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Cisco and VCE: Infrastructure Will Always Matter

I recently had the opportunity to meet with Trey Leyton, VP & CTO for VCE, to discuss VCE’s momentum and how they use Cisco technologies to deliver a truly converged infrastructure and an incredible customer experience.

Last year, VCE achieved a $1 billion per year run rate with the VblockTM Systems portfolio. Customers have returned to purchase additional systems. Seventy percent of Vblock customers buy a 2nd and 3rd Vblock system. Why? VCE delivers a great customer experience. Vblock is a truly converged infrastructure, it is pre-integrated, factory built and tested, delivered as a single product with one phone number to call for support. A converged infrastructure such as Vblock requires a holistic management solution. Cisco UCS Director enables the automation and orchestration of converged infrastructures from a single-view portal improving IT efficiency.  These efficiency gains allow IT to spend much less time managing infrastructure.

Ninety nine percent of the time a Vblock system is operational within 48 hours of being delivered. A solution that is usable this quickly meets the requirements of both technical and business IT teams. The factory-integration and validation accelerates deployment, enabling IT technical staff to focus on driving innovation rather than installing infrastructure.  IT executives like that the infrastructure is operational faster to help drive the business forward.

Vblock Systems eliminate many of the challenges that consume today’s data center resources including planning, setting up and deploying infrastructure, and keeping infrastructure up to date. Basically, Vblock Systems can simplify every aspect of IT operations while boosting productivity and lowering costs.

Infrastructure will always matter if your goal is to deliver an elastic, automated cloud computing environment. The success and momentum of VCE with the Vblock Systems portfolio is proof that a truly converged infrastructure using  best-in-class technologies from Cisco (Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus Switches) and  EMC (EMC VNXe, VNX and Symmetrix VMAX) can help customers can get projects done faster, with better performance, higher availability and low total cost of ownership.

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My Experience at VMworld, San Francisco, 2013

This year at VMworld, San Francisco, I had a choice, to attend either as a Visitor or as a Demo Booth staffer. I quickly chose the latter, as I could not resist getting face-time with customers! My decision proved fully justified, as I gained a lot from the discussions on the show floor. I was so busy, the 4 day event ended before I could notice it.  It was really a great learning experience for me at the event to hear first-hand why customers prefer vBlock and FlexPod over other Cloud offerings. Many folks mentioned, that the unified support model that comes with vBlock and FlexPod, Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) that minimize guesswork and risk, combined with lower TCO and high-performance that comes with Cisco UCS, were all major factors that influenced their decision.

Along these very lines, I was able to grab some time with Jim McHugh, (our VP of Marketing for UCS) to discuss the emerging customer trends in private cloud, desktop virtualization,  and other innovative solutions Cisco is building with VMware and its strategic partner ecosystem

Related Links

www.vce.com
www.cisco.com/go/flexpod
www.cisco.com/go/ucs

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Learn about Cisco’s Data Center and Cloud Management Software at #VMworld

August 25, 2013 at 11:50 am PST

vmw

This has been an exciting year for the Cisco Data Center and Cloud Management team – and we’ll be featuring several recent data center software innovations at VMworld this week. You won’t want to miss our new demos of Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia), Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (Cisco IAC), and Cisco Prime Network Services Controller (formerly Virtual Network Management Center) in the Cisco booth!

You can also stop by the VCE booth to learn about unified infrastructure and cloud management for Vblock, with UCS Director and Cisco IAC – we’ll have presentations in both the Cisco and VCE theaters. And in either the Cisco booth or the NetApp booth, you can learn about UCS Director for managing your FlexPod.

As you’ll see below, Cisco Prime Network Services Controller is a key component in several demos in the Cisco booth, including the new Nexus 1000V InterCloud and Dynamic Fabric Automation. You can read more about Prime Network Services Controller at VMworld in this blog post.

Schedule 1:1 meetings with Cisco executives or ping @CiscoUM (Cisco Unified Management) on twitter for an informal meet up. We’d be happy to connect you with one of our management software experts.

DEMOS:

  • Cisco UCS Director for Converged Infrastructure Management. See the latest version of the powerful Cisco UCS Director solution for managing both physical and virtual infrastructure in your FlexPod, Vblock, or VSPEX environments.  You can also see a demo of UCS Director integrated with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC).  Showcasing: UCS Director and IAC. New demo!
  • Cloud Management for Multi-Cloud and DevOps Solutions.  Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud now provides solution accelerator kits that enable you to integrate with multiple cloud environments (e.g. VMware vCloud, OpenStack, Amazon Web Services), and with Puppet and Chef for configuration management. Showcasing: Intelligent Automation for Cloud. New demo!
  • Cloud Networking Services with the Nexus 1000V. Demonstrates vPath integration with Citrix VPX and Imperva WAF, with Prime Network Services Controller. Showcasing: Nexus 1000V and Prime Network Services Controller. New demo!
  • Hybrid Cloud Networking with Nexus 1000V InterCloud. See how to build a highly secure hybrid cloud environment, providing Layer 2 networking connectivity from your  enterprise data center to a public cloud environment, with Nexus 1000V InterCloud. Showcasing: Nexus 1000V InterCloud and Prime Network Services Controller. New demo!
  • Simplify, Optimize and Automate with Dynamic Fabric Automation. Find out how Dynamic Fabric Automation simplifies both physical server and virtual machine deployments in your data center, with automated network provisioning. Showcasing: Prime Data Center Network Manager and Prime Network Services Controller. New demo!

