Happy Birthday Sup720, Here’s To The Big 10

Or in IPv6 speak, you’re an “A”, for Awesome

Today Supervisor 720, the most widely deployed Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine, turns 10-years old.

Supervisor 720 was launched on March 31, 2003. It enabled me to be the first modular switch to support true 10G Ethernet . Supervisor 720 has brought extensive feature set such as MPLS, VPNs, and VSS over the last 10 years.  If has also spread throughout the world over the last 10 years as the graphic (created using Tableau) shows.

 

Dashboard 1

Supervisor 720 has served well and now the newest engine, the Supervisor 2T , launched in 2011, triples the performance of Supervisor 720, quadruples the scalability, adds support for 40G interfaces and is ready to support 100G. Supervisor 2T inherits all the great features of Supervisor 720 and delivers a broad set of additional features such as native VPLS, Flexible Netlfow, Trustsec, EVN, Medianet and Distributed Policing to mention a few. Supervisor 2T will also support OpenFlow, LISP, and next-generation VSS.

Investment protection is in my DNA. When a customer upgrades from Supervisor 720 to Supervisor 2T, the same E-series chassis, many of the line cards and service modules will work seamlessly.. Since both Supervisors are based on Cisco IOS, network administrators can leverage their expertise and existing operational processes for faster adoption.

Happy 10th Birthday, Supervisor 720! I look forward to celebrating the same for Supervisor 2T in 8 years.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Happy Birthday Sup720, Here’s To The Big 10

Or in IPv6 speak, you’re an “A”, for Awesome

Today Supervisor 720, the most widely deployed Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine, turns 10-years old.

Supervisor 720 was launched on March 31, 2003. It enabled me to be the first modular switch to support true 10G Ethernet . Supervisor 720 has brought extensive feature set such as MPLS, VPNs, and VSS over the last 10 years.  If has also spread throughout the world over the last 10 years as the graphic (created using Tableau) shows.

 

Dashboard 1

Supervisor 720 has served well and now the newest engine, the Supervisor 2T , launched in 2011, triples the performance of Supervisor 720, quadruples the scalability, adds support for 40G interfaces and is ready to support 100G. Supervisor 2T inherits all the great features of Supervisor 720 and delivers a broad set of additional features such as native VPLS, Flexible Netlfow, Trustsec, EVN, Medianet and Distributed Policing to mention a few. Supervisor 2T will also support OpenFlow, LISP, and next-generation VSS.

Investment protection is in my DNA. When a customer upgrades from Supervisor 720 to Supervisor 2T, the same E-series chassis, many of the line cards and service modules will work seamlessly.. Since both Supervisors are based on Cisco IOS, network administrators can leverage their expertise and existing operational processes for faster adoption.

Happy 10th Birthday, Supervisor 720! I look forward to celebrating the same for Supervisor 2T in 8 years.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Happy Birthday Sup720, Here’s To The Big 10

Or in IPv6 speak, you’re an “A”, for Awesome

Today Supervisor 720, the most widely deployed Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine, turns 10-years old.

Supervisor 720 was launched on March 31, 2003. It enabled me to be the first modular switch to support true 10G Ethernet . Supervisor 720 has brought extensive feature set such as MPLS, VPNs, and VSS over the last 10 years.  If has also spread throughout the world over the last 10 years as the graphic (created using Tableau) shows.

 

Dashboard 1

Supervisor 720 has served well and now the newest engine, the Supervisor 2T , launched in 2011, triples the performance of Supervisor 720, quadruples the scalability, adds support for 40G interfaces and is ready to support 100G. Supervisor 2T inherits all the great features of Supervisor 720 and delivers a broad set of additional features such as native VPLS, Flexible Netlfow, Trustsec, EVN, Medianet and Distributed Policing to mention a few. Supervisor 2T will also support OpenFlow, LISP, and next-generation VSS.

Investment protection is in my DNA. When a customer upgrades from Supervisor 720 to Supervisor 2T, the same E-series chassis, many of the line cards and service modules will work seamlessly.. Since both Supervisors are based on Cisco IOS, network administrators can leverage their expertise and existing operational processes for faster adoption.

