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Cisco UCS in a converged world

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After a refreshing summer road trip through the beautiful Michigan Upper Peninsula I am happy to be back at work.  I even got a fresh perspective on the phrase “cherry picking”.

 

 

Henry Moore Nuclear Energy sculptureThe geek in me got to see the “Nuclear Energy” sculpture at site where Enrico Fermi’s Manhattan Project team devised a nuclear reactor to produce the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago. ( image from - http://www.chicagobauhausbeyond.org/ )

 

 

While I was away, I missed an interesting webinar on optimizing operations of Cisco Data Center environments with converged infrastructure management. Thanks to video archiving, I was able to review it this week. EMA analyst Jim Frey gave a comprehensive view of data center management using converged infrastructure.  Some key takeaways from my perspective were:

  1. Converged infrastructure will usher in a renewed focus on application performance and service quality.
  2. The need for automated discovery and configuration will become all the more important with converged infrastructure.
  3. The increased interest in converged infrastructure answered my question “Was 2012 year of the converged infrastructure solutions”

It was very interesting to see a customer -- Molina Healthcare -- discuss their journey to a service oriented data center.  The reorganization of the IT department along the lines of service delivery was fascinating.  Like other UCS customers, they had seen quantifiable benefits from the Cisco UCS management capabilities.

  • Speed of deployment improved 50- 75% (down to 1 week from 2-4 weeks)
  • Support costs reduced by 60%.
  • Discernable improvements in reliability and availability of the infrastructure.

As integrated infrastructure gains importance in data centers with physical and virtual environments that support application services, simplified management of these assets becomes very important.  The Cisco UCS management portfolio was recently enhanced with the Cisco UCS Director. It provides unified management of industry-leading integrated infrastructure solutions that Cisco delivers with EMC (VSPEX) Read More »

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Cisco at Microsoft WPC 2013 Video Collection

July 18, 2013 at 11:59 am PST
Cisco intern, Renee Yao recording videos from WPC 2013

Cisco intern, Renee Yao recording videos at WPC 2013

The Cisco Data Center team recently wrapped up a great week at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2013. Cisco’s VP of Unified Computing Marketing, Jim McHugh took the opportunity to interview Cisco experts about how Cisco UCS provides an optimal platform for Microsoft oriented data centers and creates opportunities for channel partners to drive new customer engagements and increase sales.

Special thanks Renee Yao for producing these videos as part of her summer internship at Cisco. Renee is a rising senior at UC Berkeley and has done a great job for the UCS marketing team this summer.

Check out our WPC 2013 video collection to learn about joint channel programs and solutions from Cisco, Microsoft and our partners.

Empowering Cisco and Microsoft Partners in the Data Center

Listen as Brian Allison, Cisco Director of Partner Solutions discusses how the Cisco Microsoft Alliance is creating business opportunities for channel partners.

Read More »

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Empowering Cisco and Microsoft Partners in the Data Center

Both Cisco and Microsoft are committed to helping partners be the trusted advisors to customers embracing virtualization and cloud computing. Today at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference, we made a series of announcements with Microsoft to not only accelerate the deployment of private cloud infrastructure worldwide, but also invest in our mutual channel partners to bring these data center solutions to customers.

Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) is a foundational element of our Unified Data Center architecture, and has continued to gain growth and acceptance in the industry. We’re now recognized as No. 2 in x86 blade servers by researcher IDC and leading this segment of the server market in some parts of the world. Cisco partners, especially, have helped broaden our reach and increase our influencer recognition.

Our most important task now is to provide joint Cisco and Microsoft channel partners with the air cover needed to help customers simplify their IT operations, create more effective cloud deployments and realize the significant cost savings and efficiency benefits of optimized data centers.  Read More »

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Cisco, Microsoft and Partners Accelerate Journey to Private Cloud

July 3, 2013 at 11:15 am PST

Working Together SlideBusinesses and organizations are increasingly turning to private cloud delivery models to address their most pressing business and technology challenges. Next week, at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (WPC) in Houston, channel partners will be able to speak with Cisco executives and consult with Cisco experts, to learn how Cisco and Microsoft have teamed to provide integrated solutions for Microsoft Private Cloud.  These validated solutions create opportunities for partners to: increase revenue; accelerate their customer’s journey to private cloud; and enable repeatable deployments.

The Cisco Unified Data Center is holistic data center infrastructure architecture. It combines compute (UCS), storage, network (Nexus), security, and management into a single fabric architecture that creates optimal environments for Microsoft Private Cloud and applications. Channel partners can take advantage of Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) and Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track solutions with integrated storage from NetApp or EMC for turnkey private cloud engagements.

Read More »

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Your Guide to Cisco at Microsoft’s Worldwide Partner Conference 2013

July 1, 2013 at 7:48 pm PST

We’re just a week away from Microsoft’s annual partner soiree -- Worldwide Partner Conference 2013 (WPC) -- where ~16,000 channel partners from around the world will converge in Houston to learn about all things Windows Server, SQL Server, Surface, Office 365, System Center, and much more…

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 Why Cisco @ WPC 2013?

Cisco is at WPC as Microsoft is a strategic partner in the datacenter.  Working with Microsoft helps Cisco bring IT solutions to market that our customers are demanding be it private cloud solutions around Windows Server or upgrades to large Exchange and SharePoint environments. These requests are absolutely in line with what we have been hearing from customers:  Cisco is their strategic IT partner, not just a communications partner.

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What Should I look for?

My colleague Bill Shields posted a Cisco Data Center blog post the other day on our booth area and the solutions we will be showcasing:   UCS B-Series blade and C-Series rack servers and solutions such as FlexPod and VSPEX;  SQL and Exchange solutions; Cisco UCS Manager and PowerTool, Cisco’s PowerShell utility; and Windows Server 2012 networking featuring Cisco Nexus 1000V. There is a reason UCS, UCS Manager, and Nexus 1000V have been awarded Best of Tech Ed recognition three years running… Stop by booth #1401 and see why!

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Cool Must See Item #1: Nexus 1000V Switch for Hyper-V

We just started shipping our Nexus 1000V Switch for Hyper-V. It brings enterprise-class cloud networking to Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V. The Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V offers consistent operational experience across physical, virtual, and mixed hypervisor environments; reduces operational complexity through dynamic policy provisioning and mobility-aware network policies; and improves security through integrated virtual services and advanced Cisco NX-OS features

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 Cool Must See Item #2: Cisco PowerTool for PowerShell

Over the past several years we have seen PowerShell emerge from Microsoft as a base platform for management tool offerings such as System Center as well as being a scripting platform used by IT Administrators to drive increased automation and consistency in various deployment, configuration, and maintenance tasks. Cisco’s PowerTool for PowerShell is our ‘PowerShell library’. It provides a wealth of UCS, UCS Manager, and Nexus 1000V cmdlets that can improve the management of your Microsoft oriented datacenter. 

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