The last couple of weeks have been among my most hectic.  CA World 2013 was a blast and the return flight from Las Vegas was an adventure in itself with an inebriated co-passenger. Over the weekend I attended a colorful Indian wedding deep in heart of the Austin hill country.  Anyone who has been a part of the groom’s party knows how tiring it can be.  To top it, last week I was at OSCON (Open Source Conference) 2013, a conference hosted by Cisco at which we had speakers from IBM, Canonical, Red Hat and Rackspace Hosting among others.

The keynote session at CA World 2013 with Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, was absolutely fascinating.  Richard spoke about how he started Virgin Airlines. We also got to see the advertisement for space travel with another of his ventures – Virgin Galactic.  A musical performance by the Goo Goo Dolls on the 23rd of April ended with a spectacular fireworks display.

The Cisco UCS session at CA World 2013 by Mark Balch and Lax Sakalkale was well received. In the session Mark highlighted how the increasing demands on data centers and adoption of cloud computing require IT departments to be agile and use flexible infrastructure.  He then went on to show why more than 20,000 customers have adopted converged infrastructure based on Cisco UCS technology to meet these requirements.  He gave examples of operational efficiency with Cisco UCS in deploying solutions such as VDI, Cloud and Big Data applications. He also cited case studies in which customers had seen significant economical benefits. Lax then showed some of the advantages of managing the UCS infrastructure with solutions from CA Technologies.

We also had a houseful of attendees in the theater session, which discussed real world operations management results from UCS deployments.  This session aggregated the results from customer case studies. It also went on to explain the underlying basis for the economical gains that customers are experiencing.  Most importantly we had engaging conversations with customers who were designing and deploying continuity and disaster recovery solutions for business critical applications on Cisco UCS.  We heard from at least two customers who had UCS blade servers running the critical software for their business.

The following were some of their reasons to invest in business continuity:

  • Service levels for mission-critical applications are demanding
  • The cost of service downtime is very high with potential for revenue disruption and reputation damage
  • Regulatory compliance and industry standards necessitate having disaster recovery plans in place

Their challenges with implementing business continuity plans were as follows:

  • Un validated solutions require costly experimentation
  • Solutions must span physical and virtual environments
  • Complexity drives up training costs and resources are limited
  • Disaster Recovery testing is disruptive and time consuming

I plan on discussing this topic further in future blogs.  In the next blog I will discuss some of the take-aways from the open source conference – OSCON 2013.