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Basic Server Management and beyond

The term server management conjures up different connotations in the mind of the listener.  Depending on the type of server – software application server, virtual server or physical server, the issues they care about are different. Two tasks that instantly come to the fore are server configuration and server monitoring.

A software application server manager may visualize configuration of production middleware servers and the parameters may include database connections, memory size etc.  A manager responsible for the virtual infrastructure in a data center may picture server configuration tasks as storing and accessing virtual images, operating system types etc. for the virtual machines.  An infrastructure manager responsible for physical servers will take into consideration power, firmware and network configurations for the server.

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Accelerating Customer and Partner Success with VXI and VMware View

Did you catch the news today?  As Cisco and VMware continue to collaborate in transforming virtual desktops into virtual workspaces, we reached an important milestone – an agreement to sell VMware View 5 software as part of an integrated VXI offer to our customers.  Read More »

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What Helps You Differentiate from the Competition?

Let’s face it: Providing quantifiable value and cost savings while convincing customers of their return on investment, can often make or break a deal. However, the advent of architecture-based solutions and the increasing need for consultative services are helping drive partners’ success and growth. But in the negotiation phase, how can partners think creatively to help provide analysis and assessments to customers?

As you look for new revenue opportunities, what helps propel you ahead of the pack and helps differentiate you from the competition?

Cisco Gold partner Presidio completed an RFP for Tyler Independent School District in Texas and was competing for the business with another solutions provider. What helped to win Tyler’s trust was the ROI analysis they shared with the district’s superintendent.

Tyler Independent School District has 18,000 students, but only had a 4:1 student to desktop ratio. Additionally, thousands of the district’s PCs were seven, eight, or nine years old – completely incapable of running Windows 7 or new applications. IT was struggling to keep up with management and maintenance issues, as well as security challenges. Additionally, the district wanted to enable a BYOPC (bring your own PC) policy but lacked the equipment, tools, and bandwidth to do so.

So how did Presidio solve the district’s IT problems and save the schools money, too? Read More »

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Managing Data Center Assets

Its hard to believe that almost an entire month has gone by since the beginning of the year.  The year has been off to a great start for Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) now serving 10,000 customers.  Reaching the 10,000-customer milestone is an achievement for relatively new and innovative platform.

Generally asset management implies financial management but this discussion is focused on operational management of the data center components. Typically, in Data Centers, different teams manage servers, networks and storage.  These teams have cursory knowledge of each other’s domains.  This organizational structure hinders data centers from obtaining higher efficiencies and agility.  Data Center Management tools that allow automated workflows with enforcement of policies set by domain experts reduce time needed to effect changes and hence increase agility.   Unified server, network and storage infrastructures with proper management capabilities improve overall efficiency, reduce data center complexity and promote better resource utilization.  With Unified infrastructures the server management teams can make informed decisions on application workload placement based on their visibility into the network setup and policies set by the Network domain experts.  For example, a server administrator could place more sensitive applications on servers that are connected to very secure network segments, or place bandwidth hungry applications on network segments with spare capacity.  If network managers need to move network segment capacity around they would need the equivalent of network hypervisors.  These decisions which affect multiple domains could be manually executed or orchestrated with systems management tools.  The crowning glory would be for the end customer of the IT service to request infrastructure services from a catalog and get access to it instantaneously.  A Forrester Research paper that Cisco sponsored even shows a maturity model for service orchestration within a data center.  Where do you think your organization is on this maturity model?

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Cisco, NetApp & FlexPod – The Momentum Continues at Cisco Live Europe

by John Rollason, Senior Manager Product, Solutions & Alliances EMEA, NetApp

For many years the server market was dominated by the likes of IBM, HP/Compaq, Fujitsu, Dell, Sun and characterised by small market share shifts. True the market changed as rack and blade servers became popular, but most of the players recognized the shift and adapted.  Then Server Virtualisation technologies changed the market and Cisco disrupted it completely with the launch of the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) in 2009. Today Cisco’s vision for server virtualization has been proven successful with more than 10,000 UCS customers and 54 UCS world record results. Customers obviously see the advantage!

Cisco’s innovation, vision and leadership are an ideal match with NetApp, a recognized leader and innovative in the storage industry. Over more than a decade of collaboration our companies have achieved a number of milestones including first native FCoE SAN storage solutions and first certified end-to-end FCoE solution for VMware environments.

Just over a year ago NetApp and Cisco introduced FlexPod, a pre-designed, pre-tested and validated Data Centre cloud solution built on modular and unified architecture composed of Cisco UCS servers, Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp unified storage systems running Data ONTAP. FlexPod components are integrated and standardized to help you eliminate the guesswork and achieve timely, repeatable, consistent deployments. FlexPod has also been optimized with a variety of mixed application workloads and design configurations in various environments such as virtual desktop infrastructure and secure multi-tenancy environments.

Today more than 500 customers across 33 countries are seeing the benefits of Cisco UCS + NetApp. In fact, I”ve blogged about European FlexPod customers including Accenture, Börse Stuttgart, Computacenter, Terremark, Guiness Partnership, Loughborough University, and many more.

This week at Cisco Live London 2012 you’ll have the opportunity to hear directly from several organizations transforming their infrastructures and businesses on FlexPod and talk with variety of partners activity selling and developing solutions built on FlexPod.  NetApp is a Platinum sponsor of Cisco Live and I’ll be at NetApp Stand P1 with the rest of the team for the 4th year. Highlights include:

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