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With VPLEX and OTV, Cisco,EMC and VCE change the Mobility and Disaster Recovery Game (Part1)

May 25, 2012 at 6:15 am PST

if you get the chance to be at EMC World you probably saw an interesting demo shared by Cisco, EMC and VCE  about Mobility and Business Continuance -- If you didn’t , Cisco Live San Diego will be another opportunity to see it

Our favorite bloggers Jake Howering  and Omar Sultan wrote  in the recent past  about DCI (Data Center Interconnect)  , OTV (Overlay Transport Virtualization)  i.e  DCI as an enabling framework for both Workload Mobility & Disaster Recovery 

Today I am pleased to have EMC Colin Durocher, bringing his perspective on the best way to address a critical challenge for a lot of IT organizations.
Next week I will post a second part  (here) , with a video  about the demo itself

Colin Durocher (on Twitter  @OtherColin) is a Principal Product Manager with the RecoverPoint VPLEX Business Unit.He has been working with the VPLEX product in several capacities including QA, software development,
systems engineering, and product management for over 10 years.
He is a father of two, a professional engineer, and is currently pursuing an MBA.
Colin is based out of Montreal, Canada.

“Life Inside the Datacenter Silo

The traditional approach to IT is characterized by datacenter silos.  Within each silo, we have our operations down to a science:

  • We use server clustering, redundant network fabrics, and RAID storage to protect against unplanned local failures.
  • We maintain spare capacity to absorb failures and workload spikes
  • We don’t think twice about moving data between tiers, or even between arrays to optimize cost and performance.
  • We commonly move virtual machines non-disruptively from server to server to load balance or perform maintenance.
    As far as mobility and availability needs are concerned, life is good…  Within the silo.

Crossing the Chasm (Between Silos) 

When it comes to protecting against site failures, we use array replication to maintain a copy of all our data in a secondary (often passive) datacenter.  We maintain scripts to automate our failover in case we ever need to declare a disaster.  We practice our DR plan at least once a year.  Don’t we?  Moving applications between datacenters is complicated enough that we really just try not to do it.  When we do, it often entails a professional services engagement.

All this has worked reasonably well for us up to now.  But IT budgets are being squeezed and IT administrators need to eliminate waste, reduce complexity and find ways to increase their operational efficiency.  It isn’t an optional thing.  Consider the IDC digital universe study (2011) which estimates that by 2020, the amount of information under management will increase by a factor of 50 while the number of IT staff managing it will increase by only 1.5

That gap will need to be filled by different technologies.  Let me introduce one to you – EMC VPLEX Metro.  For hundreds of customers, it is breaking down the barriers between datacenters bringing new levels of efficiency, simplicity, and availability.

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

May 22, 2012 at 3:30 am PST

 

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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Cisco and SAP : State of the collaboration

May 16, 2012 at 6:30 am PST

The second day at SAPPHIRE 2012 has been as intense as the first day --  After interviewing one of the first UCS customer (Monsanto) about the deployment of SAP applications , I did a round of videos with EMC, NetApp and Cisco executives to measure our presence in this market and our collaboration with key players. Stay tuned for the videos on integrated stacks  (Vblock with EMC, Flexpod with NetApp) .

I met Cisco VP Marketing, Data Center and Cloud , Giuliano Di Vitantonio, who shared why Cisco is at Sapphire 2012 , and what specifically Cisco and SAP are working on together -- Legitimate questions from some of our visitors, as Cisco has a great image as a network provider, but is still building the recognition as a server and software powerhouse.  Take the time to watch this short video to appreciate the breadth of the collaboration and understand why SAP is so interested in deepening this partnership.

Talking about experts . If you are in Orlando today don’t forget

-To attend at 12:00 pm the speaking session from Michael Missbach , our head of the SAP Competence Center

SAP HANA Appliance Software and High Availability: That Is the Question

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Location: Analytics

Abstract: This session offers real world experiences with HANA implementation and first hand results for HANA scale-out solutions on the Cisco Unified Computing System with Intelligent Intel® Xeon® Processors server platform and why this solution offers a competitive advantage to your business. Learn what customers are really asking for in regard to HANA and why it is important to provide the right solution to lower TCO.