Happy 10th Birthday, Supervisor 720! I look forward to celebrating the same for Supervisor 2T in 8 years.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Cisco Domain Ten: Domain 8: Applications

“Applications?”  I hear you say.  ”Why are Cisco talking about application?  They’re a networking company!?”  If this is what you are thinking, I’m glad you are reading this blog.  As we’ve broadened to be an IT company, we in Cisco Services have been quietly building our application migration capability for the past 2 years.  And with cloud, as the leading designers of cloud IaaS infrastructure, we in Cisco Services are in a unique position to help you migrate applications to the cloud, where the skillsets required are not only application migration, but a deep understanding of how to enable your applications to genuinely exploit the capabilities of your cloud infrastructure.

Which takes me to the subject for this blog, Domain 8 in the Cisco Domain TenSM framework — Applications, following on from my Domain 7: Platform discussion the other week.  In our view in Cisco Services, (business) applications are the primary reason for the existence of the data center.  Applications drive so many of the decision in the other facets of the data center.  And when it comes to cloud (which is my theme for this Cisco Domain Ten series), there are additional considerations related to migrating applications to the cloud.  Let’s discuss some of these in this blog.

 

Cisco Domain Ten: Domain 8: Applications

Cisco Domain Ten: Domain 8: Applications

 

Continue reading “Cisco Domain Ten: Domain 8: Applications”

Accelerate Your Cloud Strategy : Cisco at Cloud Connect 2013

CloudConnect

Whether you are amongst those building their own private cloud or amongst  those leveraging the solutions of cloud providers, you want to attend Cloud Connect Santa Clara next week.

Cisco has been very active over the past years to accelerate the emergence of the cloud computing model. Padmasree Warrior, Cisco CTO and Lew Tucker Cisco cloud computing CTO have been on the forefront of this evolution, developing the concept of a “World of Many Cloud” and more recently the “Internet of Everything” .

Last week Giuliano Di Vitantonio, Cisco VP Data Center and Cloud Solutions Marketing, was writing about a series of webinars on cloud computing, including on April 17  a webcast with NetApp, Microsoft and Intel.
All other the world Cisco organize events with partners to explain how to address the challenges of cloud deployment and make today the right choices to make make amazing things happen tomorrow. If you are in Houston, Dallas you may want to attend one of the “Adopting the Cloud” event that we organize with EMC  and Terramak .

So it’s pretty natural that Cisco is a Diamond Sponsor for  Cloud Connect , which is happening April2-5 in Santa Clara , California .

The concentration of very active high tech companies makes this event exciting for the visitors (see exhibitor lists) .  You will find Cisco at the booth #201.  In addition of the Cisco solutions,  partners such as AT&T, Dimension Data, NTT, Savvis, Sunguard, Windstream will be there as well to talk about deployments.

A quick look at the list of speakers, starting with the keynotes makes it even more attractive.

The agenda is organized around tracks reflecting the care about of IT organizations, such as private cloud and hybrid cloud, mobile cloud, risk management and security, enterprise SaaS strategies, performance and availability, WAN and cloud networking , cloud economics, applications design and architecture, but also big data and software defined networking .

If you want more specifically hear from Cisco and partners , here are some suggestions :

Cloud Computing, SDN, And the Internet of Everything 

by  Lew Tucker  Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Cloud Computing | Cisco

Open source cloud platforms such as OpenStack now allow anyone to build their own public or private cloud. This accelerates private cloud platforms usage to not only meet the needs of rapid application development and deployment of enterprise apps, but when combined with SDN also changes the nature of “infrastructure as a service” as a platform for consumer-facing services. Come explore with us this virtuous cycle created by cloud computing, software defined networking, and the internet of everything.
Wednesday, April 3, 10:20-10:35 AM  Mission City Ballroom

Choosing Your Strategy in a World of Many Clouds CloudConnect2

by Pat Adamiak   Senior Director, SP Data Center and Cloud SolutionsCisco

Your organization has many options to choose from in the cloud. We are here to share our expertise on how to safely navigate a world of many clouds. Please join us to hear about the industry trends, strategies, and solutions you can put in a successful cloud playbook.
Thursday, April 4, 2:30-3:15 PM Grand Ballroom G

