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Extend flexibility in Your Data Center Architecture with the Data Center Fabric.

March 22, 2011 at 3:00 am PST

“Fabric computing is a fixture on the radar screen of many IT groups, driven by the increased penetration of virtualization and prospects for cloud computing.As virtualization penetration increases, IT organizations will deploy virtual machine (VM) mobility, which will demand more attention to a fabric-based infrastructure that better integrates server, storage and networking for greater agility and faster time to deploy.”  Based on this observation, Gartner George J Reiss and Andrew Butler organized recently a survey to evaluate which vendors are the most credible and ready to address the challenges of virtualization and cloud computing.

Cisco pioneered the vision of Ethernet-based “Unified Fabric” for the data center and has been shipping products to support that vision for over three years. Subsequently it introduced Unified Computing and Unified Network Services, all of which have formed the building blocks for Cisco’s Data Center Fabric.  Competitors have validated Cisco’s vision by scrambling to deliver their own versions of the Fabric.

On March 30th starting at 9:00 am PST, Cisco executives and experts , partners and customers  will supplement this Fabric vision and showcase its evolution, while bringing multiple proof points to bear. And in a pure Cisco spirit, to enrich a very open conversation, we invited the Senior Analyst Andre Kindnesss from Forrester Research who wrote recently about “The Dark Horse In The Datacenter Fabric Race?” and the Program VP Data Center Network Services Cindy Borovick from IDC to share their vision.

If you want to be among (or amongst) the first to know what’s cooking at Cisco, this is your chance ! This event will be live and we hope to hear from you.

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Cloud Connect: Cisco and the Cloud Beyond the Data Center

Cisco and the Cloud: Within and Beyond the Data CenterThis year’s Cloud Connect was another great success, and thanks to everyone who attended my presentation on Cisco and the Cloud: Within and Beyond the Data Center. I was happy to see that we are beyond the discussion of “Is Cloud a true opportunity?” to “How can we get the most out of the Cloud?” There were many interesting industry topics discussed at Cloud Connect, I wanted to touch on one of them, the benefits of cloud, in more detail.

An interesting discussion came up in a panel on the differences between on-demand virtualization and Cloud. I share the panel’s general consensus that virtualization is a useful first step but not the end of the journey. Businesses of all sizes have achieved major benefits through virtualization (25%+ cost savings), increasing the utilization of servers to reduce hardware requirements and consolidate operations. When you move beyond this crucial first step, you open up the rest of your business Cloud’s benefits: flexibility, agility, scalability, and usability. When a truly dynamic cloud is implemented the benefits for service providers and enterprises are significant - saving 35-80% of the costs of traditional delivery. Let’s look at what drives these benefits:

Flexibility: Implementing a Unified Service Delivery foundation for your Cloud, enables an end-to-end virtualized infrastructure combining both the virtualized data center and the intelligent IP NGN to deliver services/applications from a common pool of compute, network, and storage resources, available on demand and also ensuring the services and applications can be delivered effectively.

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“FlexPod for VMware” Partner Success Stories, new CVDs and more…

There has been huge customer and partner interest in FlexPod for VMware since its launch in November 2010. The key FlexPod values that are resonating well with the customers are:

  • Flexible ITaaS platform built from simple, unified compute, fabric, and storage infrastructure
  • Simplified purchase and flexible scale out model accelerates journey to private and hybrid cloud
  • Cisco CVD based architectures and channel partner enabled deployment services for both the base FlexPod infrastructure and layered Tier-1 enterprise applications (Microsoft, SAP, VDI, etc.).
  • Centralized management enabling streamlined operations
  • Open management framework allowing simplified integration with 3rd party orchestration tools
  • Streamlined response to identify and quickly solve potential issues, enabled by cooperative 24/7 support model

I want to highlight that the CVD Program has been around for over a decade and has proved its worth time and again to help design and deploy next generation network architectures across the globe.

What do Channel Partners have to say about FlexPod for VMware?

Here is a short video by Paul Sorgiovanni, Data Management Practice Manager at Empired (one of the leading FlexPod global partner based in Australia). In this video, Paul explains how FlexPod for VMware has been extremely helpful in making their customers successful, and helped Empired evolve as a trusted advisor for their fast growing customer base.

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Let’s Be Late Adopters in Reducing Costs and Improving Performance!

Let me violate what must be the first rule in any insurance blog and start with a recent experience in banking. Don’t worry; I’ll get to insurance quickly.

A colleague at Cisco was meeting with a mid-sized bank just last week. Just as he started describing that all banks need to replace heavy client server branch infrastructures by leveraging virtualization, the bank stopped him with “we’ve already done this.”

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Getting More From a Legacy Data Center

March 9, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Have you ever tried to fit 10 lbs. of flour into an 8 lb. bag?

If you have a legacy Data Center and a growing business, that answer is probably yes.  Maybe you’re figuring to force more hardware onto your already-full floor space.  Maybe you’re wanting to wring every last watt from the circuits supporting your racks.  Perhaps you’re seeking to slip in just a few more servers without overtaxing your cooling system.

Whatever flour you have, the obvious fix is to buy a bigger bag:  add cooling infrastructure, add power systems, knock down a wall and add floor space.  Unfortunately, those are expensive solutions – even a relatively small server environment can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars when you include both Facilities and IT costs.

Perhaps there’s another way, though – a way that 8 lbs. of flour can meet your 10 lbs. of need and you don’t need more flour or a bigger bag after all.

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