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Vblock Systems Management: Choice and Interoperability Matter

Jeramiah Dooley, Guest Blogger  @jdooley_clt:

Jeramiah Dooley brings more than 17 years of technology experience to the VCE Office of the CTO.  Previously he was the global SME for Service Provider business development, multi-tenancy and vCloud Director design as part of the VCE Corporate Engineering Group.  Prior to joining VCE, he was the Director of Engineering at Peak 10, a service provider based in Charlotte, NC, where directed the overall strategy, design and development of the Managed Services and cloud platforms. 

Hello from VMworld! VCE is excited to be here with all things we have going on (http://www.vce.com/events/vmworld/). If you’ve been following along your head is probably spinning with all of the announcements from VMware and all of the other companies in their ecosystem.

One of the themes from both VMware and VCE has been the idea of pushing value up the stack, particularly in the Management, Operations and Orchestration spaces.  This has long been a topic of interest for customers looking at purchasing Vblock systems, but with so many choices, and so many tools that can be leveraged, they have been asking how all the parts fit together to solve their business challenges.

One of the ongoing VCE efforts has been to provide customers with the tools and expertise that allow them to manage and operate a Vblock system with the same efficiency and value with which they purchase, implement and support one.  In support of that, VCE and Cisco are proud to announce a new joint design and demonstration that integrates multiple tools, concentrated around the flagship Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud product.

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Cisco Live, Day 1

So, I wrapped up CiscoLive Day 1 with a chance to catch up at the end of the day with Fred Nix of EMC (@NixFred) and Vaughn Stewart of NetApp (@vStewed). While the conversation covered a number of topics, not all them appropriate for a corporate blog, we did commit this part of the conversation to tape.  I think this segment  highlights a couple of things.  First, how our ecosystem of data center partners is second to none–these guys are rock stars and they represent equally cool companies.  Second, I think this really shows how much IT has evolved and the lines have blurred so that folks like EMC and NetApp are able move beyond their storage roots and deliver comprehensive infrastructure solutions to our customers through their vBlock and FlexPod offerings, respectively.

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With VPLEX and OTV, Cisco, EMC and VCE change the Mobility and Disaster Recovery Game (Part2)

Today, Cisco Live “World of Solutions ” (the show floor) opens at 4:30 pm PDT  in San Diego Convention Center.  One of the marquis demos has been shown at EMC World with a lot of interest.

This blog is the second part of a two part blog dedicated to this Mobility and Business Continuance demo, created by Cisco, EMC and VCE.  In part 1 (read blog here) I invited EMC Colin Durocher (@OtherColin) to share with us his perspective on the demo.  As promised,  I come back today with more details on the demo,  including a video interview conducted by Cisco Daniel Bogda (@dabogda) with EMC Craig Chapman (@VirtualChappy)  and VCE Tom Chatham (@tchatham).  I asked also Tom, who already wrote here, to bring  his  perspective on the demo.

Tom Chatham is a Principal vArchitect with VCE Corporate Engineering responsible for delivering VCE solutions, customer solution testing, technical marketing events and evangelizing private cloud. 16 years of experience in the industry, most of that time spent focused on storage, virtualization and unified computing. Including extensive network infrastructure, systems architecture and business continuity.

“VCE is excited to kick things off this week at CiscoLive! Between our big booth, speaking sessions, and demos we’ve got a ton to talk about (www.vce.com/events/cisco-live).
Like we did at EMC World,  for this year’s  CiscoLive! show VCE wanted to kick it up a notch with LIVE demonstrations of all the cool technologies we have at our fingertips.

Daniel Bogda, Craig Chapman, Tom Chatham

We have a number of VblockTM Systems going to Cisco Live! (and VMworld in August) so it made perfect sense to show off our Workload Mobility Solution. Besides, isn’t cloud all about the ability to offer services from anywhere?

We have three Vblock 300 systems located in the VCE, EMC and Cisco booths. An additional network aggregation rack has been added to each Vblock system to house Nexus 7010 switches, EMC RecoverPoint appliances and EMC VPLEX engines. Panduit provided 1000 feet of fiber trunk cable containing 6 pair of fiber, which has been hung from the ceiling between booths.

The Nexus 7010 switches are providing our core network services, making each booth it’s own data center. RecoverPoint and VMware Site Recovery Manager are handling traditional long haul disaster recovery. VPLEX Metro is providing Active-Active storage clustering capabilities. This is the ability to stretch a VMware vSphere cluster between two sites today, and up to four in the future.  VPLEX Metro provides storage array block level LUN consistency and data availability while OTV on the Nexus 7000 series switches provide layer 2 network services.

Diagram: VCE Vblock WLM plan for CiscoLive!

Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at what makes this “cool”. Traditionally, migrating data and applications in or between data centers involves manual steps and data copies, where IT would either make physical backups or use data replication services to handle getting the data from side A to side B.

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Cisco at EMC World : Transformational Data Center Architecture

After several days  at SAPPHIRE 2012 in Orlando, Florida , where I got to attend amongst many other activities an interesting dialog between EMC Doc d’Errico  and Cisco VP Server Access and Virtualization BU Satinder Sethi (stay tuned video coming very soon) , I am back on the show floor this time in Las Vegas for EMC World.

In case you still don’t know (really?) , Cisco and EMC have a very close partnership on many fronts , as one of our very active blogger and speaker Jay Metz was highlighting yesterday in carrying proudly  this nice Infographics.

Obviously one of the main topic on the booth was Cisco UCS , whether as a stand alone platform, or integrated in a stack like Vblock, the solution provided jointly by Cisco , EMC and VMware under the brand VCE (check VCE Tom Chatham blog on EANTC Cloud Mega Test )

Recently Cisco and EMC deepened this partnership

“Cisco and EMC have a long history of partnering together for the benefit of our mutual customers, from storage solutions to the original Vblock to VSPEX.  For those of you who missed the announcement, VSPEX is a reference design program to help guide customers as they build out their next generation of infrastructure.  With our own success with the Cisco Validated Design program, we know this is an effective tool for customers as they look for trusted resources to guide infrastructure investment decisions. “wrote Omar Sultan in his blog  “VSPEX: our Continuing Exploits with EMC” 

So we invited today on the booth EMC Director and blogger Brian Gracely , our friend, blogger and reseller from Varrow  Jason Nash and Cisco Virtualization Architect Ron Valente to share with us the excitement of this first day .

In this short video, our 3 experts talk about “easy to use and manage “. Interesting enough, I was also attending yesterday  a Webex session about Cisco.com users based on a very large panel of Cisco customers . According to this survey, one of the major interests for our customers to visit high tech website such as Cisco, is to find information about how the systems are  “easy to use, configure, and manage”.

If you are in Las Vegas today, I’d like to make some suggestions for this second day at EMC World

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Cisco’s Cloud Verse, VCE and EANTC Cloud Mega Test

 

Tom Chatham is a Principal vArchitect with VCE Corporate Engineering responsible for delivering VCE solutions, customer solution testing, technical marketing events and evangelizing private cloud. 16 years of experience in the industry, most of that time spent focused on storage, virtualization and unified computing. Including extensive network infrastructure, systems architecture and business continuity.

Tom is at EMC World in Las Vegas  these days and on Twitter @tchatham – Check booths 410 or 515 .

I asked Tom to share  his experience and point of view on the EANTC Cloud Mega Test  – here is what he sent me

 

“Over the past four to five months, there has been significant buzz about VCE’s role in the EANTC Cloud Mega Test.  I was lucky enough to be a part of the test team, and I wanted to share some of my experiences in working on this fantastic project with EANTC and Cisco.

It started with a bang, of course.  Back in late January, Light Reading published their first report on the testing EANTC had done of Cisco’s CloudVerse architecture. I was at Cisco Live London where details of the test were first shared and members of the CloudVerse team were in attendance to share the results. Over the next couple of months, EANTC followed that up with other reports in the series.  All in all, they covered the Cisco Unified Data Center that is the foundation for cloud services, Cloud Intelligent Networks, Cloud Applications & Services, and Long-haul Optical Transport used in delivering cloud-based services.  Of course, I wasn’t involved in all of that.

As with all of the Mega Test programs (the Mobile Mega Test and Medianet Mega Test being the ones that Light Reading conducted previously), these programs are a big deal.  Cisco spends millions of dollars – literally – on lab infrastructure, engineers and communications for each one of these tests.  Light Reading has EANTC come in to provide independent, objective oversight and testing.  And when the report comes out, there is a lot of buzz in the industry on exactly what went on.  It’s not every day we get to play in a multi-million dollar sandbox!  I was one of several dozen people from Cisco, VMware, VCE, EMC and Ixia working on this project.

As the buzz about the test bounced around in the industry, a sidebar conversation emerged about VCE’s involvement in the test. As you may know from social media, I’m a Principal vArchitect with VCE Corporate Engineering.  Essentially, my job is to make sure that customers get the most out of VCE’s technology – VblockTM Systems.  The Vblock system is pre-engineered, pre-tested converged infrastructure that combines Cisco’s computing and networking equipment, EMC’s storage equipment, and virtualization from VMware.  VCE itself operates as a joint venture between Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware and Intel.

One of the things that was missed in the excitement over the test results themselves was the fact that the Vblock system played a big part in the Cloud Mega Test.

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