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Where Cisco, Microsoft And Partners Win Together In Data Center

It’s a complex world of ecosystem partnerships out there, and it’s important to remember that while technology providers such as Cisco and Microsoft compete in areas such as collaboration and unified communications, they’re also tightly aligned in areas such as data center, where there’s a huge opportunity for Cisco and Microsoft partners to take joint solutions to market.

Cisco and Microsoft took another step in that alignment last week, thanks not only to the integration of Cisco Unified Data Center architecture with Microsoft Fast Track solutions, but also joint marketing and other activities to enable partners that sell both companies’ data center technologies.

The integration itself is a compelling one. Microsoft customers, for example, will be able to have programmatic access to the Cisco Unified Computing System, which gives them a lot more insight and control into how their Cisco Unified Data Center assets work in concert with Windows server and application software. (Here are some more of the details, including specifics on Cisco Nexus 1000V and Cisco UCS.)

Also new is that Cisco will offer several Fast Track solutions that provide customers a reference architecture using technology from Cisco and EMC, under the VSPEX architecture, or from Cisco and NetApp, under the FlexPod architecture. Both of those reference designs have been validated for Microsoft’s Private Cloud Fast Track program. Read More »

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Microsoft on UCS: Simplify Your IT and Transform Your Business

April 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm PST

We’re at the final day of Microsoft’s Management Summit 2013 (MMS 2013) here in Las Vegas. We’ve handed out ~1,500 t-shirts; performed hundreds of demos on our technologies Nexus 1000V, UCS Manager, VM-FEX, and Cisco PowerTool; evangelized our Microsoft Cloud OS solutions FlexPod and VSPEX; and generally interacted with most of the 5,000+ attendees here.

Show attendees now have a better understanding of our technologies but also and perhaps more importantly, have a better and growing understanding of the true value we bring to their Microsoft oriented data centers.

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Figure 1.

 As Figure 1 shows, organizations are challenged in many ways – staff inefficiency, unscheduled downtime, OpEx and CapEx pressures, etc. We feel our Cisco Unified Data Center is a viable solution to these challenges. It delivers operational simplicity and business agility -- essential for cloud computing. The Microsoft and Cisco alliance extends the value of the Cisco Unified Data Center by integrating Windows Server, Hyper-V, Microsoft workloads such as SQL and Exchange, and finally System Center and UCS Manager management stacks into manageable and scalable solutions. As a highly secure, scalable environment for your organization the Cisco Unified Data Center automates and simplifies deployment, orchestration, and management across server, network, and cloud.

The value derived from a Cisco Unified Data Center we is that we can now help your data center scale to meet your business dynamics; simplify your I.T. management processes; lower your operating costs while delivering world class performance. In the world of Microsoft oriented data centers, we deliver this value to your organization through:

  • Cisco Validated Designs for Microsoft Private Cloud Solutions

Move to the cloud quickly and easily with the help of Cisco Validated Designs. Part of the Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track program, these preconfigured solutions consist of industry-leading technologies from Cisco, EMC (VSPEX) and NetApp (FlexPod). Reduce your risk and enjoy end-to-end architectural and deployment guidance with pretested design guides

  • Cisco Validated Designs for Microsoft Workloads

To ensure Cisco customers running Microsoft software get the most from their data centers, Cisco designs, pretests, validates, and provides support for a growing list of Microsoft solutions such as Microsoft Exchange Server, SQL Server, and SharePoint Server.

  • Ability to Consolidate and Virtualize Microsoft Applications

Microsoft applications such as SQL Server, SharePoint Server, and Exchange Server are often prime candidates for consolidation and virtualization. Administrators can expedite and simplify virtualization deployment, management, and operations by using Cisco’s high-bandwidth, low-latency, virtualization-aware unified network fabric, Cisco UCS and Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

Cusqutoes

As you can see from the various customer quotes – Xerox, Cassidy Turley, and ING Direct -- true value in terms of economies of scale, improved performance, and efficiencies are seen. To learn more about our Cisco Unified Data Center and its transformational power, please feel free to download our new brochure Microsoft on UCS: Simplify Your IT and Transform Your Business

To learn more about Cisco’s Microsoft data center capabilities, please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft

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VSPEX for Microsoft Hyper-V : A Guest Post from our Partner EMC

April 10, 2013 at 5:05 am PST

Note: This guest blog is from our partner EMC. In it Chad Dunn, Director of VSPEX Business Operations, comments on VSPEX as an infrastructure solution for Microsoft oriented I.T. environments.  Rex. 

Cisco and EMC Buddy-Up on VSPEX for Microsoft Private Cloud

At EMC we’re always keen on working with fellow industry-leaders to deliver solutions that accelerate our customers’ journey to cloud computing – and Cisco, the leader in fabric, is one of our most collaborative friends.  In particular, we’ve focused a ton of joint effort on EMC VSPEX.

Since VSPEX was launched last April, hundreds of customers from across the globe have adopted VSPEX powered by EMC and Cisco technology – from the US to the UK to Australia.  That success is tied directly to our collaboration, from completing Cisco Validated Designs for VSPEX to jointly certifying VSPEX as part of Microsoft’s private cloud Fast Track 3.0 for “small” implementations.

If you aren’t already familiar: What is VSPEX?

