Salem Health is a network of hospitals, rehab facilities, and physician clinics located in the Pacific Northwest. The organization was experiencing major performance issues with their IT infrastructure, which was hurting business processes. And in the healthcare industry, that’s not something to be overlooked. Clinicians were experiencing too much downtime to provide top-of-the-line patient care, not to mention the lack of support and control the company had for their current environment.
In dire need of change, Salem Health overhauled their data center with the Cisco® Unified Computing System™ (UCS), powered by Intel® Xeon® processers. The transition was cost-effective -- saving the business 68 percent in IT expenses – and provided enhanced data replication, decreased downtime, and greatly improved network access. As a result, Salem Health is able to deliver much better care to patients, and the business is back on track.
Read Salem Health’s full story, which is featured in the latest edition of Unleashing IT.
Tags: cloud, Cloud Computing, health care, Patient Care, virtualization
In the first few posts in this series, we have hopefully shown that not all cores are created equal and that not all GHz are created equal. This generates challenges when comparing two CPUs within a processor family and even greater challenges when comparing CPUs from different processor families. If you read a blog or a study that showed 175 desktops on a blade with dual E7-2870 processor, how many desktops can you expect from the E7-2803 processor? Or an E5 processor? Our assertion is that SPECint is a reasonable metric for predicting VDI density, and in this blog I intend to show you how much SPECint is enough [for the workload we tested].
You are here. As a quick recap, this is a series of blogs covering the topic of VDI, and here are the posts in this series:
Addition and subtraction versus multiplication and division. Shawn already explained the concept of SPEC in question 2, so I won’t repeat it. You’ve probably noticed that Shawn talked about “blended” SPEC whereas I’m covering SPECint (integer). As it turns out, the majority of task workers really exercise the integer portion of a processor rather than the floating point portion of a processor. Therefore, I’ll focus on SPECint in this post. If you know more about your users’ workload, you can skew your emphasis more or less towards SPECint or SPECfp and create your own blend.
The method to the madness. Let me take you on a short mathematical journey using the figure below. Starting at the top, we know each E5-2665 processor has a SPECint of 305. It doesn’t matter how many cores it has or how fast those cores are clocked. It has a SPECint score of 305 (as compared to 187.5 for the E5-2643 processor). Continuing down the figure below, each blade we tested had two processors, so the E5-2665 based blade has a SPECint of 2 x 305… or 610. The E5-2665 blade has a much higher SPECint of 610 than the E5-2643 blade with just 375. And it produced many more desktops as you can see from the graph embedded in the figure (the graph should look familiar to you from the first “question” in this series).
And now comes the simple math to get the SPECint requirement for each virtual desktop in each test system:
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Tags: citrix, cpu, UCS, vdi, virtual desktop, virtualization, VMware, vxi
For everyone in the VMware Partner Community, next week marks the gathering of technologists to learn, train, and generally get together. Cisco has some great opportunities to do all of the above.
The easiest way to stay up to date? Follow us @CiscoDC. If you’re not on Twitter, find me, give me 5 minutes, and let’s see if I can convince you to join your community of peers.
Here are some VMware PEX highlights:
Boot Camp: Connect, Discover, Learn with Cisco
Monday, February 25, 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Session ID: SPO2400
The Cisco Boot Camp is dedicated to educating and enabling partners to sell and deploy Cisco solutions successfully.
Breakout Session: Cisco Unified Data Center: From Server to Network
Wednesday, February 27, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
Speaker: Satinder Sethi, VP, Server Product Management and Data Center Solutions, Cisco
Demos: Cisco Booth 1015!
- VDI: Cisco UCS with VMware View
- Cisco Servers: Cisco Unified Computing System with VMware
- Cisco Nexus 1000V Family
- Cisco Unified Management
- Branch Office Consolidation with Cisco E-Series Server
- EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure
Also in Cisco Booth 1015, we’ll be shooting multiple episodes of Engineers Unplugged! Drop by to see some of the superstars of IT in full whiteboard action. Topics range from automation to virtualization to SDN. Send me a Tweet @CommsNinja if you’d like to participate!
