Cisco Unified Data Center IQ Contest – Time to Participate !

..AND WIN !!

Think you know Cisco’s Unified Data Center? Like to friendly  compete with others ?  Well , well ! It’s about time to prove it
There are at least two ways to do that : the serious and the fun.

The Serious Way : You deploy an Unified Data Center at Work
Can be risky? — Not really ..but check out this video anyway

Disclosure : The numbers displayed in this video are extracted from a real case study

The Fun Way : Participate to the Unified IQ Contest !!


Starting on October 1st, we give you the opportunity  to test your knowledge .
A fun and easy way to play and compete  with an immediate reward.
During 6 weeks , we will propose every week a set of questions with multiple choices  created by our genius and facetious bloggers.
We will cover topics such as Unified Computing Systems, Unified Fabric, Unified Management, Desktop Virtualization, Cloud,  Open Network Environment  .. You got the picture! The whole Cisco  Unified Data Center portfolio !

So each week, you can put your knowledge to the test and earn a chance to win.. a brand new iPad! And collect points reflecting your Unified IQ!
Along the way , we will add bonus questions, an opportunity to gain additional points or to catch up if you missed a week.
At the end of the 6 weeks, the highest IQ will be awarded a grand prize .

Wow !What a commercial It seems that we are ready for the  next superbowl !

Ok!  time to action !

Go now to http:// /Ciscodc  to check the contest tab for terms, conditions and more information  and discover when the first set of questions will be available

And by the way .. two little  hints for you to be ready

-The first set of questions will be about Unified Fabric.. and more precisely about a recent announcement –
-I will send you on Monday and Tuesday a couple of tweets ( @drombaut  and @ciscodc) to help you — So time to follow these Twitter accounts

So  … are you up to the challenge ?




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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

Microsoft, Cisco, & EMC have developed a joint effort called Fast Track that helps companies accelerate their journey to the cloud while reducing cost, risk, and complexity.  The Cisco EMC VSPEX Fast Track design is available exclusively through our channel partners.  These designs are based upon Cisco UCS servers along with EMC’s award winning VNXe unified storage systems. 

The EMC VSPEX Private Cloud for Hyper-V is designed to accelerate the journey to cloud computing for small and medium businesses. Delivering a simple, efficient and flexible solution based on Cisco servers and networking components, it is built on Windows Server 2012 with latest version of Hyper-V.  The combination of EMC, Cisco and Microsoft gives SMBs enterprise class functionality at an affordable price with best of breed technology.

The solution leverages the VSPEX M100 for Hyper-V architecture and delivers predictable performance that significantly reduces the planning, sizing and configuration burdens of adopting private cloud or end-user computing environments.

EMC VSPEX with Cisco Unified Computing and Unified Fabric is a simple, efficient, and flexible reference architecture comprised of EMC’s award-winning storage systems, next-generation backup products, and Cisco’s industry leading UCS that helps customers to accelerate their journey to the private cloud.

The EMC VSPEX Private Cloud for Hyper-V has been validated Microsoft’s as a part of the Private Cloud Fast Track Program. The solution includes the following:

·         EMC VNXe 3300 Storage

·         Cisco UCS C220 M3 servers (2 or 4 node configuration)

·         Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Edition

Where can I find more information on Cisco EMC VSPEX? 

Here is a really easy way to find Cisco VSPEX CVD’s….just go/VSPEX! Ok…go here.  

The solution is available today.

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

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Impact X: Where People, Tech, and Social Impact Converge

Having just gotten home from an exhilerating few days at the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual event that draws hundreds of the world’s leading business, social and government leaders, I have the theme of “Designing for Impact” on the mind.  From examples of how to promote human rights in Uganda to talking about the fine arts as a means for economic development in Haiti, it was apparent that we can do more together to address the world’s challenges than we can apart. 