Other sessions of a great interest

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Cisco at Sapphire 2012

May 15, 2012 at 5:46 am PST

A quick snapshot of @ciscodc at Sapphire -- As expected a lot of activities for this first day in Orlando.
On the front of the booth, we got a great audience as our speakers (see list of theater presentations) were covering numerous new capabilities developed by SAP and Cisco around intelligent automation, UCS , Flexpod or Vblock -- Well to be perfectly honest the Mini Cooper games were certainly very attractive as well -- Remember that you can participate to the contest through Twitter, even if you are not here in Orlando (see details here).

I spent part of my day videotaping partners and customers -- Great stories from SAP, Cisco and EMC customers such as Edison Mission Group, or from SAP, Cisco and NetApp (Flexpod) customers such as Chico State University -- “We reduce our footprint by 90% and have been able to move to a much better co-location facilities” ” Within 2 weeks, we were already up and running ” Expect to hear more from them in the following weeks as we will post these videos.

Today I want to highlight the presentation that Cisco Eric Robertson , will deliver at 12:00 pm [ Run Better 2 location] about Migration Path for Your Data Warehouse  (see abstract)  Eric spent a couple of minutes with me to reinforce in front of the camera the importance of this session, for SAP customers who are not on SAP BW7.3  , but want to take advantage right now of the SAP HANA environment . The Cisco solution is called Bridge Appliance and offers great potential -- Here is a 2mn summary from Eric

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Mini Cooper and Twitter games at SAPPHIRE 2102

May 14, 2012 at 3:31 am PST

 

Going to Orlando and win a car! Sounds  like going to Las Vegas!
IPad , Flip Videos and other little gadgets are cute, but this year Cisco, EMC and VCE  are creating a buzz at SAPPHIRE 2012, with the opportunity to win a Mini Cooper (grand prize)  or the value of a 1 day free rental  of a Mini Cooper (twitter contests )

Twitter contests

-Bridge contest :
Ok !Time to show your writing skills ! In fact no need to be physically at SAPPHIRE 2012 ! This contest is open to the virtual audience as well! This contest starts  on Monday 14th 2012 at 8:00 am EST  and ends up on Wednesday 16th at noon EST
All you need is to create  a “bridge” between two amazing products: Cisco Unified Computing System and Mini Cooper – In other terms , identify a common positive attribute between the Mini Cooper and the Cisco Unified Computing System and send a tweet based on this example
 “Cisco UCS is like a Mini Cooper ……   #sapphirenow #Ciscobooth1185

Follow #ciscobooth1185 and Retweet to vote for the best attribute of Cisco UCS and Mini Cooper
Based on the votes, we will select the best tweet and announce on Wednesday afternoon  the winner of a 1 day rental of a Mini Cooper (value $250)

-Picture contest
As Tweeps   we are  very creative and most of us like pictures (no kidding!) – For this contest you just have to stop on Cisco booth 1185 and borrow one of the  Mini Mini Cooper (Mini Cooper toy)  with a Cisco Logo for one hour , and take a picture on the show floor and tweet .  We hope to see a lot of fun, artistic, if not crazy  images. Don’t wait the last minute . There are only 25 toys on the booth !
This contest starts  on Monday 14th 2012 at 10:30 am EST  and ends up on Wednesday 16th at noon EST

The pictures will be posted on www.Facebook.com/ciscodc

Vote on Facebook or follow #ciscobooth11185 and retweet to vote for the best shot of the Mini Mini Cooper.

Based on the votes (crowd source) we will select the most popular picture  and announce on Wednesday afternoon  the winner of a 1 day rental of a Mini Cooper (value $250 )

Grand Prize

The raffle for the grand prize is basically open to everybody attending the conference  [except Cisco, EMC and VCE employees ]provided you show up on the Cisco booths (#1185) ready to participate to an easy game, which includes attending Cisco  theater presentations (see list here)  and visiting Cisco and partners booth for demos. Details of the rules are provided on the booth. The game starts on Monday 14th at 10:00 am EST on the exhibit floor .

So if you are these days at Sapphire, don’t miss this opportunity to learn and play at the same time, with the thrill to drive one of these easy going German cars…and if you still don’t know what is a mini Cooper, guess what ..there is one on the booth ! (but you will not be allowed to drive it on the show floor ..)

Or just check this funny video created by EMC- Who said that aMini Cooper is not roomy!

See you these days on Twitter or in Orlando !

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