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Why I love working trade shows like Microsoft TechEd for Cisco

June 5, 2013 at 7:19 am PST

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

May 31, 2013 at 1:21 pm PST

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

April 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm PST

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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Cisco UCS Management and the Microsoft Management Summit 2013: Where Imagination Rules the World

April 7, 2013 at 11:08 pm PST

It’s late Sunday night in Las Vegas as I write this from my hotel room – Cisco’s day one MMS 2013 blog post. It has been a long day already here at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center getting set up for the show… Our Cisco booth is complete; UCS, Nexus 1000V, FlexPod, and VSPEX Engineers have their demos loaded and ready to go; the always popular Cisco t-shirts are stocked and ready to be handed out; the Event team is here and primed.

Over dinner tonight I was mulling over with my core event team what to write about in this blog. For some reason, and I forget why, we had been discussing Napoleon at the table. So, I started searching for some famous Napoleon quotes that might apply to technology, I.T. management, and Cisco’s activities at MMS 2013.

I found this quote from Napoleon Bonaparte: “Imagination rules the world”. Those four simple words are so very true when it comes to the power inherent in Cisco’s Nexus 1000V and UCS management capabilities. We’ve all learned about the powerful hardware architecture of UCS – with its modular approach to helping you deliver a modern datacenter for compute, networking, virtualization, and storage. I think at MMS 2013 though  people will see the imagination, and innovation if I can add to that, of what Cisco  UCS Manager and Nexus 1000V Engineers have delivered for Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1.

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Cisco’s management portfolio is focused on doing what we know best – managing the compute, network, and virtualization infrastructure layers. We partner in the most complementary way with Microsoft’s System Center management portfolio. Together we offer a true ‘better together’ model affording end to end management ranging from the hardware chassis to the business transaction.

So, if you are at MMS 2013 this week, check us out in booth #501. We’ve got a set of demos anchored by Nexus 1000V and its integration into the Hyper-V Extensible Switch as well as a strong set of Cisco UCS Manager and Cisco PowerTool for PowerShell demos. Completing our demos is kiosk’s devoted to our private cloud solutions with our strategic partners NetApp and EMC respectively FlexPod, VSPEX.

If you are not at MMS 2013, we encourage you to check out our Microsoft capabilities at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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What’s Cisco Doing for Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1?

March 15, 2013 at 8:15 am PST

We’re doing quite a bit actually…if you’re headed to the Microsoft Management Summit 2013 show in Las Vegas in a few weeks, stop by our booth, grab a t-shirt, and see us demo our UCS Manager and Nexus 1000V capabilities and more…

Cisco’s technology investments for Windows Server 2012 & System Center 2012 center primarily on the hardware, management and networking segments with our  UCS, UCS Manager, Cisco PowerTool, Nexus 1000V, and VM-FEX offerings. These investments help to drive simplification and automation for you – saving time and money.

Feel free to read and download documents from our library below:

Learn more about how Cisco can provide an optimum datacenter environment for your Microsoft investments at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft

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