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Agile Application Delivery with UCS-Powered VDI

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We’re off to another edition of VMworld with some great technology to showcase. Our theme this year is your data center is everywhere, the center of innovation. And talking about innovation we will be demoing some recent work around our desktop virtualization solution with VMware. We will have demo pods showcasing our UCS solutions for Virtual SAN and VDI as well as a demo showing graphic acceleration for VDI with Cisco UCS and NVIDIA GRID on Horizon. By the way, did you catch NVIDIA’s announcement today about GRID 2.0. This is pretty exciting news as graphic acceleration is key to a seamless user experience when you virtualize desktops or applications. With Cisco UCS a market leader in blade servers we’re looking forward to bringing virtualized GPUs to our B-series servers. As we see more and more graphic-intensive applications being virtualized to protect intellectual property by keeping data safely in the data center Cisco is working with NVIDIA and ISVs to qualify hardware configuration for specific applications. Read about Esri ArcGISPro recent testing on Cisco UCS C240-M4 and NVIDIA K2 GPU. Read More »

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New Nexus 1000V Virtual Switch Release 3.1 Now Available

There has been some seismic activity happening in Bay Area and the epicenter for all Virtual Networking shifts is right here at Cisco HQ in San Jose. (Our sympathies go to all those affected by the real earthquake further to the north.)  At Cisco, it’s all about the applications and the shift to dynamic network virtualization. Cisco pioneered virtual networking with Nexus 1000V virtual switch and recently incorporated it in the application aware Application Virtual Switch (AVS), for Cisco ACI-enabled networks. Cisco is excited to announce the availability of  Nexus 1000 Release 3.1 of Nexus1000V for vSphere (available for download here). We are showing the upcoming generation of the virtual switch at VMworld in San Francisco this week.

Nexus1000V is the edge switch for virtual environments, bringing the network edge right up to the virtual machine, and connecting virtual ports to the physical network and beyond. The Nexus 1000V is the foundation for our virtual network overlay portfolio, including all of our virtual L4-7 application and security services, our cloud orchestration software, VXLANs and more. It is also at the heart of AVS, a purpose-built, hypervisor-resident virtual network edge switch designed for the Application Centric Infrastructure.

Release 3.1 is a new major release enabling enterprise and cloud provider customers running the vSphere hypervisor to leverage the distributed virtual firewall VSG, expand VXLAN footprint in the datacenter, improve secure isolation thru Cisco TrustSec and dramatically simplify updates through Cisco VSUM (Virtual Switch Update Manager).  Most of the new features are value add to the Advanced Edition.  New customers will need a Ver 3 specific license to use the full functionality of Ver 3.  Existing customers with support contract are automatically entitled to free upgrade to Ver 3. AVS incorporates Nexus 1000V capabilities with consistent application policy enforcement for virtual workloads and unprecedented end-to-end visibility for applications in your data center.

Features of the new Nexus 1000V Release 3.1:

  • Scale
    • Increased Scalability (Advanced Edition) – More than doubles the scale from the previous release. The virtual switch now supports 250 hosts/servers per switch with 10,000 ports per switch. In addition it supports 4094 active VLANs and  16 million VXLAN (6144 active VXLANs) per switch across 6144 port profiles.
    • VXLAN control plane: BGP based control plane across multiple virtual switches provide expanded Layer 2 domain footprint that can potentially support nearly 40,000 VMs in a single domain
    • Increased Resiliency – Supports headless Port bring up where Virtual Machines can be bought up on the host even if VEM is offline i.e. the VSM is not reachable by VEM. Both VSM headful and headless VM vMotion is supported.
  • Security
    • Cisco TrustSec 2.0 (Advanced Edition) – Continues to extended Cisco TrustSec solutions for network based segmentation of users and physical workloads, leveraging Security Group Tags (SGT) for defining security segments and SGACL support  (Enforcement) and Native(in-line) SGT tagging.
    • BPDU Guard – Keeps virtual network safe from misconfigured VLANs and strictly enforces VLAN boundries.  It prevents Misconfigured VLAN Rogue devices from flooding the network
    • Storm Control – Prevent network disruptions from a broadcast, multicast, or unknown-unicast traffic storm.
  • Simplification
    • Simplified Deployment, upgrade and visibility with Cisco VSUM – Cisco VSUM is a FREE virtual appliance that enables Server and Network administrators to Deploy, Upgrade and Monitor Nexus1000V and to Deploy and Upgrade Cisco AVS from within their vCenter web interface.
    • Customer Experience – Here’s what one of our Beta customers, Josh Coen says about Cisco VSUM. Josh is a Principal Cloud Architect with Varrow and has been working in the IT industry since 1999, with a heavy focus on virtualization and storage since 2008.

