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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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Cisco UCS Customers Discuss Desktop Virtualization in IPTV Broadcast Today

December 14, 2011 at 9:37 am PST

The move to liberate workers from the constraints of traditional desktop computing, while embracing the proliferation of end-user device choices, is a rapidly increasing trend in IT. IT managers are looking at desktop virtualization to improve application access and data security, cut costs and improve services for today’s mobile, distributed workforce. The hosted virtual desktop market is forecast by analysts to accelerate through the next two years to an estimated 70 million units by 2014, approximately 15% of all enterprise desktops/laptops worldwide.

Two leading-edge Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) customers, Diebold and Seattle Children’s Hospital, will be featured in a webcast session today at Noon PST/3 p.m. EST to discuss their virtual desktop deployments, why they made the decision to switch to this new model, and how UCS is delivering an optimized, secure, scalable platform for hosting virtual desktop workloads. Registration is not required; to join us, visit www.ustream.tv/ciscotv. Seattle Children’s is a premier child healthcare center, and if you’ve used a card reader at a leading bank or retail outlet, you’ve likely used a Diebold device, since the company is a leading global provider of integrated self-service delivery and security systems. Both Diebold and Seattle Children’s Hospital have employed this technology in innovative and highly impactful ways, so this is a great conversation to listen in on if you’re evaluating or already on the road to virtual desktops.

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Perspectives from Two Customers: Cisco UCS for VXI / Desktop Virtualization

Cisco hit an important milestone recently: in just over 2 years, well over 9,000 customers worldwide have deployed the Unified Computing Solution (UCS) in their data center.  In that time, Cisco has amassed a dozen top industry awards, supported over 10,000 applications, held 51 world-record performance benchmarks, and achieved over $1 Billion annualized run-rate.  Customers across every industry vertical have put UCS to work in a myriad of environments: business analytics and data warehousing, mission critical CRM, ERP, enterprise collaboration, email, databases, RISC migration, and in a very big way – desktop virtualization. Read More »

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