As you look at your upcoming Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, or SQL Server projects keep in mind Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) SmartPlay program. The program offers attractive pricing on select Cisco UCS blade and rack server bundles. Our Cisco UCS servers provide an optimal I.T. platform for these key Microsoft workloads helping you to deliver exceptional performance & virtual machine densities, as well as scalability to your organization. Read More »
Today Paul Perez, Vice President and CTO of Cisco’s Data Center Group joined on stage downtown San Francisco Boyd A. Davis, Intel Architecture Group Vice President and GM, Data Center Software Division to announce a proposed extension of the alliance between Cisco and Intel into Big Data .
Over the past months, our readers had the opportunity to appreciate the growing investment of Cisco in this market frequently articulated by our experts Raghunath Nambiar and Jacob Rapp through blog postings and speaking at industry events.
Cisco and Intel have worked together for years to deliver enterprise solutions that improve performance and enable organizations to deliver new services. As we have stated several times recently , Intel has been a critical partner and significant contributor to the phenomenal success of the Cisco UCS. So it will not come as a surprise to anybody that Cisco and Intel are looking to partner again to offer you a leading Big Data solution.
In this video, Cisco Paul Perez and Intel Boyd Davis explained how Cisco will support the Intel distribution of Apache Hadoop on UCS, and how both companies intend to collaborate to address the growing Big Data needs of our joint customers.
In the first few posts in this series, we have hopefully shown that not all cores are created equal and that not all GHz are created equal. This generates challenges when comparing two CPUs within a processor family and even greater challenges when comparing CPUs from different processor families. If you read a blog or a study that showed 175 desktops on a blade with dual E7-2870 processor, how many desktops can you expect from the E7-2803 processor? Or an E5 processor? Our assertion is that SPECint is a reasonable metric for predicting VDI density, and in this blog I intend to show you how much SPECint is enough [for the workload we tested].
You are here. As a quick recap, this is a series of blogs covering the topic of VDI, and here are the posts in this series:
- Introduction – VDI – The Questions you didn’t ask (but really should)
- VDI “The Missing Questions” #1: Core Count vs. Core Speed
- VDI “The Missing Questions” #2: Core Speed Scaling (Burst)
- VDI “The Missing Questions” #3: Realistic Virtual Desktop limits
- VDI “The Missing Questions” #4: How much SPECint is enough (you’re already reading this!)
- VDI “The Missing Questions” #5: How does 1vCPU scale compared to 2vCPU’s?
- VDI “The Missing Questions” #6: What do you really gain from a 2vCPU virtual desktop?
- VDI “The Missing Questions” #7: How memory bus speed affects scale
- VDI “The Missing Questions #8: How does memory density affect VDI scalability?
- VDI “The Missing Questions” #9: How many storage IOPs?
Addition and subtraction versus multiplication and division. Shawn already explained the concept of SPEC in question 2, so I won’t repeat it. You’ve probably noticed that Shawn talked about “blended” SPEC whereas I’m covering SPECint (integer). As it turns out, the majority of task workers really exercise the integer portion of a processor rather than the floating point portion of a processor. Therefore, I’ll focus on SPECint in this post. If you know more about your users’ workload, you can skew your emphasis more or less towards SPECint or SPECfp and create your own blend.
The method to the madness. Let me take you on a short mathematical journey using the figure below. Starting at the top, we know each E5-2665 processor has a SPECint of 305. It doesn’t matter how many cores it has or how fast those cores are clocked. It has a SPECint score of 305 (as compared to 187.5 for the E5-2643 processor). Continuing down the figure below, each blade we tested had two processors, so the E5-2665 based blade has a SPECint of 2 x 305… or 610. The E5-2665 blade has a much higher SPECint of 610 than the E5-2643 blade with just 375. And it produced many more desktops as you can see from the graph embedded in the figure (the graph should look familiar to you from the first “question” in this series).
And now comes the simple math to get the SPECint requirement for each virtual desktop in each test system:
Cisco’s Unified Data Center strategy is rooted in the idea that customers shouldn’t be put in the position of DIY technology integration. It’s just an unfair ask given everything that IT and LOB leaders contend with above and beyond the infrastructure. As technology has evolved, the component parts of the data center are decreasingly the source of complexity. It’s the connections between them, creating that sum of the parts that can actually run applications, that’s the hardest part. Eliminating this complexity has been Cisco’s guiding star in the data center, building systems that help customers focus on what matters most to them: applications and IT services, not infrastructure.
VCE, Cisco’s joint venture with EMC, VMware and Intel, is a critical expression of this vision for fabric based infrastructure and converged solutions. Today marks a major milestone for VCE with the broadest solutions announcement since the launch of Vblock Systems, which has become widely recognized as the gold standard of converged infrastructure.
