Some very good thoughts about Why should you care about Cisco UCS

Folks,

I wanted to share a few very good articles and web documents coming from friends into one condensed updated post about all the great things that Cisco UCS can provide to your organization :

Last performances update about our solution :

In the three years since its introduction, Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS™) powered by Intel® Xeon® processors captured 63 world performance records,UCS and Intel Xeon Processors: so, please check this out : 63 World-Record Performance Results

In response to what skeptics were saying 3 years ago :

Cisco as a server vendor! Ha!

Remember back when the company first unveiled its “Unified Computing System” (UCS)? At the time, the thought of Cisco being in the server market seemed almost laughable. But, this was a journey that we had seen before. Similar guffawing was heard when Cisco jumped into the voice market. Way back in the day, when I was in internal IT, Cisco acquired its way into the VoIP market and rode the IP wave to market leadership in only about a decade. When you think about how, historically, extremely difficult voice share was to gain, the fact that Cisco managed to grab as much share as it did, and as fast as it did, was remarkable…

more to read, here…

Some good tips to bear in mind if you want to do an apples to apples cost comparison ?

…therefore evaluate the real cost of implementing Cisco UCS solutions

The Service-Profile concept :

In this post Marcel will try to explain what a service profile template is within Cisco UCS. However to start with the basics let’s start with a service profile. I assume you are aware of the Cisco UCS Emulator. if not you can download it from here using your CCO account: http://developer.cisco.com/web/unifiedcomputing/home

So what is a service profile within Cisco UCS?
A service profile defines a single server and its storage and networking characteristics and are stored in the Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects. Each server connected to the Fabric Interconnects are specified with a service profile. The advantage of service profiles are mainly automation of your physical hardware configuration like BIOS settings, firmware levels, network interface cards (NICs), host bus adapters (HBAs) etcetera…

Cisco Unified Computing System Ethernet Switching Modes

Great paper to understand end-host & switch modes and when to use the most appropriate option.

What You Will Learn ?

In Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS™) environments, two Ethernet switching modes determine the way that the fabric interconnects behave as switching devices between the servers and the network. In end-host mode, the fabric interconnects appear to the upstream devices as end hosts with multiple links. In end-host mode, the switch does not run Spanning Tree Protocol and avoids loops by following a set of rules for traffic forwarding. In switch mode, the switch runs Spanning Tree Protocol to avoid loops, and broadcast and multicast packets are handled in the traditional way. This document describes these two switching modes and discusses how and when to implement each mode.

 Cisco UCS Manager Configuration Common Practices and Quick-Start Guide

The introduction of the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS™) in June 2009 presented a new paradigm for data center and server management. Today Cisco UCS is used by more than 10,000 unique customers. While the paradigm is no longer new, many customers are deploying Cisco UCS for the first time. This guide provides a concise overview of Cisco UCS essentials and common practices. This guide also covers the most direct path to working in a stateless-server SAN boot environment, upon which much of the Cisco UCS core value is predicated. In support of a utility or cloud computing model, this guide presents a number of concepts and elements within the Cisco UCS Management Model that will hopefully help data center operators increase responsiveness and efficiency by improving data center automation.
 
read more here
 
Cisco UCS and Storage Connectivity Options and Best Practices with Netapp Storage : 
This paper will provide an overview of the various storage features, connectivity options, and best practices when using the Unified Computing System (UCS) with NetApp storage. This document will focus on storage in detail, both block and file protocols and all the best practices for using these features exposed in UCS with NetApp storage. There will not be an application or specific use case focus to this paper. There are existing Cisco Validated Designs that should be referenced for a deeper understanding of how to configure the UCS and NetApp systems in detail for various application centric use cases. These documents treat the combination of UCS and NetApp from a more holistic or, end to end approach and include the design details and options for the various elements of UCS and NetApp systems. The reader is encouraged to review these documents which are referenced below.
 
 So what does is it mean for you, proven by real business cases..? There you go !
 
Citrix and Cisco virtualizing your workspace through cisco VXI implementation :
Awesome 8min demo
 
KPIT deploys VDI/VXI for 800 users and saves 75% desktop management & 60% desktop energy thanks to VCE and its vBlock Architecture :
read the details here
 
Banco Azteca deploys 500 user VDI/VXI pilot in just 3 weeks using VCE and its vBlock architecture :
read the details here
 
Novis sees 25% increase in its SAP applications per blade with Cisco UCS and Nexus Architecture :
Read this article speaking about how cisco helped out to deliver Cloud services for less
 
Hierro Barquisimeto expects 70% reduction in hardware, power, cooling, and space with Cisco UCS implementation :
read the details here
 
NTT Data reduces TCO and provisioning time by 50%, CO2 emissions by 79% with Cisco Unified Computing Systems :
read the details here
 
Training institute reduces infrastructure costs by upto 50%, energy consumption by 18%, provisioning by 90% with Cisco UCS :
read the details here
 
Hoping this article, through the initial writers posts of course, could help you to access as much relevant info as possible, I invite you to reach me out and let me know what sort of info and desired topic you would like to see more on this blog.
 