Nexus 1000V has already reached the 10,000 customer milestone with some customers purchasing 1000+ CPU licenses.  Nexus 1000V continues to provide the foundation for the most advanced virtual networks by supporting, 1) multiple hypervisor environments, such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Openstack KVM 2) the most extensive set of virtual network services, including ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, distributed zone-based virtual firewall, vWAAS WAN optimization, the Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V, Cisco Prime Network Analysis Module (NAM) and advanced service insertion and chaining technology, vPath and 3) a true management control plane that provides greater policy and control features for richer networking functionality.

We’ll be showing a lot of these features this week. Come by our booth and check it out. If you are around #VMworld this week, give us a shout out on twitter using Cisco hash tag #ciscovmw. For those of you that can’t make it out to VMworld, listen to the review of these new features in Ver 3.1 in this webcast.

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Cisco Data Center Automation and Cloud Management Software at #VMworld

We’re excited to be back at the Moscone Center in San Francisco for VMworld this week and our theme is Bring IT: Unleash the Possibilities. You’ll see this theme unfold throughout the Cisco activities at VMworld – where we’ll be featuring our data center automation and cloud management software this week.

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In particular, we’re bringing Cisco UCS Director to VMworld and it will be featured in our demos, theater presentations, and breakout sessions at the show. If you’re not already familiar with UCS Director, it’s our flagship infrastructure automation software – for provisioning not only VMs but also bare metal servers, storage, networking, and layer 4-7 services.  It’s a key component of many of our solutions that you’ll see at VMworld.

For example, check out the video below of application-centric cloud management and infrastructure automation, powered by Cisco UCS Director, Cisco Prime Service Catalog, and the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC):

This past week, we also announced our new Cisco UCS Performance Manager software for performance monitoring of UCS and UCS-based integrated infrastructure – leveraging technology from our partner Zenoss. Stop by the Cisco or Zenoss booths at VMworld and be one of the first to see a live demonstration!

We’re also showcasing our software solutions for hybrid cloud, virtual network services automation, integrated infrastructure management, cloud automation, and more.

Read More »

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Bring IT to VMworld 2014!

It’s time to dust off your most comfortable shoes, pack your spare battery packs, and warm up your throwing arm–VMworld 2014 is almost here. As always, the Cisco Data Center team has a lot going on both on the show floor and off. Here’s a quick guide to some of the community highlights for those attending and those watching it all unfold.

Conference hair? We have your solution. Visit us at Cisco Booth 1217 for your #CiscoUCS hat. Tweet a selfie and enter our raffle!

Conference hair? We have your solution. Visit us at Cisco Booth 1217 for your #CiscoUCS hat. Tweet a selfie and enter our raffle!

Sunday, August 24

8-11 am: vBreakfast
What better way to get to know the community than over breakfast at Mel’s Diner? Join #CiscoChampion Shane Williford and many others in this yearly tradition of carbo-loading for an action-packed day.

1-4 pm: Opening Acts
This new addition to kick off the community learning at VMworld is brought to you by the VMunderground group in partnership with vBrownBag, both of whom Cisco is sponsoring this year. Learn about topics spanning tech and professional development in this informal panel sessions.

3-5 pm #v0dgeball
For the 2nd year in a row, Cisco is the proud sponsor of Team CloudBunny at this annual charity event. Exactly what it sounds like, this is the time of year where smack talk is encouraged and a year’s worth of glory is earned. All proceeds benefit Wounded Warrior Foundation. So don a pair of ears, or just come out and prepare to cheer. Suggested donation is $5 for fans.

Yes, it's an actual charity dodgeball match! Come out to donate and cheer us on!

Yes, it’s an actual charity dodgeball match! Come out to donate and cheer us on!

8-11 pm #VMunderground
This annual tradition is bigger than ever! Come out to meet your colleagues at this community-backed event. Conveniently located right across from Moscone, it’s the perfect time to meet old friends and connect with new ones. We’ll be there with various giveaways (did someone say #vBacon?). Be sure to follow @CiscoDC this week for a chance to win one of the limited supply of #VMunderground wristbands available.

