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The VXI Journey Continues…

It’s the week before VMworld Copenhagen, and there’s already a lot of buzz around the big VXI news that came out today. If you missed it, you can get access to the web event via the Cisco Collaboration Launch Experience page here.  I’ll get back to Copenhagen in a minute, but let’s take a moment to discuss why these announcements have such a significant impact on delivering what we call the next-generation virtual workspace…

Last fall, we introduced VXI, delivering a groundbreaking system-level approach for simplifying and optimizing the delivery of virtual desktops to any end point, leveraging the industry’s fastest growing compute infrastructure purpose-built for large scale, high-performance virtualization, the Cisco Unified Computing System.  We also announced our new portfolio of Virtualization Experience Clients (VXC’s) providing new device form factors and capabilities not previously seen in the marketplace, underpinned by an end-to-end validated design that takes the guesswork out of moving from a small pilot to full-scale production.

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Migrate From RISC/UNIX to Cisco UCS

Enterprise IT continues to spend nearly $15B of their hard-earned budgets every year in RISC/UNIX and mainframe hardware.  The upfront expense combined with the proprietary lock-in on these platforms and associated maintenance and licensing costs is a mandate for IT to rethink their long term strategy.  Many of these companies are already moving off the RISC/UNIX architectures due to high costs and uncertainty about their futures foreshadowed by missed deadlines, changes in roadmaps and discontinued hardware and software support.  There is a strong and on-going market trend to migrate from proprietary architectures to the open Intel Xeon® based architecture, and the Cisco Unified Computing System is particularly well suited as a target platform for this purpose.  In partnership with Intel, Cisco has developed a RISC/UNIX Migration Program (www.cisco.com/go/migratetoucs) that includes a complete set of Cisco Migration Services through Cisco AS and Partners to help IT organizations define and realize the business benefits of migrating to Cisco Unified Computing System.

I had a conversation recently with Patrick Buddenbaum , Director of Intel’s Datacenter and Connected Systems Group, and Cisco’s Scott Clark, VP, Enterprise DC Services, to discuss the RISC/UNIX migration program.  Read on for a summary of this  conversation.

” Scott : Satinder, why is Cisco UCS an ideal destination platform for a RISC/UNIX migration?

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Why TCO is the Only True Way to Measure Network Costs

Cost always plays a big part in purchase decisions. It’s certainly a factor as I consider buying  a new car. As you’re well aware, purchasing a new car isn’t just about the initial cost. In my case, I’m considering reliability, speed (not that I need to go that fast carpooling my kids to school), mileage, and looks to a certain extent. (I just can’t bring myself to drive a minivan.) But what does buying a car have to do with your customers, or IT spending for that matter?

To put it simply, customers often cite initial cost as a big factor in their network decision-making, too. But if they are looking only at CapEx when purchasing new equipment, it’s the same thing as only looking at the initial cost of a car: They’re not seeing the entire picture.

Total cost of ownership, or TCO, is a better metric to assess network cost, because it considers the full impact on IT spend, including CapEx, services, labor, bandwidth, and energy consumption. And TCO is not just a measure of the initial expense, but of how much equipment will cost over its lifetime.

In June 2011, Cisco commissioned a third-party business consulting firm to analyze the true TCO of the network, comparing the quantitative costs of acquisition, support, labor, bandwidth, energy, and product longevity. The firm also assessed qualitative business benefits like network uptime, user productivity, and security.

The quantitative results alone show that a network built on Cisco’s architectural approach can yield up to a 13% better TCO, building a powerful business case for you to take to your customers about why the choice of networking gear matters.

Here are some facts drawn from the findings, which support Cisco’s firm belief that a strategic next-generation Cisco network architecture delivers superior value and lower TCO: Read More »

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Mobile apps and the data center

October 6, 2011 at 7:35 am PST

The demise of Apple’s Steve Jobs is a big loss to the tech industry. He was instrumental in changing the way we consume digital media and communicate. With the unveiling of the iPhone 4s, this week, I wonder if it would change my life any further than cell phones and mobile devices already have. Gone are the days when I called friends ahead of time to get directions to their house. Heck, I don’t even bother reconfirming directions to places I vaguely remember. All because I can count on my cell phone to call the friend in case I get lost (happened to me last week).

Will cell phones and other mobile devices change the way I work more than they already have? Will they change how data centers are managed? If the recent spate of news is any indication I think the answer is yes! What do you think?

According to a recent paper on biomedical-engineering-online.com titled How smartphones are changing the face of mobile and participatory healthcare, “Indeed, Georgetown Medical School in the USA, for example, is now requiring every medical student to have an iPhone, and surgeons are finding the device (and its apps) very useful in improving their diagnostic skills and education .” Closer to home, I found some iPhone applications written specifically for the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). One iPhone application , SiMU, monitors the UCS. A second application allows users to find the technical specification of UCS components. Another UCS Systems Management ecosystem partner, Cloupia even has an iPad app to manage the FlexPod -- an integrated server and storage data center offering that includes Cisco UCS.

Flexpod Management

I also found some android apps like the one shown in this video below. Another application named UCSand monitors UCS blade systems.

Android application

Remote management is not new, but these mobile devices provide new ways to handle data center management. Clearly these apps are a starting point of changes yet to come in the way we monitor and manage data centers. I would expect the number and variety of applications to only grow, and at times radically change the way we work. Do you agree?

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Entel Selects Cisco Cloud Services

Service providers are recognizing the power of Cisco’s cloud solutions to deliver best-in-class services to their customers. Based in Chile, Entel has worked to integrate the power of data center computing with the intelligence of the network in a Unified Service Delivery approach. The combination of network and compute sets Entel apart as a leading provider in Chile.

Check out what Entel is saying about the quality of Cisco’s services and solutions, including UCS servers and Nexus data center switching.

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