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Cisco Live London, 2012: Attend virtually Jan 31 – Feb 1

January 20, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

Join us on January 31 and February 1 in Cisco Virtual for Cisco Live London, 2012. We have a full agenda planned, including a live keynote with Padmasree Warrior and technical sessions on popular topics like UCS System Architecture, SAN Core Edge Design, BGP PIC, and Cisco Telepresence. You can also play games and win prizes.

Registrants receive two full days of live virtual programming in conjunction with Cisco Live London, access to over 1600 sessions, a virtual World of Solutions, and the chance to network with professionals and Cisco experts from more than 195 countries. Or, visit Cisco Live Virtual post-event to download PDFs and view videos from sessions presented at Cisco Live London.

The virtual event features:

  • Live Keynote addresses by CTO and SVP of Engineering, Padmasree Warrior.
  • A Guest keynote with Cisco’s Chief Futurist, Dave Evans and Richard Noble from Bloodhound.
  • Technical sessions on data center, storage area networks, IP Multicast and enterprise video, security and other hot topics
  • A Partner Resource Center with the chance to download valuable materials
  • Answers to your toughest technical questions from virtual Ask-the-Expert Center sessions
  • Networking with your friends, colleagues and new acquaintances with profile tools and social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs
  • A Memory Match game where you can compete to win €100 Cisco Marketplace coupons

Be sure to follow Cisco Live Europe on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/CiscoLiveEurope

Date: January 31 and February 1, 2012
Register for free: http://www.ciscolivevirtualeu.com
Agenda and Calendar Reminder: http://bit.ly/xP7zjK

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UCS: Over 10,000 Served

January 18, 2012 at 7:46 pm PST

This month we’re marking a special milestone… there are now 10,000 UCS customers worldwide. The natural question becomes: what’s driving this phenomenal growth? How could this possibly have been predicted?

The best explanation of snowballing UCS adoption is found in customer results. Lest we forget, adopting a new platform in the data center is not a decision undertaken lightly in IT, but word has spread in the industry about the real world benefits UCS is delivering. More and more customers are taking a look and liking what they find. It’s an admittedly bold statement to say UCS has changed the economics of the datacenter, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not marketing hype. We’re hearing from customers who are reporting all-in savings in the range of 40% on the cost of computing. Travelport, for example, conducted a deep dive TCO analysis of their pre/post UCS world and here is how they are seeing their data center economics change over the next 5 years:

Cost Category Cisco Environment Prior Environment Dollar Savings Percentage Savings
Hardware Capital $7,406,982 $9,747,500 $2,340,518 24%
Power and Cooling $915,468 $2,947,273 $2,031,805 69%
Server Administration $162,255 $1,151,945 $989,690 86%
Hardware Maintenance $301,194 $585,749 $284,555 49%
TOTAL $8,785,899 $14,432,467 $5,646,568 39%

 

The savings stem from a variety of sources: lower capex as the platform efficiently scales, dramatically reduced administrator time, density/ power savings and reduced SW licensing costs as more workload lands on fewer servers.  It’s cumulative and powerful.   If you want a firsthand look at the TCO/ROI impact UCS can make in your data center, check out our calculator; with 5 minutes you can get a ballpark estimate.

Economics aside, UCS just seems to make people happy.   I had a customer declare that his infrastructure was now “CTO proof.” He went on to explain that this meant the boss could deploy a server by himself without breaking anything. The infrastructure team let their CTO take a B-series blade straight out of the box, insert it into a chassis slot, and as the system identified and integrated the new resource into the available pool, they congratulated him on his first server deployment.

Beyond economic impact and increasing happiness in the data center, it doesn’t hurt that you can drop the clutch and put serious power to the ground in application performance.   In December Cisco posted TPC benchmark results that surpassed existing records by as much as 32% in raw performance and 26% in price performance.  This brings the total number of UCS world record results to 54 since introduction in 2009.

10,000 customers and growing, and it’s no wonder why.

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UCS is Common Criteria Certified!

January 13, 2012 at 9:21 am PST

The Global Certification Team is  pleased to announce that UCS has been awarded a Common Criteria EAL4 certification!