Enabling IT as a Service – Cloud Management and Orchestration

by  Rodrigo Flores Cloud  Enterprise Architect  | Cisco

The promise of running IT departments as an internal service provider has been elusive. In their quest to deliver ITaaS, many companies have suffered from an emphasis on IT operations and less focus on infrastructure and application development, resulting in a siloed IT environment held together by heroic efforts. The majority of IT spending is dedicated to “keep the lights on” activities, hindering IT’s ability to keep up with the pace of business innovation. This session will address why the answer to this IT quandary lies in the implementation of virtualization and cloud computing, describing these as the essential building blocks for the agility, flexibility, and “services” focus that IT needs to achieve ITaaS. The speaker will describe why IT needs to be delivered as a service and why IT must think in terms of delivering services not servers, and “claims processing” rather than “data processing.
Thursday, April 4 2:30 PM–3:30 PM – Location: Grand Ballroom F

Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud Opportunities 

by Vinay Nichani Data Center Business Development | Cisco

Should you build your own cloud, buy from a cloud provider, or go through a cloud services broker? What applications do you place in the cloud? What do you look for as a sign of quality when “good enough” is not? Let’s discuss how to advance in your cloud journey.

Theater Session – Wednesday, April 3, 1:15-1:35 PM

Partners speaking sessions

SunGuard Availability Services

Cloud : An Evolution, Not a Revolution  – Grand Ballroom G Wednesday April 3, 2013 — 3:45pm-4:30 pm
Practical Path to Cloud : Cloud Solutions Theater, Expo Floor Thursday April 4 2013 1:45 pn — 2:05 pm

Dimension Data

Cloud Networking Changes Everything – Why Network-Centric Clouds Will Drive Hybrid Cloud Adoption
Cloud Solutions Theater, Expo Floor  Thursday, April 4, 2013  12:15 PM — 12:35 PM

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


VDI “The Missing Questions” #9: How many storage IOPs?

Hello fellow VDIers…if you are reading this blog first in the series and wondering why we are on Question 9, then check out the following posts to see the entire series:

We also did a BrightTALK session as well, please kindly watch the recording here: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/7345/68115

Got Storage?

You bet you do! Storage is a pivotal part of any datacenter. Shared storage rules king these days, and really is challenged by the fact that our desktops are the exact opposite storage model: distributed and direct attached.

Specing out and configuring your storage for a VDI environment can make or break it!

Let me put it this way: Have you used an SSD in your desktop or laptop yet? If not, you are missing out on a truly delightful end user experience.

Things just POP! Boot times can be sub 10 seconds. Apps load almost instantaneously. The spinning blue circle that replaced ye ol’ hour glass becomes a thing of the past. And when you sit down at somebody else’s system that hasn’t made that earth shattering change from clanking disk to silent solid state bliss, you just want to pull your hair out because now your application is taking multiple seconds to respond.

THE SAME HOLDS TRUE FOR THE VDI EXPERIENCE.

Except I’ve been on VDI environments that go from a spinning disk experience to something worse (like that floppy up above perhaps?)  All this research we’ve done up to this point around optimizing CPU and Memory doesn’t mean a hill of beans if the CPU’s cores are sitting there twiddling their idle loops waiting on storage. Then your end user wants to pull their hair out and go back to their desktop, which is a pain for you to manage and the opposite goal of the project.

So, while we are not a storage company, I think we all agree that storage is a pivotal part of the VDI equation, and we made some quick and general storage observations in our environment.

THE BOOT STORM: 150 desktops powered on simultaneously

It happens…you had to push an app out last minute, and you are sitting at your desk after an all night-er maintenance blast, and you need to power on all of a department’s desktops. What happens if you do this simultaneously to 150 desktops?

In our lab, we were fortunate to get our hands on an all flash PureStorage array with some pretty awesome low latency IO delivery capabilities. Keep in mind, it is a lab, so this config is not a validated design or in our HCL right now, but it does give us an idea of the storm to hit the storage when there is a low latency storage device behind the VDI cluster.