But wait, there’s more, in addition to the fantastic official networking/social events at VMware PEX, we’re gathering as Geeks Without Borders to kick things off Sunday Night. Come out, meet your colleagues in person, say hello.
Speaking of community, be sure to sign up for our growing Data Center Virtualization Community, to hang out with the Cisco experts virtually.
Tags: cisco community, Cisco UCS, data center, engineers unplugged, nexus, pex2013, SDN, vdi, virtualization, vmware partner exchange, vmwarepex, vspex
Virtualization on the plant floor
“While IT networks already use virtualization extensively, its benefits are moving into industrial networks. Five diverse viewpoints on its advantages and implementation are offered.”
Great article in the recent Control Engineering magazine on the the topic of virtualization for manufacturing environments. Control Engineering states it is a major discussion, so they are approaching it from a variety of viewpoints. “Below are the stories written from industry professionals and their viewpoints on virtualization.”
The article can be linked to at Control Engineering by clicking on the following links…
- Getting more from less, Joel Conover, Cisco
- Virtualization lifecycle considerations, Paul Hodge, Honeywell Process Solutions
- Breaking chains to improve delivery, Grant LaSueur, Invensys Operations Management
- Building reusable engineering, Anthony Baker, Rockwell Automation
- Preparing your power distribution system, Jim Tessler, Eaton
Key Concepts Read More »
Tags: Control Engineering, Peter Granger, Plant floor virtualization, virtualization, Virtualization on the plant floor
Fabric-Based Infrastructure and Cisco UCS
A good segue to Fabric-Based Infrastructure is Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Blade Servers (March 2012), by Andrew Butler and George Weiss. To fully understand the tie in with Fabric-Based Infrastructure I suggest reading the section on Cisco UCS. Their observations are important because they tie directly to the subject of this blog. You will also get a better feel for why Cisco UCS is having such rapid customer adoption worldwide.
The emphasis for Fabric-Based Infrastructure is delivering value-add functionality that enables data centers to operate more efficiently and cost effectively. A good place to start is by looking at this Gartner report by George Weiss and Donna Scott -- Fabric-Based Infrastructure Enablers and Inhibitors Through the Lens of User Experiences (April 2012). In this short research note, George and Donna go into the key drivers and reasons for the FBI architecture and the benefits that their clients have seen. My take away for the key benefits of Fabric-Based Infrastructure are:
- OpEx and CapEx savings
- Increased VM density
- Time-To-Deploy reduced from months to hours via automation and standards implementation;
- Reduce cost and complexity and improve agility;
- Improved resiliency by recreating servers and connectivity in minutes using profiles and templates
While reading about a technology innovation is helpful, actually listening to experts discuss the architecture and give their individual perspectives can be more so.
I suggest that you make time to listen to this 34 minute video with featured guest Donna Scott (a VP and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner) and Paul Perez (VP and CTO for the Data Center Business Group at Cisco Systems) -- Fabric-Based Infrastructure (FBI) in Today’s Data Center. Donna looks at the motivations and impact of customers moving to a Fabric Based Infrastructure with an eye toward what is important to adopters. Then Paul discusses Cisco UCS innovations and how they let FBI adopters achieve their goals. If you would like, you can download a podcast of the video from theCisco Analyst Reports page.
From my perspective the truly compelling part of this story is the extent to which Cisco UCS makes the promise of Fabric-Based Infrastructure a reality, while emphasizing safety, security and the risk reduction. These are critical considerations in today’s IT environment. Cisco continues to be a key innovator in data center technology and is continuing to grow from strength to strength, delivering value and benefit for your long term application solution needs.
Below is how I think a Fabric-Based Infrastructure should look. Of course I am predisposed. Cisco UCS architecture provides the ability to define and manage over 120 different server identity parameters via service profile templates, using a native tool with Roles Based Access Controls and across geographies. UCS enables you to have a distributed environment that is centrally managed. Your admins can also use CLI, custom designed tools / scripts, or third party tools as they choose to meet the needs of their current management structure.
Read More »
Tags: Cisco UCS, data center, data center management, Fabric computing, Fabric-Based Infrastructure, intelligent automation, network, Server Management, UCS, virtualization