The idea of multiplying impact has led Cisco to join with The Huffington Post on a unique new partnership:  IMPACT X will be a new type of channel through which individuals and organizations can collectively share and amplify the positive impact that technology has on the world today… and how we can achieve more and accomplish more if we work in collaboration with one another.

IMPACT X  – where people, technology and social impact converge — today features stories of remarkable achievement through technology and collaboration in helping improve opportunity for youth in Africa.  It also looks at how small-scale irrigation projects can overcome drought conditions and includes insights on how technology is transforming women’s lives in Honduras.  

A  weekly series called “5 X 5 X 5,” which stands for “5 Leaders, 5 Sectors, 5 Questions” will answer questions on how technology and innovation can be used to tackle social issues. The first features actress and activist Maria Bello talking about her new network for women, We Advance University, an online interactive education and information site that will allow local women’s groups from all over a country to connect and access services and tools that will empower them to move forward.

The ideas run the gamut; the possibilities are endless.

What will IMPACT X feature tomorrow?  What are your examples of multiplying impact?  We hope you’ll share them today!

Cisco collaborates with Insigma to accelerate the development of Smart+Connected Communities in China

Those of you who have visited Hangzhou will know that it is one of the most beautiful cities in China with the stunning West Lake as one the city’s key attractions. Hangzhou plays a key role in Cisco’s innovation and research and development strategy for China, with one of our main R&D campuses based in the city. Hangzhou is also home to Insigma, a global strategic IT services and solution provider that works with leading companies around the world. Insigma collaborates closely with Zhejiang University, one of China’s oldest and most prestigious universities, based in Hangzhou. The city was therefore the perfect setting today to announce a strategic collaboration with Insigma which will deepen Cisco’s expertise in Smart+Connected Communities (S+CC) in China.

Hangzou West Lake

As part of the collaboration, Cisco and Insigma have made a strategic investment in City Cloud International Co., Ltd., a company that will help scale the devopment of  S+CC in China using intelligent networks to deliver new, platform-based cloud services across the country. Cisco has a strong collaboration with Insigma on S+CC; the company announced its smart city strategy at the Cisco Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

China’s urban population will expand to the 1 billion mark by 2030 with 350 million added to the urban population by 2025. The country will have 221 cities with a population of more than a million. I’m Dutch, and to put that in perspective, the whole of Europe has only 35 such cities today. 5 billion square meters of road will be paved. 5 million buildings will be built of which 50,000 could be skyscrapers – the equivalent of constructing up to ten New York cities. This unprecedented pace of urbanization in China is accompanied by rapid growth in the adoption of technology: video-on-demand traffic; the Internet of Things and data passing through the cloud. Cisco estimates that by 2016, China will be the second highest IP-traffic generating country in the world.

At Cisco, we truly believe technology will play a key enablement role in the achievement of China’s ambitious goals, as outlined in the 12th Five Year Plan. Sustainable urbanization, access to healthcare for everyone at an affordable cost and educational scaling can only be achieved via technology and new business models such as cloud computing. The future of competition will be between cities. Enabling overall sustainability – economic, social and environmental – using technology, will be integral for cities to develop and prosper.

Madam Jiang Yi, CEO of Insigma Technology Company Ltd. and Owen Chan of Cisco conclude the proceedings

City Cloud International Co., Ltd. will help  build Smart+Connected Communities thought leadership, platform and solutions using intelligent networks to deliver public and private services in cities across China. There has been great collaboration between the leadership teams of Insigma, which is backed up by the Zhejiang University, and Cisco led by our Greater China Chairman and CEO, Owen Chan. We are very excited about the innovation we can create for the city of Hangzhou, the province of Zhejiang and the whole of China.

At Cisco, we believe that we are creating a new industry for this next generation of smart+connected communities that will depend upon five key areas: visionary leadership, global open standards, smart regulation, public private partnerships and a new ecosystem. Our collaboration with Insigma through City Cloud International Co., Ltd is a great example of these five key areas coming together.

