071913 MI MissionPeninsula-31-1

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) and NetApp (FlexPod) and also extends unified control and automation beyond Cisco products to include heterogeneous compute, network and storage platforms.

Cisco UCS Manager and Cisco UCS Central provide the foundation for managing application centric fabric based cloud infrastructure. They provide the ability to automate data center infrastructure management tasks in complex, heterogeneous environments.  UCS Manager is used for individual UCS domains and UCS Central is for multiple UCS domains within and across data centers.

Cisco UCS Management portfolio products unify management of physical and virtual compute, as well as network and storage access components. They were designed specifically to simplify operations, increase operating efficiencies and provide business agility—essential elements for deploying IT Services.  The UCS Management products expose open APIs for integrations with other IT Service management tools.  Want to find out more about how the products are used?  Check out the new UCS Management user community.