After hitting power on 150 Windows 7 x32 systems, we saw a peak of 39,000 read IO’s per second, over 20,000 IO’s sustained, and the boot storm lasted approximately 5-6 minutes. We saw this while latency remained in the 0.1 to 0.3 ms range.

But here is a take away: If your array’s latency is higher, the IOPs will be lower and the storm will last longer. Nothing wrong with this, just something to think about.

Also, our Windows 7 VMs are very clean. Do you have a lot of start-up apps and background agents in your image? Expect more IOs here in this situation as well as they can explode this requirement as well (sounds like something we need to test in a Phase II of our series?).

WHAT ABOUT UP AND RUNNING?

So you survived the storm, the systems are up, you are napping comfortable in a hammock hidden in a hot isle of the datacenter lulled to sleep by the sounds of the fans humming. The end users are in, and they are hard at work running their normal apps.

What kind of load will you see day in and day out?

Based on the Login VSI Medium workload generator, on 150 desktops, we saw the following:

1700 sustained read IOPs, 1000 sustained write IOPs, for an average of 11 read IOPs per desktop and 7 write IOPs per desktop while running a simulated workload.

But do you know YOUR workload requirements?…do not architect on our numbers…they are interesting and tell a story of how eviL boot storms are and how less painful daily running can be. Yet All applications are different…All end users are different. While multiplication can be your friend to calculate scale, it can be your worst enemy as well since it can multiply error in your numbers as well.

If you are seriously planning on scaling your VDI environment to many MANY end users, you must have a solid understanding of the storage profile first before placing your order for shared storage. Many of the storage vendors I have worked with can take this storage profile information, and with their own sizing tools, scale it appropriate with their arrays various performance enhancing techniques.

This, my friends, will ensure your end users receive the disk IO performance they deserve, your CPU cores spend their time crunching numbers and not idle loops, and your VDI deployment is a success, saving your organization trillions of dollars making you the hero of the company!


Fibre Channel Standards, Speeds and Feeds, and Generation “X”

Okay, I have a confession to make.

I’ve been somewhat amused by Brocade’s recent “Gen 5″ Fibre Channel campaign. After all, the idea that “we’re going to simply call 16G Fibre Channel something other than 16G Fibre Channel and pretend that people will not figure out that it’s really just 16G Fibre Channel” is, well, amusing!

You must give credit where it’s due: it’s brilliant! How else can you convince an entire market to ignore the very obvious comparison between 16GFC and 40GE? For that matter, how do you deal with the fact that not only are there (currently, as of this writing) no major storage manufacturers with 16G FC arrays, but that even when you get them you’ve only got about 33% more bandwidth on the network than 10G FCoE?

Marketing Versus a Standard

I started to realize that maybe my amusement was going to be short-lived when I read an article from Chris Mellor in The Register about “Brocade’s Fat Pipes.” It’s not surprising that Brocade would be pushing Fibre Channel more than Fibre Channel over Ethernet, as reported in the story. (Yeah, like that’s a surprise!) After all, Brocade has less than 1% of the FCoE switching market, according to current analyst reports. Why would they bother to promote something that isn’t their strong suit? That’s like asking Microsoft to comment on Apple’s iPhone in 2007. What do you think they’re going to say?

Even so, it was this paragraph with which I had major issues:

Faster Fibre Channel is coming with a 32Gbit/s standard being developed, the Gen 6 standard. The International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) T11 Technical Committee is working to finalise the standards for this by the end of 2013. Brocade claims technical leadership of this committee and says it has already initiated research and development for 32gig Fibre Channel technology. Vulture Central suggests we might see initial product appear in mid to late 2014.

This is a huge problem, because there is no such thing as a Gen 6 standard. Mellor, who has reported on storage for years, knows better. To conflate Brocade’s marketing campaign with a standard is an outright falsehood. While it is true that Brocade holds the chair of the INCITS T11 Technical Committee, Mellor’s reporting implies that Gen “6″ is being promoted within the standards body. However, this simply isn’t true.