Tuesday, August 26

8-11 pm #vBacon
Back for the 3rd year, #vBacon is bigger and more bacon-filled than ever. If you’ve not yet registered, do so today for the VIP entrance into the community party where everyone knows your Twitter handle. Complete with caricaturists to capture the moment, locally themed food and drink, and lots and lots of bacon. Accept no imitations.

The one and only #vBacon happens Tuesday night! Join us!

The one and only #vBacon happens Tuesday night! Join us!

In between the social activities, there are great Cisco sessions, demos, and #EngineersUnplugged being shot at the Cisco Booth 1217. Also, we’ll be in the Social Media Lounge and on the vBrownBag stage. For a complete listing of learning opportunities, here’s a Full Cisco at VMworld Event Schedule. We look forward to connecting with you!

For those watching from home, you can keep up with the news by following any of the hashtags above, and also #CiscoUCS, #CiscoACI, #VMworld.

What’s on your schedule for next week?

 

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Announcing Cisco UCS Performance Manager: Performance monitoring and capacity planning for UCS integrated infrastructures

Now get data center assurance for UCS integrated infrastructures and tie application performance to physical and virtual infrastructure performance.

You can achieve deep granular visibility into UCS components to optimize resources and deliver better service levels to customers without having to resort to multiple tools and “swivel-chair” management.

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If you are going to be at VMworld next week stop by the Cisco booth. We will be on-hand with presentations and demos of UCS Performance Manager.  Get a first look on the show floor at the Cisco booth #1217. Here: http://www.vmworld.com/community/conference/us/sponsors#globalD

Moscone Convention Center-South Hall, San Francisco, CA
Sunday, August 24: 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Opening Reception)
Monday, August 25: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, August 26: 11:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, August 27: 10:00–5:00 p.m.

Fern Topology View1

Cisco UCS Performance Manager delivers capacity and performance management for Cisco UCS and integrated infrastructure network and storage devices. Just click on the device or the path and see the real-time performance metrics from the main dashboard.

Based on technology from Zenoss, this Cisco solution delivers granular device monitoring from a single customizable console. Cisco UCS Performance Manager uses Cisco UCS APIs and other native APIs and interfaces to collect data from UCS Manager and integrated infrastructure end points to display comprehensive information about all UCS infrastructure components.

Fern Application View dynamically Identifies Converged Infrastructure Components supporting the app

Using Dynamic Views you can view the integrated infrastructure elements that an application is using – right now. They’re kept up to date by configuration change events from VMware and UCS and accurately reflect the infrastructure resources used by each application.

You can easily spot where an error is affecting an application by examining the event rainbows of the components. With added benefits for VMware administrators: UCS Performance Manager gives you the ability to map virtual resources that include vSphere hosts, vSphere defined datacenters, vSphere VMs and endpoints. So, no matter how the application is defined (logical, physical or virtual), from the blade to the switch, you can dynamically see and drill down into affected components for one-stop troubleshooting.

We are also presenting an overview of UCS Performance Manager with a live Q&A at the Cisco booth. Some of the benefits we will be discussing:

  • We will show how UCS Performance Manager provides deep visibility for service profiles, chassis, fabric extenders, adapters, virtual interface cards, ports, and uplinks for granular data center monitoring.
  • How you can use UCS Performance Manager to maintain service-level agreements (SLAs) by managing optimal resource allocation to prevent under-provisioning and avoid performance degradation.
  • You can define component or application-centric views of critical resources; you can monitor SLA health and performance from a single console, eliminating the need for multiple tools.

For a deeper dive and links to a video demo of the solution in action, see Vishwanath Jakka’s blog here.

Mark your calendar for these VMworld speaking sessions:
“Performance and Capacity Management for Cisco Converged Infrastructures”
Tuesday August 26, 2:00pm

And, at 3:30pm on Tuesday, Mark Balch, Director Product Marketing and Raju Penmetsa, Principal Engineer at Cisco will highlight UCS Performance Manager in their breakout session: “Management and Automation for UCS Integrated Infrastructure”.

Session MGT3158.
Room: Moscone West, Room 3022.
See more here: https://vmworld2014.activeevents.com/connect/search.ww?searchPhrase=MGT3158

Hope to see you there!

For more information, or to schedule a demo reach out to Andrew Blaisdell ablaisde@cisco.com or to Vishwanath Jakka vijakka@cisco.com

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