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“Microsoft is a great partner in the data center…” – John Chambers, October 2012

I was flying back home late last week after participating in Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 launch event in Denver.  As I scanned through my email InBox I saw the John Chambers quote from an interview he had done with CRN . John’s quote is timely given our many Cisco engineering and marketing activities going on with Microsoft as well as with our key partners EMC and NetApp. Let’s take a look and see what’s happening:

  • Our UCS and Nexus platforms are key components in our VSPEX for Microsoft Hyper-V reference architecture with our partner EMC.
  • Our FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution with our partner NetApp is providing Hyper-V based private cloud solutions to customers such as ING Direct in Australia and the University of Waterloo in Canada.
  • UCS Manager is tightly integrated with Microsoft System Center 2012 and this was recognized with it being awarded the Breakthrough Technology Award at Microsoft Tech Ed in Orlando.
  • UCS PowerTool delivers industry leading – and in this case this phrase is really well deserved – integration with Microsoft’s PowerShell  technology affording ease of automation for deployment and rapid configuration of UCS and Microsoft applications such as Exchange and SQL Server.
  • Nexus 1000V enables virtual networking scenarios in Microsoft Windows Server 2012’s new Hyper-V Extensible Switch – a result of great teamwork between Microsoft and Cisco R&D organizations. View our recent WindowsITPro webinar on virtual networking and Nexus 1000V here.

These Cisco technologies and solutions bring UCS, Nexus, and UCS Manager into your environment helping to create a better datacenter for your Microsoft private clouds and applications.  We will continue to work closely with Microsoft and key partners on various Microsoft/Cisco initiatives.  Our combined efforts allow you more choice in determining how to spend your IT budget and a Cisco based datacenter for Microsoft applications is a good choice indeed!

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Cisco EMC VSPEX for VMware V250…CVD is published!

The Cisco Validated Design for VSPEX on VMware Architectures (V250) has been published! 

This is a NEW document, and third in the series of CVD’s, for VSPEX and the first centered on the UCS B series server.  The CVD provides the end-to-end solution with VMware vSphere 5.0 for 250 Virtual Machines.  Here is a high level picture of the architecture.






The Cisco EMC VSPEX solution is based upon the best-of-breed technologies including Cisco UCS B series, Cisco Nexus 5548, and EMC VNX 5500 storage. 

Check it out at

Keep the discussion going.  How can we help accelerate your journey to the cloud?

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VSPEX on the Fast Track…Microsoft Fast Track

Did you catch the announcement from EMC? 

EMC announced the new EMC VSPEX Private Cloud for Microsoft Windows Server 2012.  You can read the Press Release here

Cisco and EMC believe there are three distinct paths…or choices…on the journey to the cloud.  Build-your-own using best of breed products, a truly converged infrastructure product in Vblock from VCE, or VSPEX…a flexible reference architecture approach.  A picture says it all…see below.


VSPEX offers an unprecedented choice of industry-leading virtualization, server, network, storage, and data protection.  Accelerate your journey to the cloud with the EMC VSPEX proven infrastructure.

What was announced?  Microsoft Fast Track for VSPEX

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Top Five Differences between an Infrastructure Manager and a Cloud Management Solution

I get asked this question a lot.  Cisco has multiple exciting Converged Infrastructure solutions with partners.   There are actually two different software product “categories” covering the Infrastructure (or POD) Manager and the Cloud Management Solution.  Let dig a bit deeper in what the differences are.


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Day One: Cisco and Microsoft Windows Server 2012




Today Microsoft launches Windows Server 2012 with various digital and in person activities occurring  around the world showcasing their new operating system and cloud platform.  This new release will open up new technical and business scenarios for IT organizations focusing on virtualization and private-cloud initiatives.

Cisco has been actively working with Microsoft at the technical level on Windows Server 2012 integration for some time with our UCS fabric computing, UCS Management, and Nexus networking solutions.

As we have discussed in prior blog postings our UCS Manager offering is tightly integrated with System Center and PowerShell and we will include System Center SP1 support for Windows Server 2012 interoperability. With Hyper-V’s new extensible switch in Windows Server 2012, Cisco’s Nexus 1000V switch family provides new flexible virtual networking capabilities for Network Administrators affording them improved network efficiency and utilization.

Finally, on this ‘Day One’ of Windows Server 2012 we are pleased to announce that our UCS family of Intel-based servers is hardware certified by Microsoft for Windows Server 2012.  This “Certified for Windows Server 2012” logo demonstrates that our UCS server family meets Microsoft’s highest technical bar for Windows fundamentals and platform compatibility – meaning peace of mind for you.

To learn more on Cisco’s growing Microsoft solutions for Windows Server 2012, virtualization, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server please visit

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