In fact, it runs contrary to the INCITS antitrust guidelines:

Sensitive Topics

With rare exceptions that should be made only upon the advice of INCITS counsel, there should never be discussion of the following topics at any INCITS or an INCITS subgroup meeting:

  • Any company’s prices or pricing policies;
  • Specific R&D, sales and marketing plans; [emphasis added]
  • Any company’s confidential product, product development or production strategies;
  • Whether certain suppliers or customers will be served;
  • Prices paid to input sources; or
  • Complaints about individual firms or other actions that might tend to hinder a competitor in any market.

From a marketing perspective, Brocade is free to say whatever it wants, of course. If they wish to bend reality a bit, it’s their prerogative. The argument is made that this focuses on value rather than speeds, but it’s not really clear how: the naming criteria for these generations is based on the speeds, which can handle all of the various features as described in different standard documents.

Brocade makes the claim that customers are looking for a more holistic solution (a view of which I’ve long been a proponent!), but when you narrow the topic of conversation down to a single storage protocol it seems far more straightforward.

I disagree that speed isn’t top of mind when comparing 8GFC to 16GFC to 32GFC because the feature set is exactly the same from one speed to another. That is, when we change the physical layer of Fibre Channel the upper layers of the protocol don’t necessarily change. In fact, it’s because Fibre Channel uses a layering system (similar to the OSI model, for instance), that we can modify the speed of a link without affecting other features of Fibre Channel.

Look at it this way: the T11 Technical Committee of INCITS is broken down into different working groups:

  • T11.2 Physical Variants
  • T11.3 Interconnection Schemes

Inside these different working groups there are several different committees, each working on various projects. Some have to do with management, some have to do with physical speeds, some have to do with switching, some have to do with security, etc. But apparently Brocade wants to cherry-pick what it wants to include and what it doesn’t:

A little from here, a little from there...

A little from here, a little from there…

What’s more, Brocade claims that their new “Generation” of Fibre Channel switches (which makes far more sense if you’re talking about a product line than a protocol) includes proprietary features that are not part of the standard. To that end, if Brocade wants the “ecosystem to follow,” they may have shot themselves in the foot.

Fibre Channel Standards and the Gen n Problem

Because there are proprietary features in Brocade’s “Gen 5″ campaign, the fact that The Register is promoting this as a standard and that Brocade is driving it as such, is problematic at best.

One of the things about standards is that they provide a means to determine what can be done and how a standards-based solution can be implemented. Because of this, the standards themselves allow for testing criteria to measure against. That is, it is possible for a third party testing group to read the standard doc, understand how something works, and then independently measure whether or not a vendor’s claim of compliance is truthful (or not).

As we can see, though, Brocade’s usage of “Gen 5″ and “Gen 6,” while excellent marketing, is too arbitrary to measure any realistic qualification or testing criteria. How do you know that something is Gen 5? Who makes that determination? Brocade? Well, we’ve seen how well that matches up with the actual standards, haven’t we?

Imagine that you built trains for a living, and different railroad lines had different width tracks (this happened, by the way, in the US in the 1800s). You would much rather prefer to build the widths of your trains to a standard size so that you could run on any track, right? Imagine a company that says they’ve standardized on the “next generation of tracks” but didn’t actually follow an agreed standard? Hilarity ensues.

If a vendor wishes to claim that they adhere to a standard, they must identify where deviations occur, if such deviations exist. For instance, on Brocade’s FCoE VCS switches they support the FC-BB-5 standard except when dealing with ISLs. In their VCS FCoE data sheets, for example, they call this out specifically as requiring Brocade’s FCS technology as opposed to FC-BB-5′s VE_Port technology.

And of course, there’s nothing wrong with that from a standards point of view. They claim “FC-BB5 [sic] compliant Fibre Channel Forwarder (FCF)” which we can assume (rightfully so, I think) that the FCF handles fabric and FLOGI duties according to the spec. Works for me.

What does this mean in the ‘real world,’ though? Take a look at it from a potential customer’s perspective:

Suppose I’m a government vendor and need to determine if bidders on networks can interoperate because it’s part of my charter, and I want to avoid vendor lock-in. How does this solution accomplish this? Generally I look to standards-compliance as my criteria, because there are good quantifiable tests that the standards provide for ensuring that vendors actually do what they say they do.