We certified the Cisco UCS 5100 Series Blade Server Chassis, B-Series Blade Servers, C-Series Rack-Mount Servers, 2100 and 2200 Series Fabric Extenders, and 6100 Series Fabric Interconnects, running UCSM 1.4(1m).

More information can be found at: http://www.niap-ccevs.org/cc-scheme/st/vid10403/

“The Cisco Unified Computing System is a next-generation data center platform that unites compute, network, storage access, and virtualization into a cohesive system designed to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and increase business agility.”

Common Criteria is an international standard for evaluating IT product security and reliability. It is recognized by over 26 countries around the world including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, UK, South Korea and the United States. Many government customers around the world consider Common Criteria a mandatory requirement for purchasing network security products.

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Deciphering a UCS Call Home Inventory Email with the right tools

January 4, 2012 at 6:45 pm PST

Every year I decorate my home’s front door for the holidays, it’s very simple just evergreens, some pine cones, maybe some sticks with berries.  It takes about a day, I get up early the first Sunday of December and drive around the rural areas where I live and clip greens. I look for interesting items maybe red or blue berries, cool pine cones, maybe some tall grasses that have a decorative look to them. I been doing this for about 14 years and have learned how to be more efficient by using the right tools and preparing the day before.

I make sure the wire frames that I hang the greens in are in a good state of repair, I get out my warm gear since I’ll be outside all day, setup my van so I have a place to put the clippings.  I even coat all my fingertips with a product called nu-skin since the greens can be pretty sharp and at the end of the day my hands are beat up.  My preparation and implementation methods have evolved over the years and I think now I have it down to a science, the results of my efforts are shown below with before and after pictures.

What I found was that the right tools really do make a difference, my first time I had clippers that weren’t sharp enough, clothes that weren’t warm enough, and I was so frustrated when I was finished that I swore I would never do it again.  The end result however was so nice and received so many compliments that  the next year I tried it again but did it a little smarter. I used the right tools for the job.

The right tools will always help but you have to know how to use them and then sometimes you have to use them a lot to get comfortable.  When it comes to XML the tool that I found does a great job is xmlstarlet. One of the features of Cisco’s UCS Manager is the ability to send a system inventory email using Callhome.  The inventory email can be sent automatically on a regular basis with the minimal interval of a day.   The UCS inventory email contains all sorts of useful information

  • IP addresses
  • Serial Numbers
  • Firmware Levels
  • Fabric Interconnects
  • Chassis
  • IOM
  • Blades
  • Associated Service Profiles
  • Processors
  • Memory
  • Disk
  • Controllers

This information and more can be retrieved from the Callhome email.  What follows is a detailed breakdown of an xmlstartlet command to mine the UCS inventory information from the Callhome inventory email.

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Transforming to the world of many clouds? Just add to your Cisco Optimization services contract – It’s that easy!

December 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm PST

Previously, I blogged that the concept of “cloud in a box” is a misnomer.  As I discussed then, transitioning to cloud is not a one off occurrence, it is a journey.  This was emphasized further when, earlier this month, we launched Cisco CloudVerse, introducing the concept of the World of Many Clouds. So what is the quickest and easiest way for you to start on this journey to the world of many clouds?

Cisco Data Center Services has a simple proposition for you: Just add our recently announced Cloud Optimization Service through your existing Cisco Cisco Data Center Optimization Contract!  If you have Cisco Network Optimization Service, or “NOS”, talk to your account manager on how to leverage the Cisco Data Center Optimization deliverbles

Optimization services are our most popular Cisco Advanced Services offering, so there is a fair chance you have such a subscription service today already.  (You may have seen my previous blogs around Cisco Data Center Optimization Service, see here and here).

Cisco Cloud Optimization Service - Optional Activities Available

Oh – and if you don’t have a Cisco Optimization Service such as the Cisco Data Center Optimization service, or Cisco Network Optimization Service (“NOS”) -- then you should get one! Optimization services are our most popular Cisco Advanced Services offering -- so if you don’t have one, your competitors almost certainly will.

Here I’ll take some time to explain what this service is and how it will help you start or evolve your cloud transformation.

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