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Cisco Unified Data Center : Changing the Economics of the Data Center

For the last decade, IT organizations have faced the challenge of managing budgets that are 70-80% channeled towards maintenance costs while business demands are growing faster than ever. The result is that many requests for new projects have to be turned down and more and more business opportunities are missed.

If we look within the data center, the majority of the costs is associated with people and software, but the the root cause of those costs is legacy infrastructure that is very complex and expensive to manage. The flaws of this legacy infrastructure are often masked by layers of complex management software, which have developed to stitch together systems that were not designed to be integrated.

Legacy infrastructure prevents business agility and financial efficiency because it was not designed for environments like Cloud that require fast deployment, automated provisioning of resources, open-API’s, and “self-service” consumption models by business users. Nor was it designed for environments where physical and virtual resources have to co-exist. Finally, it assumed operational models that can’t meet the Performance, High Availability and Security requirements in the context of workload mobility and deep integration between compute, network and storage environments.

As a result of all this, Data Centers have evolved towards an accidental architecture that still contains too many silos of applications that are difficult to maintain and manage.

For these reasons, Cisco has created the Unified Data Center platform, which provides a new approach to design the data center infrastructure and prepares our customers for the opportunities that Cloud will bring along in the future.

Cisco has a long history of anticipating the convergence of technologies in an effort to reduce costs, streamline operations, or unlock new ways for the business to leverage technology. Cisco has a deep understanding of these transitions, having helped reshape the industry numerous times in the past, most notably with the convergence of voice and data. We are now doing the same by bringing together Compute, Network, Storage and Management within and across Data Centers.

Successful transitions involve new ways of not only thinking about the business challenges, but also about designing the underlying technologies to be agile, efficient, and simplified. Bolting together existing technologies doesn’t deliver the desired result.

A Unified approach is needed to unlock this new business potential.

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Cisco Data Center at Gartner Las Vegas

December 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm PST

Do you want to know what’s happening at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas on the  Cisco side ?- Here are  a couple of hints, before a more comprehensive report in the following days

-Giuliano Di Vitantonio, Cisco VP Data Center and Switching Marketing will discuss  tomorrow Tuesday December 6th at 1:45 pm (room Octavius 23)how Cisco data Center solutions help customers to achieve  business agility, financial efficiency and IT simplification. As the pace of business continues to place strains on IT departments Cisco’s unified data center solutions bring together computing, networking, storage, and management resources to deliver a more cost-effective, secure, and efficient IT operating environment.

In addition, of this session, Satinder Sethi, Vice President, UCS Solutions Engineering, Ecosystems, and Technical Marketing, will explain on December 7th at 9:00 am (room Augustus 5) why the Unified Computing Systems are the preferred platforms for virtualization and cloud .
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Another trend affecting data centers – “Convergence”

Interesting trends are taking root around us and one of them is convergence. The term conjures up different thoughts depending on our background and experiences. Economists may say convergence is the parity of per capita income around the world. Convergence for telecom is the combination of voice, data and entertainment services. So what does it mean for data centers? In one of my recent informal webcast polls of technologists, one opinion was that convergence implied the union of telecom and IT. Reality is that data centers now are the hub and source for voice, video, data and application services.

So if we look at application workloads running in data centers, there are four infrastructure capacity variables -- CPU, Memory, Storage and Network. One approach is to optimize on the utilization of one of these variables. If we decide to optimize on Storage, then it must be virtualized and/or provided as a service. Implementation would involve purchase of the best of breed storage hardware, and building highly skilled teams to manage, tweak and optimize performance of the storage resources. Similarly a COE(Center of Excellence) for servers (CPU and Memory) must be formed for servers and for networks. This implies that any project would involve multiple teams and project management would be a challenge, to put it lightly. This reminds me of my mainframe experience in relation to the distributed platform. We could get an entire application developed, tested and ready to go before getting a RACF id to even access the mainframe.

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Word of mouth: UCS passing the ultimate litmus test

November 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm PST

In this recent article by Alex Barret you’ll find some great commentary by customers on the “snowballing” interest around the Cisco Unified Computing System. It follows on the heels of TechTarget’s Virtualization Decisions 2011 Purchasing Intentions Survey where nearly 20% of respondents pointed to UCS as their platform of choice for virtualization.
When you start to see IT professionals recommending a platform to their friends and neighbors you know it’s for real. It’s exciting to see people talking about the tangible benefits that they’re realizing … and they tell the story better than anyone here at Cisco.

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VMworld Europe – Cloudy with a Cisco Lining

VMworld Europe is just around the corner and the final preparations are being completed.  The Bella Center, in beautiful Copenhagen Denmark, is undergoing a cloudy transformation that will tickle the technical fancy of geeks and provide answers and directions for the business minded.  The cloud has come to the Bella Center and it has a Cisco lining.

Cloud is changing the way we do IT and Cisco is leading the charge.  We have the products, innovation and partnerships to help you on your journey to the cloud.  Cisco can help you own the cloud.  Stop by our booth in the Bella Center to hear about some of these great Cisco solutions:

  • Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud: Cisco powered orchestration and automation tools, which are key component to a successful cloud initiative.  We will demo the software in action as it powers the internal Cisco private cloud CITEIS (Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services).
  • Cisco Nexus 1000v:  Cisco’s award winning virtualized switch providing networking and security solutions for the data center.  Learn how the Nexus 1000v compliments VMware vCloud Director and delivers highly secure, multitenant data center networks

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