Happy reading, and I sincerely hope I helped you, just a bit, to gain more confidence into our Fabric Computing solutions.
 
cheers,
Michael

Cisco buys cloud service provider software newScale

Cisco this week announced its intent to acquire privately-held newScale, a provider of software that delivers a self service portal for IT organisations to select and deploy cloud services within their businesses. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Cloud computing represents a major shift in the evolution of the Internet, and as more customers migrate from traditional IT infrastructures, the need for rapid self-provisioning and efficient management becomes increasingly critical,” said Parvesh Sethi, senior vice president of Cisco Services.  “With the acquisition of newScale, Cisco will be able to accelerate the deployment of cloud services through a service catalog and self-service portal that allows customers to easily manage their IT infrastructures.”

Cisco’s cloud strategy is to harness the network as a platform for building and using clouds and cloud services.  newScale will complement and expand existing Cisco and partner software offerings in IT and cloud management and automation. Cisco remains committed to supporting flexibility and choice in management through a broad ecosystem of technology partners, and newScale delivers an additional option the company can provide to its customers.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of Cisco’s fiscal year 2011. The newScale team will report into Cisco’s Advanced Services organisation.

New dates : Server and Desktop Virtualization Bootcamps

One of the biggest issues that that IT phases is overall responsiveness. Today, a request to provision an application can take weeks or months due to the silo’ed infrastructure, decision making and processes that exist within IT.

One of the challenges Virtualisation has creating is the need to manage and orchestrate all of these VMs floating around the data center and between data centers.
We develop that Bootcamp one-day event is a split between theory and hands-on experience. This is an offer to you to experience the solution in a real live scenario . During the morning you will learn the theoretical information necessary and in the afternoon you get the opportunity to setup the complete environment on real physical hardware.

This one-day event is a split between theory and hands-on experience.
We have two Bootcamp series, and we are working to to deliver new contents soon, stay tuned!!

Bootcamp Virtualisation server

VMware and Cisco will demonstrate how to design, architect, install and operate a very lean Virtualisation infrastructure based on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), VMware vSphere 4.0 and Nexus 1000v. Such an environment allows you to consolidate mission critical servers on a fully virtualized infrastructure which allows achieving massive cost and power savings.

Join this event and gain more information on how your business may experience tremendous cost savings on capital and operational expenses with a virtualized data center. These savings are achieved with powerful Unified Management System of UCS base on Intel chipset technology. Improve your service levels through the usage of Cisco Service Profiles and vSphere’s vMotion and of course with VMware vSphere 4.0, the best platform for building cloud infrastructures. Cisco and VMware help you combine server, network, network services, security and storage Virtualisation under a single management pane with UCS Manager and vCenter.

Bootcamp Virtualisation desktop

The traditional approach to managing desktops in a global enterprise has become untenable. Increasingly, geographically dispersed user endpoints, in the form of desktopand laptop computers and personal devices, are making “desktop” management and security nearly impossible.

VMware, NetApp , and Cisco have partnered to develop Desktop Virtualisation Solution, move towards user-centric computing and transform traditional stationary desktops into untethered stateless workspaces available from anywhere and at anytime, which is a carefully designed and lab validated solution for the next generation data center.
After a combined solution overview in the morning, you can build-up and configure yourself a very lean system architecture and solution design, you will experience how Desktop deployments with that scenario will radically simplified architecture reduce complexity by reducing the number of components that need to be purchased, powered, cooled, configured, managed, and secured by about one-third compared to other centralized and decentralized desktop solutions.

Register today. Limited seating available.

If you are placed on a waitlist and require any further information please email the event coordinator : Michael Neefs (mneefs@cisco.com)

CISCO FIRST IN THE INDUSTRY – NEW VMmark 2.0 Cloud Benchmark

Cisco brings you the latest VMark 2.0 results.
This freshly new VMark benchmark is now based , not only on application workload performances , but for the first time VM performance is now evaluated on :

How well a server , network and storage support virtual machine movement within a given network , storage migration and VM provisioning.

This is ofcourse where a UCS platform in basically developped for .

It’s about bringing together network , compute and storage access in one system , managed and provisioned from one single pane.

Now this new stressful virtualization benchmark has the following properties :

Multi-host to model realistic datacenter deployments
Virtualization infrastructure workloads to more accurately capture overall platform performance
Heavier workloads than VMmark 1.x to reflect heavier customer usage patterns enabled by the increased capabilities of the virtualization and hardware layers
Multi-tier workloads driving both VM-to-VM and external network traffic
Workload burstiness to insure robust performance under variable high loads

For more information on the results, please go to :

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/ps10265/ps10280/LE_367602_PB_FirstVMmark2.pdf

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