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More of a good thing: Cisco and NetApp open the next chapter for FlexPod

January 24, 2013 at 8:32 am PST

FlexPod, by any measure, has been a great success.   2,100 customers worldwide have adopted the architecture and it stands today as one of the leading converged infrastructure solutions in the industry.   IT organizations want to modernize their operations, but they need to do it in a way that mitigates risk and lays down a solid foundation on which to scale.    To get there they need a solution that brings the best, most innovative technology in an integrated architecture that’s easy to consume.   FlexPod has delivered on that combination of innovation + integration + easy.

Innovation comes in abundance with FlexPod and it has allowed customers to land a wide spectrum of applications on a common infrastructure.   The key is that while infrastructure elements are abstracted and pooled (the basic food groups of compute, network and storage) the system supports both bare metal and virtualized workloads with aplomb; a crucial capability given the realities in the data center today.   Cisco and NetApp have each taken abstraction and API control deep into the server, network and storage infrastructure, below the OS/Hypervisor waterline, and this is what unlocks new agility for everything built on top.

So what comes next?  FlexPod solutions to date have been aimed squarely at the enterprise data center.     What Cisco and NetApp announced today expands the architecture on two key axis.   Both vectors support the growing challenge IT organizations face today: spanning from the data center core out to the branch office and also into the cloud (both to deliver services and to procure them.)   Location independence for applications across this continuum requires infrastructure that can be tuned to support a wide spectrum of workloads and operating models.  To do it efficiently requires uniformity in deployment and operating models.

One the axis of operating models, the FlexPod architecture will expand out from the solid base of solutions developed for the data center in two directions: into solutions for branch office and smaller use cases, and upward, with massively scalable designs for solution providers.

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On axis of workload, the array of application solutions validated by the companies will continue to grow, allowing customers to expand the footprint of converged infrastructure across their IT services.

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From a consumption perspective FlexPod has established an impressive, highly scaled presence, because it was designed by both companies to “meet in the channel.”   The solution is offered today by more that 700 partners in 35 countries.

While it’s possible to sometimes have too much of a good thing, it’s clear we’re a long way from that with FlexPod.

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Padmasree Warrior (Cisco’s chief technology and strategy officer) and Manish Goel (NetApp’s executive vice president, Product Operations) recently met up to discuss how the companies will expand their decade long partnership.

More blogs about the announcement

Time Flies ! Expanding our Decade-Long Partnership with NetApp   by Rick Snyder , Cisco Global & Strategic Partner Organization

Building on Success: Cisco and NetApp Expand Partnership  By Satinder Sethi, Cisco VP Technical Marketing Server Access and Virtualization  UCS 

Flexpod Success Drives Increased Investment by Cisco and NetApp    By Vaughn Stewart (@stewed) , NetApp Director Cloud Computing

 

 

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A SQL Server Benchmark to Build On: Cisco, Microsoft, XIO, Riversand, and Scalability Experts

January 22, 2013 at 3:46 pm PST

RiversandBlogUnderstanding the true capacity of an application and how it responds under stress is always top of mind for ISV’s as they bring solutions to market. Recently at Microsoft’s  Partner Solutions Center (MPSC) in Redmond we and our partners X-IO and Scalability Experts worked with ISV Riversand Technologies to provide the ‘hard proof’ that their SQL Server based retail application could scale to expected demands.

Comprised of UCS servers for compute, Windows Server and SQL Server for the Microsoft stack, and X-IO storage system components we worked with the technical staff of Scalability Experts and our aforementioned partners to execute a comprehensive benchmark test on the Riversand solution MDMCenter.

The joint benchmark test not only confirmed MDMCenter solutions capabilities, but additionally showcased its speed and scalability that exceeded all expectations of the aspects that the benchmark aimed to measure. Read the case study here and learn how Cisco UCS, working with our technology partners, can deliver high-end SQL Server performance.

Visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft to learn more on Cisco’s technologies and solutions for Microsoft environments.

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Want to visit Cisco at Microsoft Management Summit 2013? Play Cloud OS Trivia for the chance to win a trip!

January 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm PST

CMTriviaOnce again this year Cisco will be a Platinum sponsor at Microsoft’s Management Summit 2013 (MMS 2013) in Las Vegas, April 8 – 12.  At the event we will showcase new Cisco solutions and technologies applicable to the world of Windows Server, System Center, and Hyper-V.

