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Optimize the Data Center

March 3, 2011 at 11:30 am PST

CiscoLive London was an incredible trip and gosh it was only 30 days ago – our first little project out of that voyage is TechWiseTV85 our latest episode on Data Center technologies.  Data Center Optimization: The Next Stage is now available for your viewing pleasure in our ‘still has that new website smell’ environment we affectionately call the CVC (Cisco Virtual Connection).

This show was another exercise in self-restraint as the DC team had brought out an amazing selection – if we were hoping that a global show would mean a smaller show…we were out of luck.

So how to narrow it down?

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Cisco’s Unified Fabric in the Data Center

Our industry certainly loves its buzzwords.  For a while, everything was about “virtualized this” and “virtualized that” in the data center.  Then there is a current love affair with “cloud”.  It seems the next hot buzzword might turn out to be fabric.

For Cisco, “fabric” in the data center has defined our data center strategy and vision for the last three years.  With the introduction of the Cisco Nexus family in January 2008, we also announced the concept of Unified Fabric as a fundamental building block for the data center.  We offered the simple vision of a single fabric to link all the network, compute and storage resources in a data center as a mechanism to not only reduce TCO but also improve agility and flexibility.  Since then, we have released a steady flow of products and technologies to deliver on the promise of Cisco Unified Fabric by simplifying the infrastructure with convergence, improving its ability to handle virtual and physical scale and increasing the intelligence of the fabric to increase agility and lower operating costs.

While initially hesitant, customers and industry experts are beginning to see the merits of Cisco’s vision, especially in the age of virtualization and cloud.  Meanwhile, other vendors in the marketplace are left to play catch-up.  In a November 4, 2010 independent report titled “Q&A: Networking Landscape, Q4 2010” Forrester Research, Inc. commented that:

“To Cisco’s credit, it saw the data center evolution way before any other networking vendor and started to build a set of products and solutions directed at a converged and virtual world.”- Forrester Research, Inc.

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Why Ethernet Wins, Reason #82: OpenFCoE

January 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm PST

Over the decades, Ethernet has maintained its role as king-of-the-networking-hill for two reasons:  1) a multitude of companies continue to expand the boundaries of Ethernet’s capabilities to keep it relevant, and 2) the the economics of Ethernet make it hard other protocols to grow beyond niche uses.

Today’s Intel announcement of Open FCoE is a prime example of this.  Over two decades, we have taken Ethernet from a “best effort” protocol to one that offers sufficient reliability to carry storage traffic.  However, it is the economic implications of this announcement that make this truly interesting.

With the X520 family of family of products, Intel now gives folks a simple, easy path to simplifying their data center by converging data and storage traffic onto common infrastructure. While the attendant cost benefits of a unified fabric in terms of both capex (less infrastructure) and opex (power, cooling, operations) and attractive,  possibly the more interesting aspect of this announcement is the risk mitigation and design flexibility this announcement offers.
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Digging into Cisco Data Center Business Advantage

About a month ago, Cisco announced our Data Center Business Advantage architecture. Within the architecture, we highlighted several areas:

  • Business Value which can be derived from IT investments in the Data Center
  • The breadth of our Open Ecosystem that helps us deliver solutions to customers today
  • Solution Architecture that brings together Unified Fabric, Unified Computing and Unified Network Services
  • Cisco Technology Innovation across multiple Data Center domains
  • A complete set of Data Center Services that can rapidly drive customer success

Now that the fall trade show season is complete and people are done watching headlines and back to running their businesses, we thought it would be useful to take a deeper dive into Data Center Business Advantage. Read More »

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Unified Fabric and the Network Value of the Data Center

[Part III of our blog series on Cisco Data Center Business Advantage. Part I, II, IV, V, VI]

Deliver information fast…really fast!

Never go down, ever!!

Enable great user-experiences, regardless of where the user is on the planet.

Those are the table stakes requirements of today’s Data Center networks. Do that and business leaders will ignore it like a referee that never makes a bad call in a sporting event. Click-to-“Right Now”, Borderless, 24x7x365 networks. No problem. We can do that.

But with the pace of technology change in today’s Data Center, so much more is being expected of the network: Read More »

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