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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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Relationships, Relationships, Relationships: Cisco at Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference

When I think of why technology solution providers should attend Microsoft’s WPC, I decided to pay homage to one of Steve Ballmer’s mantras with my blog title.

Last year, at Microsoft’s WPC in Toronto, I was approached by KEMP Technologies (a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner). They gave me an elevator pitch on their products and explained they were interested in partnering with Cisco. Their load balancing solutions sounded interesting and anything that might sell more UCS servers sounded like a win win to me. After all, Cisco didn’t become the #2 blade server vendor worldwide1 by itself. I told them I would try and find the right contact for them.

A few emails on my part and a lot of hard work by the Cisco and KEMP teams, a year later KEMP is now IVT Certified for UCS. While not an exclusive relationship, we can now offer our customers another excellent choice.

Stop by the Cisco booth (#1401) and talk with the datacenter team or KEMP’s booth (#1725). You never know what might come of it.

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

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Empowering Cisco and Microsoft Partners in the Data Center

Both Cisco and Microsoft are committed to helping partners be the trusted advisors to customers embracing virtualization and cloud computing. Today at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, we made a series of announcements with Microsoft to not only accelerate the deployment of private cloud infrastructure worldwide, but also invest in our mutual channel partners to bring these data center solutions to customers.

Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) is a foundational element of our Unified Data Center architecture, and has continued to gain growth and acceptance in the industry. We’re now recognized as No. 2 in x86 blade servers by researcher IDC and leading this segment of the server market in some parts of the world. Cisco partners, especially, have helped broaden our reach and increase our influencer recognition.

Our most important task now is to provide joint Cisco and Microsoft channel partners with the air cover needed to help customers simplify their IT operations, create more effective cloud deployments and realize the significant cost savings and efficiency benefits of optimized data centers.  Read More »

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Cisco, Microsoft and Partners Accelerate Journey to Private Cloud

Working Together SlideBusinesses and organizations are increasingly turning to private cloud delivery models to address their most pressing business and technology challenges. Next week, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (WPC) in Houston, channel partners will be able to speak with Cisco executives and consult with Cisco experts, to learn how Cisco and Microsoft have teamed to provide integrated solutions for Microsoft Private Cloud.  These validated solutions create opportunities for partners to: increase revenue; accelerate their customer’s journey to private cloud; and enable repeatable deployments.

The Cisco Unified Data Center is holistic data center infrastructure architecture. It combines compute (UCS), storage, network (Nexus), security, and management into a single fabric architecture that creates optimal environments for Microsoft Private Cloud and applications. Channel partners can take advantage of Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) and Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track solutions with integrated storage from NetApp or EMC for turnkey private cloud engagements.

Read More »

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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…

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 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.

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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!

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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

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 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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