We’re participating in a small way via sponsorship with Microsoft in their Cloud OS Trivia Challenge. Join your peers in the Microsoft Cloud OS Trivia Challenge; test your knowledge with trivia for a chance to win some excellent prizes-including a trip to MMS 2013. You also have a chance to win a Microsoft Surface, Windows 8, Windows Server, or a Linksys Router. Play Now!

 

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Cisco Connected Health – technologies that are maturing the healthcare industry

Yesterday, via Cisco TelePresence and WebEx, Cisco hosted an international roundtable examining the current demands placed on the healthcare industry and how technology is addressing many of these issues. A panel comprised of Cisco executives and customers discussed how connected technologies and services can enable healthcare providers to help improve patient care, address security and patient privacy, and manage BYOD devices all while increasing  efficiency and lowering costs.

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Participating in the panel were representatives from Seattle Children’s in Seattle, WA; Resolute Health in New Braunfels, TX; Fundación Peluffo-Giguens in Montevideo, Uruguay; and Albert Einstein Israelita Hospital in São Paulo, Brazil, along with Kathy English, senior director, public sector and healthcare marketing for Cisco.

Kathy kicked off the discussion by offering several eye opening healthcare statistics. Did you know, for example, that 41% of patients would switch hospitals for a better experience? Or that in 95% of countries, the rising cost of medical care exceeds the rate of general inflation?

These statistics illustrate the difficult challenges many of our healthcare customers face today.  Therefore, during the healthcare roundtable, Cisco unveiled two new connected health offerings – Cisco HealthPresence 2.5 and Cisco Services for Connected Health. These solutions help enable efficient, convenient, high-quality patient care, and more collaboration across the healthcare continuum.

Roderick Bell II spoke directly to the successful deployment of Cisco HealthPresence at Resolute Health – so successful, in fact, that local schools are now connecting nurses to students across the district, thereby lowering costs and expanding the access of nurses to students in need. Roderick expects local businesses and county jails to join Resolute Health’s HealthPresence initiative later this year. Likewise, via Cisco TelePresence, Fundación Peluffo-Giguens in Uruguay has connected 10 hospitals in the country with the central hospital in the Montevideo, improving access to specialists and avoiding travel and logistics complexities for remote patients and their families. Similarly, the implementation of Cisco’s TelePresence endpoints in Brazil have allowed Albert Einstein Israelita Hospital to deliver care from a distance to seriously ill patients if no specialists are available at the public hospital or if a second opinion is required to provide a more extensive assessment.

Wes Wright, CIO of Seattle Children’s spoke to his overall success with Cisco. When tasked with building a virtual desktop infrastructure program at the hospital, he found that Cisco’s Unified Computing System is the best out there: During the event he said, “I wanted the power of Cisco behind me… and it’s worked!”

Yesterday’s roundtable further demonstrates Cisco’s commitment to connecting the previously unconnected with an intelligent network at the foundation.

You can view the discussion here on YouTube and we’d love to hear your thoughts about the future of healthcare delivery. How do you think video collaboration tools will transform the way your health is monitored?

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Customer Insight: Automotive Dealership Group saves $100,000 annually with Cisco Unified Data Center Solutions

January 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm PST

Are you in the market for a new car in this year? Automotive retailers compete for your business in one of the most competitive industries, so reducing infrastructure and operating costs is key to selling you a car at the price you want.

Hendrick Automotive Group is the second largest privately held automotive retailer in the US, with 7,000 employees and 80 dealerships. Watch the 3:39 minute video for more information on how Hendrick is running every mission critical application on UCS, saving more than $100,000 annually, and helping the IT department become a profit center while offering superior service to both their employees and customers.

You can read the entire story here, Hendrick Automotive Group

A Better Data Center with Cisco UCS

What’s been your experience with consolidation and virtualization in your data center?  Are planning to use UCS in your data center? Join the conversation.

>> Interested in reading UCS customer success stories in your region?  Read more at Data Center Case Studies

>> Yes, Cisco UCS servers are really that good, Read Bill Shield’s blog

>> To find out more about Cisco Unified Data Center solutions,

go to: www.cisco.com/go/dc and Cisco Unified Computing Systems at www.cisco.com/go/ucs.

 

 

 

 

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