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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – June 19, 2015

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Richard McLeod posted this week to update us all on the Tropo acquisition.

Tropo makes it easy to add voice and text messages to applications and Richard takes the time in his blog to show how Tropo fits into the Cisco collaboration strategy. Be sure to check out his blog and give us your feedback.

NEW Red Hat OpenStack on UCS (UCSO) Campaign

Cisco UCS, combined with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform (RHEL OSP), accelerates cloud deployments, while retaining control and choice over your environment through an open and interoperable cloud solution.

This is a partner-led, partner-to customer model. And to support that, we’ve created all the materials you need to host a live or virtual event, as well as additional supporting materials on the solution.  Start now!

Upgraded Partner Tools Make it Easier to Deliver to Your Customers

Based on specific feedback around the partner experience and your distinct needs, we’ve rolled out improved and upgraded partner tools.

Curtis Hill and Jennifer Petty walk us through these important enhancements in their recent blog post here.

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All about that BaaS: Cisco UCS and CommVault Simpana

With Richard Jacobick
baas3Cisco and CommVault have teamed up on a solution aimed squarely at contemporary data protection challenges. Data is the lifeblood of the enterprise, yet the playbook for how you preserve, protect and provide access to data may have been assembled years ago… and a lot has changed in those years.   Consider the transformations around compute, networking, storage virtualization and cloud that have occurred over the last decade.

A data protection policy is similar to auto, home and life insurance because the ultimate goal is to mitigate risk by investing in an instrument that keeps the things you value most protected and safe. What would happen to the business if an unplanned event triggered a loss of data access today because of an outdated plan? There is a very good reason why we review our insurance policies on an annual basis and your data protection policy should go through the same periodic review.

A recent survey conducted by market research firm Vanson Bourne outlines how data loss and downtime has cost enterprises nearly $1.7 trillion over the past 12 months. The lack of a well-defined data protection process and comprehensive Disaster Recovery (DR) plan is most often the root cause in cases where data loss or downtime had a significant financial cost to the business.

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Find and Fix Problems Faster with New Splunk Integration for Cisco UCS

IT infrastructures are increasingly complex and include a broad range of technologies and platforms hosted in physical, virtual and cloud environments. Cisco UCS has become a world leading server platform in large part because the unique UCS architecture enables organization to harness the power of virtualization and dramatically simplify infrastructure management.

Splunk is a great complement to Cisco UCS because Splunk also helps organizations deal with the complexity of vast multi-vendor, multi-product, and multi-site environments.  Splunk is a platform for real-time big data analytics which enables end-to-end, cross-tier visibility across applications, physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructure.

Do you need insights into your UCS server performance? Would it be valuable to troubleshoot application issues across server, storage, networking, and other domains? Are you already using Splunk to “… make machine data accessible, usable and valuable…”? Then you need to be using the just updated Splunk Add-on for Cisco UCS.

Splunk’s first (and only) out-of-the-box integration for server environments, Splunk integration with Cisco UCS provides real-time operational visibility not just across Cisco UCS domains but across multiple applications and infrastructure tiers.  This enables organizations to identify & resolve problems faster, proactively monitor systems & infrastructure, track key performance indicators & understand trends & patterns of activity & behavior.

The Splunk add-on for Cisco UCS allows a Splunk Enterprise administrator to collect UCS performance, inventory, and fault data from Cisco UCS Manager using the UCS XML API. All the data is and can be integrated with other Splunk applications for products such as Cisco ASA Firewalls or Cisco Nexus Switches or Microsoft Exchange. Did you know that Splunk has over 20 integrations for Cisco products?

If you are thinking about adding Splunk insights into your environment, this is even more of a reason to do it on Cisco UCS servers. Last November, Ragu Nambiar blogged about a joint reference architecture with Splunk that improves performance up to 25x over the Splunk reference hardware. Cisco also published a Solution Brief. Look for updates on the reference architecture from Ragu soon.

Will you be at Cisco Live next week? Be sure to go to Splunk’s booth (#2319) to see the UCS app in action (or a number of the other integrations) or join the Big Data Analytics Demonstrations Booth Tours and find Splunk in Cisco’s Connected Transportation IoT, Security Solutions and Enterprise Networks Pavilions.

Example Splunk App for Cisco UCS Dashboard

Example Splunk App for Cisco UCS Dashboard

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Closing UCS Business Quick & Easy with the NEW SmartPlay Select Program

Cisco launched the original SmartPlay program in 2010. Since then our partners have seen tremendous momentum from special Unified Computing System (UCS) bundled offers. It has been the ‘go to’ program for our partners to accelerate the sales cycle into new & existing UCS accounts, and it was the catalyst for our online build and price tool that went live in 2011. Now we are continuing to evolve the program to meet the needs of the market with the new SmartPlay Select Program.

Partners spoke. We listened.

We spent a lot of time talking to partners, customers and the Cisco field teams to understand what worked and where we could improve the SmartPlay program. We heard you loud and clear that you needed more flexibility and greater partner protection in your deals.  You needed out of the box memory installs and greater quantities so you could scale.  We get it, and we are delivering.

From your feedback, we’ve made many improvements to the program:

  • The elimination of pre-configured bundles gives you the flexibility to build the perfect “Select” bundle based on your customer’s needs – now you can build-your-own-bundles
  • Partner protection was added to ALL SmartPlay Select offers via Opportunity Incentive Program (OIP), Teaming Incentive Program (TIP), and New Account Breakaway (NAB) for Cisco UCS – across all offers
  • Cisco ONE Foundation for compute included with each Server
  • Quantity limitations were greatly increased- buy up to 50 servers!
  • Memory options are now factory integrated in the SmartPlay Select server of your choice;
  • Try & Buy eligibility
  • We’ve expanded the choices of SmartNet [LINK] offerings available

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Cisco UCS Mini and Citrix Desktop Virtualization

This week, Cisco is at three industry tradeshows (Microsoft Ignite booth #122, SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference booth #330, and EMC World booth #221).

Next week is Citrix Synergy in Orlando.

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