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Introducing World’s Fastest 2-Processor Server

There is no better moment than publishing a world-record TPC-C benchmark result with Oracle right before Oracle Open World. The Cisco UCS C240 M3 Rack Server with two Intel® Xeon® E5-2690 2.9 GHz Processors and 768 GB memory running Oracle Database 11g Standard Edition One achieved the best 2-Processor performance record [1] beating the nearest competition, the IBM Flex System x240 Server running DB2 [2], by 7% better performance and 11% lower price-performance, using identical Intel processor and memory capacity. This benchmark result is yet another demonstration of the performance and price-performance advantages of Cisco UCS for running enterprise applications.

This result also demonstrate 53% improvement in performance from the previous generation of servers, in line with Moore’s Law (Yes, TPC-C trend is in line with Moore’s Law) [3][4][5].

Cisco TPC-C Benchmark Results

As of 9/27/12. Source: Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC),

[1] Cisco UCS c240 M3 Rack Server, 1,609,186.39 tpmC, $0.47/tpmC, available 9/27/12
[2] IBM Flex System x240, 1,503,544 tpmC, $0.53/tpmC, available 8/16/12
[3] Cisco UCS C250 M2 Extended-Memory Server, 1,053,100 tpmC, $0.48/tpmC, available 12/07/11
[4] HP ProLiant DL380 G7, 1,024,380 tpmC, $0.65/tpmC, available 06/20/11
[5] R. Nambiar, M. Poess, Transaction Performance vs. Moore’s Law: A Trend Analysis:


Cisco at OOW 2012 : Empowering your Innovation

Oracle Open World is around the corner — And as usual Cisco will be there to showcase a partnership which is flourishing with the extension of the UCS family , which provides to the Oracle users and administrators , better performance and better platform management, not even mentioning cost reduction .(check here the excellent analysis from Bill Shields ).

As a matter of fact we just announced today a  world-record TPC benchmark result with Oracle beating the nearest competition by  7% better performance and 11% lower price performance !  Read “Introducing World’s Fastest 2-Processor Server

Our team of engineers has been extremely busy over the past months , developing numerous Cisco Validated Designs, an engineering and collaborative program which guarantees a high level of quality for the implementation of a solution – Here are some recent achievements that you want to keep in mind

Certification of 11gR2 on SUSE SLES 11

-New CVD on Oracle PeopleSoft on UCS
-New CVD on JD Edwards running n MS SQL Server on UCS
-New CVD on Siebel on UCS
-New CVD Oracle Database on Flexpod (Cisco /NetApp integrated platform)

If you are planning to be at the Moscone Center in San Francisco this coming week, here are some activities in addition of stopping at the Cisco booth ( #1221) for demos and meeting with experts that you don’t want to miss

Speaking Session

Paul Perez, Cisco VP and  CTO Data Center Group, will be on stage  on   Wednesday, October 3 at 11:45 AM PST
Cisco Innovation: Business Solutions Delivered in Proven Secured Clouds

The one constant is change. Yesterday’s technology cannot support today’s demanding business requirements. Cisco addresses data center IT challenges with the Cisco Unified Computing System, bringing unification of server, network, and storage access that provides unparalleled performance, lower cost, and management efficiencies. Customer challenges that range from linking data centers, moving virtual machines between private and public clouds, and securing of priority bandwidth can be successfully supported with Cisco business solutions. Hear from Paul Perez how proven and secure Cisco cloud infrastructure solutions deliver customers a competitive advantage in today’s dynamic business world and view into cloud infrastructures of the future. Also hear from Oracle how they leverage Cisco’s technology to benefit our joint customers.