At the same token, how do they permit new vendors to bid on contracts that wish to upgrade/expand existing networks? What happens if a company goes out of business? How can a customer move to a new vendor (i.e., “product portability”)?

In short, what good is a standard that isn’t, well, standard?

Why Create Confusion?

Well, look at how difficult Brocade’s job has got to be.

I mean, I’ve talked about this before, comparing the throughput of FCoE as we get into higher bandwidth speeds, and it’s hard not to sit up and take notice that there are reasonable comparisons to be made — especially when you take into consideration that most storage networking environments do not saturate classical 8G Fibre Channel lanes.

I know I put a graph up before about this, but look at the throughput differences between various storage protocols that are available right now. When you take into consideration the encoding elements of the technologies, the actual bandwidth picture looks a bit different:

 

2013.03.27 Single Wire without 32-MB

 

Okay, so that’s what’s available now. But 32G Fibre Channel is around the corner, right? It’s going to give 40GbE a run for its money, right? right?

Umm…

 

Hmmm... well that's interesting...

Hmmm… well that’s interesting…

 

Uh oh.

I see the problem here. After all, it’s an issue that Cisco has been mulling over as well: Would people really want to move to 32G when it’s likely that 100G FCoE will be available at roughly the same time, and 40G FCoE is available now? What possible use would people have for a dedicated 32G link for FC over a higher-bandwidth 40G link that can be used for any storage traffic?

It’s a conundrum, to say the least. After all, the actual Fibre Channel stack isn’t changing as the speeds increase. That is to say, there’s nothing “special” with Fibre Channel as a protocol that adds anything of value when you move from one speed to the next.

In my head it’s a conversation with the overachieving teacher’s pet:

“I know! Pick me! Pick me! You gotta give 16G another name!”

“But wait, I wonder. Does it include all of Fibre Channel?”

“Naaaaah, of course not. Only what we want it to include!”

“But it’s only going to be stuff that’s actually part of the standard, right?”

“Why on earth would we want to do that? Throw in the kitchen sink, damn the torpedos!”

“Aren’t people going to see through this?

“Hmmm, good point. I know, we’ll convince people that it’s such a great idea that it’s going to be standardized!”

Oops. Hold on a minute there, Sparkles. You’ve just gone a wee bit too far.

General Thoughts

As I mention above, you gotta give props to the “Gen 5″ campaign. Personally, I see it as a somewhat dicey proposition considering the question of compatibility (“Will Gen 5 work with Gen 4? Can I mix-and-match Gen 6 switches with Gen 3 storage arrays and Gen 4 optics in my servers? Is there an interoperability matrix I can look at? Wait, I need another interoperability matrix? How do I know what’s supported?”).

Brocade says that their customers love the name change. If they do, they do; personally I tend to gravitate towards “more simple” rather than “more complex” as a general rule. That is, if I move from 8G to 16G, I know my throughput has changed, but that doesn’t mean my fabric, my zoning my logins, or my designs have to change. With the new “Generation” moniker, how can I be sure?

I can’t help but wonder how many conversations go something like this:

“Tell me about 16G Fibre Channel.”

“Instead of that, let’s talk about Gen 5!”

“What’s Gen 5″

“16G Fibre Channel!”

“Um, okaaay…”

:)

At the end of the day, of course, Brocade’s done a fantastic job convincing people that the 16G FC electronics are the same thing as 16G Fibre Channel. Hell, they got Chris Mellor to advertise their entire marketing campaign for them. Pretty impressive, considering that they don’t have 16G Fibre Channel actually running end-to-end, but they’re already talking about 32G!

Slow clap.

No, I’m not being sarcastic. I’m serious. This is impressive stuff here. It’s one of those things that you see and think, “Daaaayum.” If I had said to myself that I was going to be able to go out and sell an entire technology that wouldn’t be able to be used as designed for over two years, I would have to wonder who spiked my drink. And yet, this is precisely what Brocade has done. Kudos.

