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Welcome to Barcelona: Cisco Data Center Cloud Activities at VMworld

October 8, 2012 at 11:24 pm PST

If you’d like to learn more about the evolution of the data center, and how Cisco is supporting that mission, it’s a great time to be in Barcelona. VMworld Barcelona kicks off full force today, and there is a great deal to experience.

Get your I Speak Geek button from a roving reporter here at VMworld Barcelona!

Get your I Speak Geek button from a roving reporter here at VMworld Barcelona!

Here’s a quick overview of Cisco’s presence in Barcelona in booth D200 and beyond.

For the first time, we’re taking the Roving Reporters and Engineers Unplugged abroad! This event will be covered by Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell) and myself, and we’re shooting several episodes of our new video podcast, which we’ll be releasing every Wednesday.

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Unified Workspaces That Go Beyond VDI: Built on Cisco Unified Data Center

Today we introduced release 2.6 of the Cisco VXI Smart Solution, offering enhanced performance user experience and faster ROI,  with unified workspaces that go beyond VDI. VXI 2.6 offers new capabilities and enhancements to the underlying platform, spanning Cisco Unified Data Center, Borderless Network, and Collaboration pillars.  I invite you to check out posts from Phil Sherburne and Brian Dal Bello to learn more.  For now, let me turn your attention to the data center pillar, specifically the advancements that are part of this release, and as amply illustrated  in the Cisco Validated Design for VXI.

Reducing the TCO of virtual desktops

With VXI 2.6 we focused significant attention on improving performance, and driving down the cost of deploying end-to-end desktop virtualization through a combination of data center enhancements that are now part of the Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for VXI 2.6.  These include:

  • The Cisco UCS B200 M3 server blade, based on the Intel Romley- platform delivers continued leadership in virtual desktop  density.  We recently commissioned a study with  Principled Technologies to evaluate  B200 M3 performance with virtual desktop workloads – check the results we published for VMware and Citrix based platforms.  We’ve also added the UCS VIC 1240 (mezzanine LOM)  to the CVD, offering up to 80 Gbps aggregate bandwidth per Blade Server.  Bandwidth management capabilities of the VIC 1240 and its effect on delivering QoS in a mixed workload scenario of  virtual desktops and other workload types is covered in detail here.  The CVD also includes the Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnect, 6296UP, that provides up to 2 Tbps throughput, thereby offering enhanced workload scalability and overall performance
  • Support for published shared desktops with XenApp 6.5, including Jabber for Windows.  With this feature, we deliver much greater scalability while also extending our industry-leading Jabber solution support to this popular application delivery approach, resulting in a more scalable, cost-effective, superior collaboration user-experience
  • Optimizing storage costs is also a key focus area for the release, and VXI2.6 introduces support for a number of capabilities that help reduce storage costs.  With VMware vSphere 5, we have Content Based Read Caching (CBRC) addressing performance bottlenecks associated with the high read IOPS found during O/S boot and AV scans.  CBRC offers host RAM-based caching to reduce read IOPS to back-end shared storage, improving scalability and overall storage performance and end-user experience.
  • With B200 M 3 servers, we support “Tier-0″ Solid State Disk (SSD) which enables the storage of Desktop images internally on the server while user data and personalization can be stored on back end shared storage, allowing for better overall performance and reduced dependency and costs associated with  back-end shared disks  We  have also included validated testing of the WhipTail Flash silicon storage array (SSA) offering  up to 12TB of flash with 250k IOPS in a 2U array.

Want to learn more about VXI Release 2.6?  Check out the following:

And visit our website at www.cisco.com/go/vxi

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Business Process Outsourcing Made Better with Unified Workspaces

Just imagine.  It’s HR benefits enrollment season.  And you’ve left your annual selections to the last possible minute.  And it’s the last day of the enrollment period.  You find yourself feverishly dialing the support line, hoping that by some stroke of luck there’s still an HR analyst around to help you wade through an employee guide (that you were supposed to have read two weeks ago but didn’t).  Read More »

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Video: Experts Discuss New Cisco-Vmware Joint Solutions Showcased at #VMworld

Despite all the rumblings in the media about the future of the Cisco and VMware relationship, the two companies announced at VMworld last week that they will expand their strategic partnership to deliver next generation cloud infrastructures.  Hear directly from Rahul Tripathi, Director of Product Marketing at Cisco and Nitin Brahmankar, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances at VMware, about latest joint product offerings at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco: Cisco UCS E-Series, which takes virtualization to branch offices and Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V, which seamlessly extends enterprise networks into external clouds.

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Cisco UCS Technology Innovation Drive OpEx and CapEx Savings for Microsoft Environments

September 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm PST

It’s been a busy week as Cisco has been active with Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 launch activities around the world. We’ve spoken with customers at events in Toronto and New York City with many more in person and digital events to go…

While the week’s focus was on Windows Server 2012 and the datacenter, I thought I would orient this post on how our UCS server family architecture is already benefitting customers in their own Microsoft focused environments. Below is a snippet of metrics, all from publicly available Cisco case studies, and they each demonstrate how Cisco UCS not only advances your data center forward technically but also drives efficiencies in OpEx and CapEx budget spend:

  • 97% -- Young America. Increased their server virtualization rate from 20% to 97%.
  • 80% -- National FFA – This nation-wide organization significantly per server reduced management time.
  • 70% -- Secure 24 – U.S. based service provider saw a tremendous reduction in datacenter cabling.  
  • 66% -- Microsoft – One of Microsoft’s Redmond, WA based datacenter achieved double digit power savings.
  • 40% -- Human Kinetics – Illinois based health and lifestyle firm recognized a large reduction in server acquisition costs.
  • 12 weeks to 10 minutesING Direct (Australia) – Large financial firm experienced a drop in the time needed to provision a new banking environment.
  • 2 Days to 2 hoursVolunteer State Community College – Tennessee based college improved the time required to deploy a desktop for students.
  • $1,575 to $80Slumberland – Mattress retail firm in the U.S. achieved a reduction in per server management cost.

Cisco’s UCS server family, as well as our other datacenter assets such as our Nexus switch family and Cisco Advanced Services, support the full range of Microsoft environments – Windows Server, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, and VDI. For virtualization, we’re hypervisor agnostic, too so Hyper-V, VMware, etc. are equally supported.  Bottom line is  Cisco technology will help create a better datacenter for you while also being friendly to your OpEx and CapEx budget spend.

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