Location: Lam Research Theater at YBCA (Seating Capacity of 700)

Other sessions that I would like to suggest are

Big Data Performance Delivered: Oracle NoSQL Database on Cisco UCS

Cisco Unified Computing System: The Ultimate Platform to Drive Oracle Solutions

Check the complete list of Cisco sessions here 

Theater Presentation 

We will have this year again 3 days (10 am to 4 pm) of short speaking sessions (20 mn each) with Cisco and partner experts
Check on your arrival the latest list of presentations- You may be able to win a very nice reward in participating in one of these sessions


Cisco is working diligently not only with Oracle, but also EMC , NetApp, Intel, and other partners such as VCE , and of course numerous resellers
Check on the Cisco booth for your participation to a passport program

I will be at the Moscone Center with a video crew , and will report to you what’s going on this year at Oracle Open World, providing as well blogs and tweets (@ciscodc and @drombaut) — Please follow the hashtag #oowcisco  I hope to see you soon







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Yes, Cisco UCS servers are that good.

Cisco publishes a large number of customer references in the forms of Case Studies, Solution Briefs, etc. It can be a very time consuming task to read through all of them to find out just how much Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS®) is helping our current customers, and how it might also help you. I decided to take on the task of trying to quantify the savings our customers told us they achieved with UCS versus their old legacy environment. The list below summarizes the average of these tangible results.  These results are limited to where the customers specifically stated a savings or where the savings is easily derived from the numbers stated.

  • 59% reduction of ongoing administrative/management costs based on 17 customers.
  • 52% reduction in power & cooling based on 26 customers.
  • 80% reduction in cabling with an average cost savings of 75% based on 16 & 5 customers respectively.
  • 41% reduction in other operations costs
  • 80% reduction in provisioning times based on 49 customers.

When Cisco announced its new data center architecture in 2009, among the stated goals were: reducing the total cost of ownership, improving business agility and energy efficiency, and less cabling. Now on our third generation of servers, it is clear Cisco exceeded its own expectations.

Would you like to learn more about how Cisco UCS can help you? There are more than 250 published data center case studies on Additionally, there is a TCO/ROI tool that will allow you to compare your existing environment to a new UCS Solution. For a more in-depth TCO/ROI analysis, contact your Cisco partner.

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Imperva Announces Product Plans for Web Application Firewall on Nexus 1100 Virtual Services Appliance

Imperva on 1110 Virtual Services ApplianceCisco partner Imperva formally announced plans this week to deploy and host their SecureSphere Web Application Firewall (WAF) on the Nexus 1010 and 1110 Virtual Service Appliances. The SecureSphere WAF will be the first third party virtual service available on the Cisco virtual service appliances, joining Cisco virtual services such as the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, virtual Network Analysis Module (vNAM), Data Center Network Manager (DCNM), and the Nexus 1000V Virtual Supervisor Module (VSM).

In earlier posts, I have described how virtual services can be best deployed on a separate UCS-based appliance running NX-OS. The Nexus 1100 series are dedicated platforms for hosting virtual service nodes that run in a virtual machine, rather than taking up valuable resources on application servers, and allow for easier manageability by the networking and security teams (rather than the server team). 

By moving the WAF from the application server to a virtual services appliance, the virtual solution will provide separation of duties between the security administrator and server administrators, while offloading security processing from application servers to a dedicated appliance. Maintaining separation of duties is a key objective of many compliance initiatives, including the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard specification, e.g.

From the Imperva press release:

 The interoperability of SecureSphere WAF with the Cisco Nexus 1110/1010 virtual service appliances is designed to simplify and accelerate deployment of networking and security services in a virtual and private cloud environment. Specifically, this solution is designed to provide separation of duties between the SecureSphere WAF administrator and server administrators and offload security processing from virtual server clusters to a dedicated Nexus 1110/1010 appliance.

“We believe the interoperability between Cisco Nexus 1110/1010 and Imperva Web Application Firewall will offer our joint customers a convenient, cost-effective option to protect sensitive Web applications as well as enable them to meet PCI compliance requirements,” explained Imperva CTO Amichai Shulman.  “We believe the need for application security is growing and the Cisco-Imperva collaboration will help organizations protect business applications and data.”