At the same time, it’s always been known that the runway was coming up short. Looking at the amount of bandwidth Ethernet is going to provide — and be used for more than just one type of traffic — it’s a fight to stay pertinent.

 

Pretty soon you're talking real bandwidth!

Pretty soon you’re talking real bandwidth!

Let’s not start confusing the issue with standards, however. There is no “Gen 5″ Fibre Channel standard, and there is no “Gen 6″ Fibre Channel standard. Yes, advances are being made to specific parts of the standard, some have to do with speed, some do not. Some have to do with FCoE, some do not. What you can not do is cherry pick what is convenient to your marketing goal and confuse people into thinking that this is a standard.

Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Unlock Your Converged Infrastructure’s Potential

Successful IT managers today and in the future need to quickly adapt to changing business strategies. But how does IT increase efficiency, support more applications and provide additional services with flat or decreasing IT budgets?

In my previous blog, I discussed how EMC, NetApp, and VCE introduced converged infrastructures to increase IT efficiency and significantly reduce data center costs. I also addressed the breakdown of IT time and resources between management and maintenance (75 percent) and value-add services (25 percent). So how does IT flip that ratio and spend more time on innovation and less on routine administration?

Watch our new video to learn how Cisco Cloupia—through automated, comprehensive management of converged infrastructure solutions—empowers IT to better align quickly with business strategy. By doing so, the software helps drive a positive shift in that 75:25 ratio, providing infrastructure administrators with greater agility and flexibility.

httpv://youtubecisco.com/unifiedmanagement

There are a number of converged infrastructure management solutions, but Cisco Cloupia is unique in the industry by delivering:

•Simplicity
In less than 4 hours, you can be experiencing the benefits of automated converged infrastructure management with Cisco Cloupia. The solution installs in less than 1 hour without any service engagement. (In one of our labs at Cisco, the solution was installed in 15 minutes.) Following installation and 2-3 hours of training, conducted by our partners, you can be experiencing all the benefits of the software.

•Comprehensive Management
Cisco Cloupia is the only solution on the market today that manages the leading converged infrastructures from EMC, NetApp, and VCE from the same management console. Today’s data centers are heterogeneous, and management tools need to accommodate multiple vendor solutions. Cisco Cloupia enables you to choose the best converged infrastructure solution to meet your business requirements.

•Single pane of glass
Using one tool that manages both physical and virtual compute, network, storage, and virtualization reduces complexity and training time for your staff, helping drive that shift in the 75:25 ratio towards innovation.

•Model-based orchestration
Cisco Cloupia’s unique model-based orchestration enables IT teams to build and execute repeatable physical and virtual infrastructure workflows without complex custom scripts and expensive system integration engagements.

•Greater IT Management and Control
Cisco Cloupia can manage multi-tenant or secure multi-tenant environments, permitting virtualized and non-virtualized workloads to securely run side-by-side while their associated resources remain independent.

As data centers seek to innovate and meet changing business requirements, they need automation and management to ensure that they experience the full potential of their converged infrastructure. These are just some of the ways that Cisco Cloupia can help. To learn more, go here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Cisco ISR-AX is Now a Part of the Integrated Services Router Family!

On March 12thCisco announced the ISR-AX and how Cisco is changing the game, reducing complexity and making it simpler for enterprises to deliver and manage application delivery to users. Cisco is expanding the role of our Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) to deliver application-centric networks that provide granular visibility, control, and optimization without additional devices or bandwidth upgrades — Cisco® Application Experience (AX) Router family is now a part of the ISR family of routers!  The Cisco ISR-AX Routers directly integrate Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), Application Visibility and Control (AVC), Data/IPBase and Security services into a platform that is simple to order, configure, and deploy for secure, optimized cloud connectivity and branch-office routing.  The Cisco ISR G2 and ISR-AX Routers are based on the same hardware and software that you know and love and are deploying today. Today I wanted to go into the technical details of each of the components.

