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The Role of Layer 4-7 Services in Scaling Applications for the Cloud-Computing Data Center

The Cloud Challenge
Cloud computing is increasing demands on applications and the application-delivery infrastructure must change to meet the challenge. Virtualization does not solve the problems with applications scaling, in fact it adds complexity. Infrastructure alone does not solve the challenge either. You don’t want to oversubscribe or just add capacity on demand. The infrastructure needs to respond to user demand based on business value and maintain a favorable cost structure. This means that you need intelligent load processing to manage scale, especially given the evolution of applications, which now make numerous backend function calls, which create more traffic than at the front end.

The Need for Scale
Cloud-computing applications are characterized by stateful access, with differentiated service levels, charged to the end user using the pay-per-use pricing model. Implicit in this model is the assumption that a cloud application is always on. Scaling the cloud delivery model to an Internet scale (millions of users) is a challenge that next-generation Layer 4–7 infrastructure needs to overcome.

Scaling a cloud application involves scaling three mechanisms: location (mobility), replication, and load balancing. Virtualization was an early catalyst for cloud computing because it substantially lowered the cost of replication and mobility of a prepackaged application. It does not, however, solve the load-balancing problem. Load balancing involves scaling the address, name space, transport, session, identity, and business logic of the application. Clustering enables scaling of application business logic but leaves the rest of the problem to a proxy infrastructure.
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Cisco UCS & Cisco Nexus – Making M&Ms and VMs Awesome!

Based on the positive feedback I received from my Cisco UCS videos, I decided it was time to tackle a slightly more complicated set of topics. While it’s fairly easy to come up with a set of keywords that spell out C-I-S-C-O, sometimes it’s valuable to take off the training wheels and go a little broader. So in today’s video, we combine the simplicity of M&Ms with the complexity of VMs. How do we take technology that provides tremendous value to customers and explain it in a way that’s fun and easy to replicate? Well, let’s see what happens… Read More »

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Video and Virtualization: Just Another Day at Citrix Synergy

If what I saw at the Citrix Synergy conference in San Francisco this week is any indication of what will be coming soon, I’d better invest in a personal hairstylist.

With video becoming more and more prevalent on the network, whether it be mobile phones, Cisco Cius and other tablets, IP phones, or TelePresence – there isn’t a question of whether or not video is here to stay. But one question remains: Is your network ready? (And maybe one more question: how does my hair look?)

If your customers haven’t prepared their networks yet, here’s something that might give them the extra boost that they need: Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecasted that videos will account for 90% of network traffic by 2013.

By selling Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI), you’ll help customers prepare for that change. We visited the Cisco booth at the conference and caught up with Cisco’s Operations Director Jeff Platon. He gave us a full tour of the end-to-end VXI system with products that utilize high-definition video.

Watch the full tour:

What else did we see at Citrix Synergy? Read More »

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Cisco Live! Industrial Intelligence Day, 12th July 2011, Las Vegas

Let me tell you about a great opportunity if you’re an executive or professional in the Manufacturing or Industrial sector. Cisco is hosting a special ‘Industrial Intelligence Day’ on the 12th July 2011 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas held in conjunction with Cisco Live.

The event is especially tailored to bring together manufacturing, controls, operations and IT executives and professionals. The theme of the day is ‘Industrial Intelligence’, and will cover the subject  of converging industrial automation systems based upon standard IP networks with business applications including voice and video to more responsively and cost-effectively manage industrial operations globally.

The day is packed with information, training, and industry best practices and is sure to be one of the smartest investments you can make in your career—and one of the smartest investments your employer can make in you.

By attending Cisco Industrial Intelligence at Cisco Live, you can:

  • Learn how Industrial Intelligence brings production closer to IT and converges industrial automation networks with business systems to improve the efficiency, safety, agility, and utilization of your production assets.
  • Receive training in architectures specific to industrial automation from Cisco and alliance partner Rockwell Automation including wireless and wired technology advancements, availability, security, sustainability and energy management.
  • Engage Industrial Intelligence and IT Networking thought leaders from our partners and the industrial analyst community via a live panel discussion plus join a community of manufacturing executives and IT and Control professionals deploying and operating Industrial applications and networks.
  • Experience and see “hands-on” demonstrations of Industrial Intelligence solutions and technology and interact with experts at the World of Solutions Expo at the largest Cisco user conference, Cisco Live.

Register by June 12th to receive the $100 off Early Bird offer. Click here to register.

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Cisco UCS – What’s Not To Love?

I make no bones about it I love the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).   Yes, you’re reading a Cisco Blog…so you’d expect nothing less, but understand I came to love the system long before I was ever a Cisco employee.  In fact it’s the reason I’m here – well that and the paycheck.  :-)  You can read a bit about my “conversion” here:  Something to Believe In.  Or if you’d prefer to watch me talk about the UCS as a GE employee take a peek here

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