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VDI “The Missing Questions” #1: Core Count vs. Core Speed

January 31, 2013 at 8:40 am PST

Choosing the right compute platform for your VDI environment requires both science and art. You have to balance CPU and memory characteristics against your expected workload profile and your desired density. At the end of the day, VDI has to meet some cost criteria in order to go from a fun science project to a funded program in your company. That means you can’t just throw the top bin CPU at the problem; you have to pick the right CPU. This is further complicated by the fact that there is not one CPU that is ideal for all VDI workloads. There is no magical bill of materials at the end of this series of blogs, but we will attempt to make your VDI decisions based more on science than art.

Strength in numbers? Or strength in speed? As Tony said in his introduction, we had several involved questions related to VDI that we honestly couldn’t answer… so we decided to start testing. This will be a series of blogs that attempts to answer practical questions like “when is processor A better than processor B?” And of course you then have to ask “when is processor B better than processer A?” In this first installment in the series, I will tackle the question of whether the number of cores or the core speed is more important when the goal is to achieve the best desktop density per host. Here is a handy guide to the other posts in this series:

The usual suspects. Throughout this series, we will focus on two processors. We picked them because they are popular and cost effective, yet quite different from each other. They are not top bin processors. Take a look at the table below for a comparison.

Note: Prices in this table are recommended prices published by Intel at http://ark.intel.com and may vary from actual prices you pay for each processor. The SPEC performance numbers are an average of SPEC results published by many OEMs (at http://www.spec.org/) across many platforms. These are not Cisco-specific SPEC numbers.

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Introducing Cisco Domain Ten(SM) – Cisco Services’ Blueprint for Simplifying Data Center and Cloud Transformation

December 5, 2012 at 10:07 am PST

This week at the Gartner Data  Center Conference in Las Vegas, Cisco Services is unveiling Cisco Domain Ten(SM) – Cisco’s Framework for Simplifying Data Center and Cloud Transformation.

Cisco Domain Ten can be applied to a diverse range of data center projects -- from cloud and desktop virtualization to application migration and is equally applicable whether your data center is in enterprise businesses, public sector organizations or service providers.  The video here describes how we apply the Cisco Domain Ten to the private cloud use case, as one example.  We’ll discuss additional use cases in future blogs and associated collateral that I’ll point you to.

Born from our extensive experience over the past years in helping customers transform their data centers, based upon the many cloud deployments -- private and public, enterprise, public sector and service provider -- that we’ve enabled over the past few years, we’ve formulated this comprehensive framework to help you transform your data center and guide new initiatives including cloud, virtual desktop, application migration, and data center consolidation.  The Cisco Domain Ten framework covers ten key areas -- domains -- that -- based upon our experience -- are critical to consider, plan for and address as part of your data center and cloud transformational journey, and is illustrated in the diagram below.  Relating this framework to other key components of Cisco’s data center strategy, you can  think of the Cisco Unified Data Center as the what of the data center, whereas Cisco Domain Ten complements this by guiding you on the how (to transform).

Cisco Domain Ten - Simplifying Data Center Transformation

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To Mobility! And BEYOND!!!

It’s been over ten years since my last visit to the beautiful city of Washington D.C.  It’s always great to visit all my favorite monuments and historical landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument.   I wish I could tell you more about my wonderful dinners at the Old Ebbitt Grill or Brassaire Beck; but onto more important things.

As I walk through downtown, looking around, I was thinking to myself, how much things have changed since my last visit.  Gone are the days of disposable cameras, brochures and maps  -- everyone around me is using a smart phone to take photos, launching Google maps to find the Smithsonian, or  scanning QR codes at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum  to view additional factoids as they were walking about the museum.  Everything is going mobile!

I’m here this week to attend the 12th semi-annual Telework Exchange Fall Town Hall meeting – “Mobility in the Fast Lane” focused on mobile IT and the mobile workforce.  While I was here, my colleagues and I had the utmost pleasure to interview 9 government and industry leaders discussing topics such as security, standards, technologies and telework benefits and challenges within their agencies.  It was fascinating to hear from these leaders how they are working in different ways to transform their agencies to better serve the American people,  grow their workforce and create  a balanced work-life environment for their employees. Read More »

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It’s Not Where You Are, But What You Do

The explosion of mobile devices has changed the way we work, live, and play. Gone are the days of being tethered to PC’s in our home offices or desktops at work. We can now literally take our job on the road and access our desktops and applications from anywhere, anyplace, anytime.

On the road again..

Two years ago, I was a part–time contractor at Cisco and thought it was pretty cool to have the choice to telework and perform my job remotely from any location. With a trusty laptop running my virtual desktop,  I was able to be mobile, do my job as a Cisco employee with meetings via WebEx,  meet other clients and,  take my son to his baseball practices --  all with the freedom and flexibility of work life balance Cisco provides.


Desktop virtualization moves data, voice, and video productivity applications now used on phones and computers onto servers in the data center. This creates a nimble virtual workspace for any agency user who can access their virtual desktop they choose from any device they bring or own in support of their agency’s policy of BYOD.

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The Cloud Networking Landscape – Survey Results From over 1300 Networkers [INFOGRAPHIC]

 The 2012 Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey, which includes participants from more than 1,300 IT decision makers in 13 countries, was commissioned to measure the adoption of cloud services by IT professionals globally, while examining potential challenges to their cloud migrations.  Below, we take a deeper look at some of the positive, negative, and strange aspects to come out of the survey.

On the positive side, 73% of respondents felt they have enough information to begin their private or public cloud deployments. This leaves 27% who claim to feel more knowledgeable about how to play Angry Birds than the steps needed to migrate their company to the cloud. While Angry Birds is a fun game to play, this wan’t the strangest result from this research. Read More »

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