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Cisco UCS – What’s Not To Love?

I make no bones about it I love the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).   Yes, you’re reading a Cisco Blog…so you’d expect nothing less, but understand I came to love the system long before I was ever a Cisco employee.  In fact it’s the reason I’m here – well that and the paycheck.  :-)  You can read a bit about my “conversion” here:  Something to Believe In.  Or if you’d prefer to watch me talk about the UCS as a GE employee take a peek here

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Lots Happening at Citrix Synergy, San Francisco

There’s lots of activity at Cisco right now leading up to Citrix Synergy in San Francisco next week. Our theme for the event is the ongoing collaboration with Citrix on Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI)

Both companies have been busy since last September, when we launched our first desktop virtualization solution with Citrix resulting in high levels of interest from both customers and mutual partners. This Cisco UCS solution delivers one of the most scalable XenDesktop platforms on the market as verified in a recent report published by Principled Technologies and has been chosen as a Citrix Ready Partner Solution of the Year Finalist .

In January we published another Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for XenDesktop and XenApp on Microsoft Hyper-V to add to the existing designs with VMware vSphere and Citrix XenServer.

More recently we began shipping our first VXC zero clients with Citrix ICA support. And for the growing number of mobile users that need their desktop and collaboration services with them wherever they go – there is the Cisco Cius business tablet with Citrix Receiver support.

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FlexPod: More Flexible Than Ever, and Gaining Customers

What’s a FlexPod—is it a highly flexible case for your favorite MP3 player? A cool new modern chair? No, FlexPod is a design architecture combining networking, computing and storage infrastructure that’s now available through 120 channel partners worldwide!

Yes, that’s right—since its launch in November of last year, FlexPod has seen tremendous growth in the marketplace, with 120 partners worldwide now offering this flexible, scalable shared infrastructure that helps customers lower deployment risk, increase data center efficiencies, and create a flexible IT environment to build a private cloud. FlexPod, which is built on the Cisco UCS server platform, Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp unified storage, has also been adopted by more than 150 customers.

Furthermore, to make it even easier to purchase and deploy a FlexPod, Avnet Technology Solutions today announced it is pre-bundling the FlexPod, based on the Cisco and NetApp reference design architecture guides, for our resellers partners in the U.S. and Canada. Avnet will now provide a single source through its newly introduced FlexPod Services, offering partners all the products, assembly, testing, technical expertise, and support they need to successfully bring FlexPod to market.

Do your customers use SAP applications? Then you’ll also be interested in the last piece of today’s FlexPod news.

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NetApp’s Alex Jauch comments on Cisco UCS, Hyper-V, and your Private Cloud

Guest Post by Alex Jauch (Technical Architect, NetApp)

This week at Microsoft TechEd, NetApp and Cisco announced our joint Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track submission.  The submission was the result of a great working partnership between NetApp and Cisco.  We’re very pleased with the solutions and technical expertise that the Cisco team brought to the project.  Because of our strong partnership, Cisco and NetApp have been able to produce a great Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track solution.

Here’s an example, because both NetApp and Cisco have both been investing in our Microsoft management integration platforms and we have been able to integrate these features into our submission to Fast Track.  Both Cisco and NetApp have been working closely with the Microsoft Opalis Integration Server team and we were able to combine our solutions into a single solution that enables rapid provisioning from a bare metal blade to a full running Windows Cluster and then VM provisioning against that cluster. You can see a demonstration of this solution here:

NetApp Hyper-V Cloud With Cisco Rapid Provisioning

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New Microsoft Solutions Offer Partners More Ways to Differentiate

In a competitive market, differentiation makes all the difference. Whether you’re selling sneakers or servers, being able to offer the widest selection of products to meet a broad set of needs is critical in helping to drive growth and grow profits.

So today’s announcements of three new reference configurations focused on Microsoft applications and technologies will likely please you—now our partners will have even more opportunities to sell a broader set of solutions, giving customers more choice.

Today, along with our storage partners, Cisco is greatly expanding our channel partners’ ability to offer customers Microsoft-based private cloud, data warehouse, or OLTP configurations based on shipping Cisco UCS server and Nexus networking products. Three standalone, discrete reference architectures are now available: A Cisco-developed SQL Server 2008 R2 Data Warehouse solution; a Cisco-developed SQL Server 2008 R2 Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) offer; and Cisco as the server partner with NetApp as they bring to market their NetApp for Private Cloud offer as part of Microsoft’s Hyper-V Private Cloud program.

How will this impact you? Here are more details.

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