And make sure you join us for our theater presentations to learn from the Cisco Unified Management product experts -- every day this week at VMworld. See below for the schedule.

THEATER PRESENTATIONS:

SUNDAY

Go Beyond IaaS with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud

5:00 – 5:20pm, Location: Cisco booth

Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation: Simplified DC Network Operations

6:00 – 6:20pm, Location: Cisco booth

MONDAY

Cisco IAC Provides Cloud Management on Vblock Systems

1:45 – 2:05pm, Location: VCE booth

Transform Cloud Automation with VCE, Cisco, and EMC

4:00 -- 4:20pm, Location: Cisco booth

Cisco Unified Cloud Management

4:40 – 5:10pm, Location: VMworld Solutions Theater

Go Beyond IaaS with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud

5:30 – 5:50pm, Location: Cisco booth

TUESDAY

UCS Director for Vblock Systems Management

1:45 – 2:05pm, Location: VCE booth

FlexPod Infrastructure Management and UCS Director

3:30 – 3:50pm, Location: Cisco booth

Enabling ITaaS through Cisco Domain Ten

4:30 – 4:50pm Location: Cisco booth

Prime Network Services Controller: Deploying Cloud Network Services

5:00 – 5:20pm, Location: Cisco booth

Transform Cloud Automation with VCE, Cisco and EMC

4:00 – 4:20pm, Location: Cisco booth

WEDNESDAY

Unified Infrastructure Management with Cisco UCS Director

11:30 – 11:50pm, Location: Cisco booth

Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation: Simplified DC Network Operations

12:00 – 12:20pm, Location: Cisco booth

Cisco IAC and UCS Director Provide Unified Management for Vblock 

1:45 – 2:05pm, Location: VCE booth

Make sure you follow us on twitter at @CiscoUM – and feel free to reach me at @Carolinamfdz if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing you at the show!

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Cisco UCS in a converged world

August 2, 2013 at 8:40 am PST

071913 MI MissionPeninsula-31-1

After a refreshing summer road trip through the beautiful Michigan Upper Peninsula I am happy to be back at work.  I even got a fresh perspective on the phrase “cherry picking”.

 

 

Henry Moore Nuclear Energy sculptureThe geek in me got to see the “Nuclear Energy” sculpture at site where Enrico Fermi’s Manhattan Project team devised a nuclear reactor to produce the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago. ( image from - http://www.chicagobauhausbeyond.org/ )

 

 

While I was away, I missed an interesting webinar on optimizing operations of Cisco Data Center environments with converged infrastructure management. Thanks to video archiving, I was able to review it this week. EMA analyst Jim Frey gave a comprehensive view of data center management using converged infrastructure.  Some key takeaways from my perspective were:

  1. Converged infrastructure will usher in a renewed focus on application performance and service quality.
  2. The need for automated discovery and configuration will become all the more important with converged infrastructure.
  3. The increased interest in converged infrastructure answered my question “Was 2012 year of the converged infrastructure solutions”

It was very interesting to see a customer -- Molina Healthcare -- discuss their journey to a service oriented data center.  The reorganization of the IT department along the lines of service delivery was fascinating.  Like other UCS customers, they had seen quantifiable benefits from the Cisco UCS management capabilities.

  • Speed of deployment improved 50- 75% (down to 1 week from 2-4 weeks)
  • Support costs reduced by 60%.
  • Discernable improvements in reliability and availability of the infrastructure.

As integrated infrastructure gains importance in data centers with physical and virtual environments that support application services, simplified management of these assets becomes very important.  The Cisco UCS management portfolio was recently enhanced with the Cisco UCS Director. It provides unified management of industry-leading integrated infrastructure solutions that Cisco delivers with EMC (VSPEX) Read More »

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Serious Simplification Advancement

Recently I spent time at Cisco Live Orlando where I caught up with Trey Layton, CTO, VCE. We had an opportunity to talk about automation and orchestration of Vblock with Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia). Over recent months, we have been doing even more work for our customers, collectively between our companies, to do deeper integration and to simplify the management, administration, provisioning and automation of our converged infrastructures.

As we see the continued trend to move to a services model in IT and adopt a private cloud infrastructure, Cisco UCS Director is the only solution to provide single pane of glass automation and provisioning of all virtual and physical assets and can provide end-to-end orchestration across server, network and storage resources.  With Vblock, it provides our mutual customers an elastic pool of resources to be able to consume and adapt to various applications and use cases that customers are deploying in the virtualized or bare metal environments.

We are excited about the developments around both what UCS Director and Vblock are delivering, and there is a lot more in the works moving forward to continue to support simplification and agility for our customers’ data center architecture.

  • The next release of UCS Director will add VMAX and VNXE storage support to the product by September.  This will allow UCS Director to support all Vblock models with complete server, network and storage provisioning automation.
  • The UCS Director task library will include over 50 Vblock specific tasks to allow users to easily build model-based automation workflows to dynamically provision the system.

Cisco continues to innovate, delivering technology and solutions that provide real value to our customers. Tomorrow starts here.

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