Integration benefits include the ability to:

·        Protect sensitive Web applications and data
·        Satisfy PCI 6.6 compliance requirements
·        Ease deployment of Web application security in a multi-vendor hypervisor  environment
·        Provide separation of duties for network or security administrators and server administrators
·        Leverage Cisco Nexus 1110/1010 virtual service blade management capabilities to manage and monitor the SecureSphere WAF
·        Reduce management overhead by consolidating multiple network services on a single platform

SecureSphere WAF provides protection against a variety of web-based attacks, including theOpen Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top Ten attacks, such as SQL Injection,Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) and Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF). For more detailed information on the Imperva WAF, check out their announcement.

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Can SAP HANA on the Cisco UCS server platform think faster than you? Almost!!!

Can SAP HANA on the Cisco UCS server platform think faster than you? Almost!!!

SAP HANA claims to process millions of rows of structured and unstructured data at the speed of thought. This used to seem preposterous. Today it is really happening. Installed on the Cisco UCS server platform, customers are beginning to recognize the power of SAP HANA as a key component of their Data Centers.

If you own a retail store and you want to smoke your competition on a certain product, you might want to lower your price to a certain level, in order to gain that advantage over your competitor. But how low do you drop the price? You don’t want to drop it so low, that you use it as a loss leader, but you want to make it so attractive that customers cannot walk by your store without buying it. It used to take days to run and rerun these types of scenarios. You could run one scenario at a particular price and get the answer back in several days. If that was not good enough, you may have to run it again, which would take another several days. Now with SAP HANA on the Cisco UCS server platform, you can run these same scenarios, crunching millions of rows of data, in just seconds.

Can you think faster than that? I don’t think so.

Not only can you smoke your competitor because you now have critical business information at your fingertips, in a matter of seconds, but using SAP HANA on Cisco UCS, you can do so at a price point that is 30-35% less than other platforms.

Why is that? It all comes down to the deployment of the blades, service profiles, virtual NICS, and a centralized management system that comes with all Cisco UCS servers. Oil and Gas companies are using this solution, Medical Supply Companies are using this solution, Storage Vendors are using this solution, Food Distribution companies are using this solution and Transportation and Rail companies have adopted SAP HANA.

Whereas European Rail Companies are moving you from place to place at 200 miles and hour, SAP HANA and Cisco UCS, are moving you from place to place at the speed of thought. Almost!!!!!!

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Catalyst 6500 Speaks: I’m Alive and Well, Thank You!

 “Rumors of My Death…”

I’m always amazed by how the rumor mill continues to try to kill off people and products. The American author, Mark Twain, once felt compelled to write, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” and I know how he feels!

It happened to Sir Paul McCartney, when the Beatles were still an active band. It happened to that iconic sports car, the Porsche 911, in the mid-70s. Quick… who remembers the Porsche 928? More importantly, who doubts that the 911 still delivers class-leading performance?

So, am I alive and well? Yes, I am! The 25,000+ customers who I serve day in and day out; the 2500+ customers who have deployed more than 16,000 of my Supervisor Engine 2T portfolio all think so. And guess what? Cisco is planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars more in me over the next three years alone. That’s more than some of my competitors’ annual revenue.

If you haven’t gotten it yet – I, the Cisco Catalyst 6500, am the evergreen switch for the campus backbone and plan to remain that way for many, many years to come! I can deliver the unique combination of rich network services, performance and scale needed to address emerging trends like BYOD and pervasive video in the enterprise campus backbone.

By the way, Cisco is about to go on the road with its Cisco Unified Access vision, in which the Catalyst 6500 (me!) plays a key role. If you are a Cisco customer and attend the roadshow, you’ll hear more about the three dimensional roadmap planned for me – multifold increases in performance and capacity, continued leadership in features and services, and lower TCO.

Ask your Cisco representative for more details. And continue to watch this space.

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