These new offerings extend the proven value of Vblock: converged, pre-engineered infrastructure that slashes deployment time and ongoing management burden, into a new set of market segments and key workloads.
The team at VCE have done a great job detailing this out; I see the key components being brought forward today as:
- Taking Vblock Systems to new customer segments and use cases: System 200 is designed for mid-size data centers and service provider-managed customer premise (CPE) scenarios. System 100 extends to remote office/branch office environments. Combining these new Vblocks with applications like Microsoft Exchange & Sharepoint, VDI, and Cisco Unified Commuications will continue the push to eliminate DIY solution assembly for customers.
- VCE Specialized Systems: a series of systems optimized for key workloads, starting with SAP HANA. Certification for Vblock here is an exciting new opportunity for customers to quickly adopt this hot new analytic technology
- VCE Vision Intelligent Operations which brings intelligent discovery and single lens management to VBlock Systems. This takes a similar API driven approach found at the core of UCS to enable orchestration of the converged system. This is a critical component for cloud builders.
VCE’s launch is a major milestone in their evolution, but the way each Vblock system is built, maintained and supported remains constant and predictable. Customers can continue to rely on the same comprehensive physical and logical build done in the factory, single point support and the IT agility and economic benefits these create.
Congratulations to the VCE team as they continue to make it easier for customers to concentrate on the business and not on the infrastructure!
Cisco and VMware Teaming-Up to Accelerate VDI Uptake in 2013 – Join us at VMware Partner Exchange to Find Out More
Are you a Cisco/VMware partner going to VMware Partner Exchange (PEX)? In Vegas! Next week! If so, and you’re focused on growing your VDI practice, there’s some great content for you to take in while there. Before I get into PEX, let me remind you about our on-going blog series, “VDI – The Questions You Didn’t Ask (But Really Should)”. We’re up to Question 4 (coming soon), and if you’re looking for some great insights into the mystique of processor selection and impact on VDI performance/density/etc, this is the series for you! Now onto PEX…
Improving the ROI of VDI within small and medium-sized organizations
Next week, we’ll be updating our VMware partner community on new solutions that offer an accelerated path to growing their VDI practice, especially for smaller deployments, as found in small and medium sized businesses (or pilot / proof-of-concept environments), where the up-front CAPEX hurdle is often too much of a barrier to make VDI cost effective.
New Ecosystem Solutions Portfolio
In tandem with VMware, we’ll be announcing a new portfolio of solutions built with ecosystem partners helping to deliver better VDI price-to-performance ratios, greater operational simplicity, and uncompromised user experience, built on Cisco UCS with VMware Horizon View.
Delivering the Tools to Make Our Channel Partners Successful in 2013
Next week we have good news for Cisco/VMware channel partners who want to grow their VDI practice, and deliver unprecedented value for their customers. Join us at PEX to learn about how Cisco and VMware are accelerating our partners’ path to success in 2013
So Are You Ready for PEX? Here are some key activities you don’t want to miss:
Cisco Partner Bootcamp (#SPO2400)
Monday, February 25, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
The Cisco Boot Camp is dedicated to educating and enabling partners to sell and deploy Cisco solutions successfully. Here’s the best part J VDI is up first at 8:30am! I’m pretty sure we’ll have food and non-alcoholic beverages (c’mon you’re in Vegas, I really don’t think that will pose a problem) to make it worth your while. You will:
Cisco’s Breakout Session (#SPO2421): Cisco Unified Data Center – From Server to Network
Wednesday, February 27, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Presenter: Satinder Sethi, VP, Server Product Management and Data Center Solutions, Cisco
Attend the Cisco breakout to understand why today’s data center architecture must support a highly mobile workforce, proliferation of devices, and data-driven business models and be capable of transparently incorporating cloud applications and services. Satinder Sethi will present these diverse requirements and discuss how the Cisco Unified Data Center platform addresses these challenges.
You will learn about the Cisco Unified Data Center architecture, which combines compute, storage, network, and management into a platform designed to automate IT as a service across physical and virtual environments, resulting in increased budget efficiency, more agile business responsiveness, and simplified IT operations.
Demo’s! Stop By Booth #1015
Eight solid demos await you at our PEX booth this year, including VDI with VMware Horizon View and our UCS Storage Accelerator (using Fusion-io), Unified Computing System (UCS), Cisco Office in a Box with UCS-Express, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, Cisco Cloupia, and Cisco Nexus 1000v to name a few. Experts on hand will answer any/all questions!
It will be a busy week – mark your calendars with the activities above, and see you there!