VSPEX is a set of complete virtualization solutions – integrating virtualization, servers, networking, storage and backup – that are proven and validated by EMC and delivered to customers by channel partners.  That validation is extremely important too – why?  Because validation = confidence.  It ensures interoperability and fast deployment, and removes the complexity and risk.

EMCBlog

 

Well… What’s New?

With the increasing interest in Microsoft-based private clouds, we wanted to deliver a solution to customers that was not only validated by EMC and Cisco, but also certified by Microsoft.  Just like what we did with the “small” Microsoft private cloud Fast Track implementation – but bigger.  So that’s exactly what we’ve done: EMC and Cisco have just certified a new VSPEX configuration as a Microsoft private cloud Fast Track solution for enterprise implementations.

The enterprise implementation along with the small implementation greatly accelerates the transformation to Microsoft private cloud environments for our customers, but also just as important is how VSPEX can help customers simplify the ongoing management of their cloud.  Key to successful cloud management is delivering robust end to end orchestration and automation. EMC and Cisco’s integration with Microsoft System Center enables our customers to leverage the management tools and interfaces that they know and already utilize.  Additionally, EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) provides Microsoft application administrators more self-service and management empowerment and shortens the time to do storage provisioning by 4x for Microsoft applications.

Speaking of Microsoft applications, we’ve also just introduced 2 new VSPEX solutions to support them.   VSPEX for virtualized Microsoft Exchange makes deployment of 1,000 to 10,000 Exchange mailboxes fast and easy, while VSPEX for virtualized Microsoft SQL Server dramatically simplifies implementation of an environment supporting online transaction processing.

We’re very excited about these solutions as well as all of the other things that come as a result of our collaboration with Cisco around VSPEX – and there’s plenty more to come – so keep an eye out on www.cisco.com/go/vspex and follow @EMCVSPEX on twitter for the latest.

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Vive la Nexus 1000V on Microsoft Hyper-V!

April 9, 2013 at 4:00 am PST

MMS logoAt Microsoft Management Summit 2013 in Las Vegas this week, Cisco is showing a host of new technology innovations and integrated solutions for the virtualized data center. By bringing Cisco virtual networking and UCS solutions together with Microsoft cloud solutions, we are expanding the market for our technology, while providing more technology options and flexibility for our customers.

Critical to our Microsoft infrastructure strategy is the Nexus 1000V virtual switch for the Hyper-V hypervisor in Windows Server 2012 and integrated with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM). Cisco’s Microsoft-oriented data center architectures, rooted by UCS and Nexus 1000V are proven to save customers’ OpEx and CapEx.

Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V

Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V

Our new version of Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V has been in wide use for the last several weeks since we opened up the public beta to all volunteers. The availability of Nexus 1000V and these go to market initiatives with Microsoft are the culmination of 3 years of joint effort between the companies, including developing the ecosystem for completely integrated solutions. These fully integrated solutions include VSPEX, FlexPod (with EMC and NetApp) that enable channel partners to deliver value to end customers.

The feedback we’ve been getting from the beta users of the new Nexus 1000V has been really positive. If you missed the insights from Microsoft MVP, Damian Flynn, when he presented at one of our online webinars, you can hear him talk about his experiences here.

What we consistently hear from customers is the Cisco Nexus 1000V 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
  • Improves security through integrated virtual services and advanced Cisco NX-OS features

Read More »

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Cisco UCS Management and the Microsoft Management Summit 2013: Where Imagination Rules the World

April 7, 2013 at 11:08 pm PST

It’s late Sunday night in Las Vegas as I write this from my hotel room – Cisco’s day one MMS 2013 blog post. It has been a long day already here at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center getting set up for the show… Our Cisco booth is complete; UCS, Nexus 1000V, FlexPod, and VSPEX Engineers have their demos loaded and ready to go; the always popular Cisco t-shirts are stocked and ready to be handed out; the Event team is here and primed.

Over dinner tonight I was mulling over with my core event team what to write about in this blog. For some reason, and I forget why, we had been discussing Napoleon at the table. So, I started searching for some famous Napoleon quotes that might apply to technology, I.T. management, and Cisco’s activities at MMS 2013.

I found this quote from Napoleon Bonaparte: “Imagination rules the world”. Those four simple words are so very true when it comes to the power inherent in Cisco’s Nexus 1000V and UCS management capabilities. We’ve all learned about the powerful hardware architecture of UCS – with its modular approach to helping you deliver a modern datacenter for compute, networking, virtualization, and storage. I think at MMS 2013 though  people will see the imagination, and innovation if I can add to that, of what Cisco  UCS Manager and Nexus 1000V Engineers have delivered for Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1.

MMSDayOne

Cisco’s management portfolio is focused on doing what we know best – managing the compute, network, and virtualization infrastructure layers. We partner in the most complementary way with Microsoft’s System Center management portfolio. Together we offer a true ‘better together’ model affording end to end management ranging from the hardware chassis to the business transaction.

So, if you are at MMS 2013 this week, check us out in booth #501. We’ve got a set of demos anchored by Nexus 1000V and its integration into the Hyper-V Extensible Switch as well as a strong set of Cisco UCS Manager and Cisco PowerTool for PowerShell demos. Completing our demos is kiosk’s devoted to our private cloud solutions with our strategic partners NetApp and EMC respectively FlexPod, VSPEX.

If you are not at MMS 2013, we encourage you to check out our Microsoft capabilities at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft.

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