today and can assist your organizations as they move to a Microsoft private cloud infrastructure and help you achieve positive ROI and TCO advantages.

Here’s a listing of our recent Tech Ed North America blogs – feel free to peruse them and learn more about our compute, network, storage, and architecture solutions for all things Microsoft:

Finally, to keep this information at hand, please bookmark our Cisco’s solutions for a Microsoft datacenter site at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft

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Cisco Innovation Three-peats and Doubles at Microsoft Tech Ed 2013!

BOTE2013_Winner_ProdAwardsThis afternoon here in New Orleans at Microsoft’s Tech Ed 2013 North America event Cisco was honored with two Best of Tech Ed (BoTE) awards for our innovation and technology.

Our Nexus 1000V switch for Microsoft Hyper-V was awarded with a Best of Tech Ed award in the ‘Virtualization’ category. Our FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud reference architecture, developed jointly with our strategic partner NetApp, was recognized with the Best of Tech Ed award in the “Systems Management” category.

This is the third year in a row that Cisco innovation has been recognized by the Tech Ed judges and attendees – a rare three-peat! In 2011 our UCS B250 solution was recognized with a BOTE award in the hardware category. In 2012 our UCS Manager platform was recognized with the BOTE Breakthrough Technology award.

Nexus 1000V extends Cisco’s networking benefits to your Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V deployments. It offers a consistent operational model across your physical and virtual environments. As a distributed virtual switching platform, it provides advanced features and is tightly integrated with the Hyper-V Extensible Switch. Here’s some very good blog post links from Cisco Product Manager Gary Kinghorn to help you learn more on our Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V Switch – Blog 1, Blog 2.

FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud is a Microsoft validated Fast Track 3.0 reference architecture for Microsoft private clouds based on Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012. Developed and marketed with our strategic storage partner NetApp, FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud can help to jumpstart your IT. infrastructure projects for Windows Server 2012 with confidence and support. Here’s a Cisco Data Center guest blog on FlexPod from NetApp Product Manager Calvin Neih.

To learn more about Cisco’s award-winning Microsoft solutions and technologies please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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Why I love working trade shows like Microsoft TechEd for Cisco

I have lost count of the number of trade shows I’ve worked over my career. But working trade shows for Cisco over the past 14 months has been a uniquely positive experience. Microsoft TechEd North America 2013 makes my 5th show evangelizing Cisco UCS and our solutions.

I have been able to have long (sometimes up to 45 minutes) conversations with potential customers who have heard about UCS and want to learn more. Their reactions on how Cisco does it differently from others in the industry is an eye-opener for them – whether it the technology or the economics of the solution. They all walk away saying they are going to have to dig deeper into our solutions and contact their account team / partner.

It has become almost embarrassing the amount of praise our current customers heap on us when they come by the booth. Embarrassing because I’m just a very small part of what makes UCS successful; Cisco has a very strong team behind UCS and I wish they all could hear the great things the customers are saying about their experiences.

There are still two days left to stop by the Cisco booth and learn about:

  • UCS
  • UCS Solutions FlexPod, VSPEX, Exchange, SQL Server
  • UCS Manager
  • Nexus 1000V
  • VM FEX
  • Cisco Email Security

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Cisco UCS in a world with windows

Earlier in the week I had blogged about Cisco UCS in a world of open source computing. And now with Microsoft TechEd right around the weekend, I get to blog about Cisco UCS in a Windows world. Both are relevant now that Cisco is the #2 x86 blade server vendor worldwide with 17.6% of the market and in a statistical tie for #4 in the server category according to research firm IDC. So if you plan to be in New Orleans next week for Microsoft TechEd, or if you use Microsoft technologies in your data center will find the following very interesting.

Last year Cisco UCS Manager, the single point of management for UCS domains, was the Best of TechEd Winner in the breakthrough product category. If you use Microsoft PowerShell or some of the Microsoft System Center 2012 suite of products for management, you definitely want to check out the demos we will have at TechEd.  The Cisco PowerTool for Powershell lets you use a comprehensive list of commands called “cmdlets” to manage all the components of a UCS domain.  With Cisco UCS PowerTool, your operations team can tie together the management of storage components, computing components, and software applications into custom, end-to-end management solutions that are easy to use and easy to script.

If you use the Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, you can download the UCS Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager and monitor the health of Cisco UCS.  With the Management pack you can

  • Monitors Cisco UCS devices such as Cisco UCS blades, chassis, and rack servers.
  • Correlate faults and events across bare metal and virtualized Cisco UCS infrastructure.

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If you use the Systems Center Orchestrator, you can get the UCS Integration Pack for System Center Orchestrator and automate UCS Management.  Read More »

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Microsoft on UCS: Simplify Your IT and Transform Your Business

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.

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Figure 1.

 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.

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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

To learn more about Cisco’s Microsoft data center capabilities, please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft

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