Cisco ISR-AX adds to the rich breadth of services available on the ISRs.   Similar to the other routers in the ISR portfolio, the ISR-AX Routers consist of three product families:  the Cisco 3900-AX, 2900-AX, and 1900-AX Series Routers.  From the Cisco 1921-AX through the Cisco 3945E-AX, the portfolio provides increasing performance and module slot density, and each router comes equipped and ready to deploy.  All ISR AX platforms include all required Application Experience (AX) licenses including:  IP Base, Data, Security, WAAS and AVC licenses. In addition, you can configure each platform for additional features, modules, interfaces, and equipment (for example, Cisco Unified Communications Manager Express [Unified CME]) to match the needs of diverse branch offices running varying degrees of rich services.

Cisco® Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) Cisco ISR AX provides router-integrated, on-demand WAN optimization for branch offices. The Cisco Services-Ready Engine (SRE) Modules to enable WAAS and UCS-Express (UCS-E) modules to enable vWAAS (virtual WAAS) can be equipped on ISR 2911-AX platforms and higher, this decouples software services from the underlying hardware and can deliver WAN optimization as an on-demand service as required by business objectives and IT budget. This approach makes better use of existing investments while offering business agility.

Cisco WAAS Express which is a Cisco IOS® Software solution integrated into Cisco ISR-AX platforms to offer bandwidth optimization capabilities. Cisco WAAS Express increases remote user productivity, reduces WAN bandwidth costs, and interoperates with existing Cisco WAAS infrastructure. Each ISR-AX router includes WAAS Express with the Cisco 3900-AX also including a Right-to-Use (RTU) license for 2500 WAAS or vWAAS connections and a RTU license for 1300 WAAS or vWAAS connections for the Cisco 2911-AX Series platforms and later.

Cisco® Application Visibility and Control (AVC) provides a powerful and pervasive integrated solution for application visibility and control based on stateful deep packet inspection (DPI). With the Cisco AVC solution, ISR-AX Routers can identify applications within the traffic flow using DPI technology. They can collect various application performance metrics such as bandwidth use, response time, and latency. Then, using Cisco industry-leading quality of service (QoS), these routers can reprioritize critical applications or enforce application bandwidth use.  

Security enables standard encryption (VPN payload and secure voice) on the ISR-AX platforms. The ISR-AX security license is designed to comply with both local and U.S. export requirements for global distribution to all countries. This license enforces a curtailment on the maximum number of encrypted tunnels and the maximum encrypted throughput on the ISR-AX platforms. The security license limits the number of concurrent encrypted sessions and maximum encrypted throughput per device.  This limit helps ensure that the ISR-AX complies with U. S. government export restrictions regardless of the final destination country. 

The security license limits all encrypted tunnel counts to a maximum 225 tunnels for IP Security (IPsec), Secure Sockets Layer VPN (SSL VPN), a secure time-division multiplexing (TDM) gateway, and secure Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE) and 1000 tunnels for Transport Layer Security (TLS) sessions.   All threat defense and VPN features that are supported and available for configuration with the security license.

By packaging ISR-AX routers with Routing, Data, WAAS, AVC and Security, we have changed the economics to enable customers to easily and quickly deploy rich application services at scale across their enterprises from an integrated branch router.  This will simplify application delivery to users, further enable branch office consolidation and help speed transition to cloud based services and really change the game!  Check out this video and tell me what you think about the new Application Experience:

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


#EngineersUnplugged (S2|Ep7): __aaS (Everything as a Service)

Another week of all the technology that’s fit to whiteboard, Engineers Unplugged features Chris Wahl (@chriswahl) and Steve Kaplan (@ROIDude) talking through cloud stack options, including CIAC and vCloud. It’s ___aaS in the new cloud world. Great conversation from the partner perspective. Here we go:

Chris Wahl and Steve Kaplan with the very first UaaS (Unicorn as a Service). Is there anything the cloud can not do?

Chris Wahl and Steve Kaplan with the very first UaaS (Unicorn as a Service). Is there anything the cloud can not do?

 Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

Join the conversation by following @ciscoDC on Twitter. For outtakes, unicorn photo albums, and more, like the Engineers Unplugged Facebook page.

Next week, don’t miss an exciting double header when we discuss IPv6 and learn a new whiteboard game, Magic Balloon.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,