CiscoLive Orlando Follow-Up: Get your DeLorean Photo Before It’s Too Late

CLO_0311_DeLoreanDid you pay a visit to the Enterprise Networks booth at CiscoLive! Orlando? Remember that cool DeLorean and the picture you took with it?

We’ve extended the cut-off date to get your picture if you took one with the DeLorean! The last day to download your picture will be Monday, August 5, 2013.

Cisco Ent Networks AppHow to you get it? Somewhere in your pocket, your suitcase, your laptop bag or your stack of business cards you may find a card you were given after your photo was taken. On that card is your unique photo retrieval number. Go to the Enterprise Networks mobile app and look for the “Get My Photo” icon. Enter your email and your photo id number, and “whoosh” your photo will be sent to your inbox.

Don’t have the Enterprise Networks app yet? Scan the QR code, to the right, or click here on your mobile device to download the app from iTunes or Google Play.

We know you’ll remember CiscoLive! 2013 for a lot of great reasons as it was our biggest (and best) ever! But get that photo as another reminder of a great week in Orlando.

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Announcing Flexpod Select with Hadoop

Speed is everything. Continuing our commitment to make data center infrastructures more responsive to enterprise applications demands, today, we announced FlexPod Select with Hadoop, formerly known as NetApp Open Solution for Hadoop, broadening our FlexPod portfolio.  The architecture is developed in collaboration between Cisco and NetApp offering an enterprise-class infrastructure that accelerates time to value from your data. This solution is pre-validated for Hadoop deployments built using Cisco 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects (connectivity and management), C220 M3 Servers (compute), NetApp FAS2220 (namenode metadata storage) and NetApp E5400 series storage arrays (data storage). Following the highly successful FlexPod model of pre-sized rack level configurations, this solution will be made available through the well-established FlexPod sales engagement and channel.

The FlexPod Select with Hadoop architecture is an extension of our popular Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture for Big Data designed for those applications requiring enterprise class external storage array features like RAID protection with data replication, hot-swappable spares, proactive drive health monitoring, faster recovery from disk failures and automated I/O path fail-over. The architecture consists of a master rack and optionally up to nine expansion racks in a single management domain, creating a complete, self-contained Hadoop cluster. The master rack provides all of the components required to run a 12 node Hadoop cluster supporting 540TB storage capacity. Each additional expansion rack provides an additional 16 Hadoop cluster nodes and 720TB storage capacity. Unique to this architecture is seamless management integration and data integration capabilities with existing FlexPod deployments that can help to significantly lower the infrastructure and management costs.

FlexPod Select has been pretested and jointly validated with leading Hadoop vendors, including Cloudera and Hortonworks.


Cisco and NetApp Expand the FlexPod Portfolio


Since its launch in 2010, FlexPod has been a tremendous success with more than 2,400 customers in 35 countries globally. This success has created new opportunities. Customers are requesting additional solutions based on the FlexPod platform to address an even broader spectrum of deployment types, workloads, and applications. Smaller and midsize IT departments need solutions that are fast and easy to deploy. Enterprise data centers want scale and advanced features. There is also demand for infrastructure solutions that are highly tuned to specific workloads.

Today Cisco and NetApp have extended the value of FlexPod by broadening the portfolio with new offerings, products, and validated designs. FlexPod Select joins the FlexPod portfolio which currently includes FlexPod Express (formerly ExpressPod) for medium sized businesses and FlexPod Datacenter (Formerly FlexPod) for core enterprise data centers and service providers.

FlexPod Select is targeted at performance- and data-intensive workloads such as Big Data, analytics, and high-performance computing.

I urge you to watch the video below between Keith Barto, Sr. Architect at Cisco and NetApp’s Vaughn Stewart, Director of Technical Marketing, summarizing the recent FlexPod announcements.

FlexPod Select features high-performance NetApp E-Series storage, Cisco UCS C-Series servers, Cisco Nexus Switches, and Cisco management software. FlexPod Select is the first solution in the family to feature NetApp E-Series, delivering outstanding bandwidth performance, extreme density, and modular flexibility for a wide-range of data-intensive workloads.

Hadoop will be the first solution based on the FlexPod Select architecture. Initially, there will be two validated configurations designed to accelerate deployment of Hadoop on the FlexPod architecture: FlexPod Select with Cloudera including Apache Hadoop and FlexPod Select with Hortonworks Data Platform. These new solutions based on Hadoop can enable organizations to simplify and reduce risk of Big Data architectures while delivering the performance to ask bigger questions of their data.

FlexPod Datacenter features Nexus 7000

Another important announcement is FlexPod Datacenter solutions now feature the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches. The Cisco Nexus 7000 Series switches provide the highest levels of network availability, advanced features, and scalability. How much scalability? The Nexus 7000 is the highest-density 10 Gigabit Ethernet system in the industry, supporting up to 768 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. It also enables end-to-end Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) delivering a unified Ethernet fabric, and provides Data Center Interconnect (DCI) capabilities for multi-data center deployments.

We are also introducing FlexPod Datacenter with SnapProtect to provide comprehensive Disk-to-Disk-to-Tape backup and recovery solution that includes specific implementation guidance for popular uses such as with VMware, NAS shares and Microsoft Exchange.  Last but not least, we have updated FlexPod Datacenter with Microsoft Private Cloud to include support for Microsoft System Center and the Cisco Nexus 1000v switch, which was recently awarded Best of TechEd in the System Management and Operation category.

Through our shared vision and joint development, Cisco and NetApp will continue to enhance the FlexPod portfolio to grow and support additional workloads, operating models and the dynamic needs of applications.


Would You Like to Reduce Costs by $264,000?

Of course you would. In a recent Forrester report on the economic impact of FlexPod, that is exactly the cost savings estimated by utilizing centralized automation and orchestration. So I ask, what new projects or services could your IT organization deliver with cost savings of $264,000? To get a copy of the Forrester report, go here.

This report details the impressive cost savings, not to mention a potential nine month ROI, available with FlexPod. But more importantly, this is the first time I have ever seen financial details or savings achieved with centralized automation, orchestration and management.

FlexPod has three certified solution partners. From my viewpoint the first to be certified, UCS Director (formerly Cisco Cloupia), provides the utmost in comprehensive management as well as the perfect complement for FlexPod. Watch this video to learn why UCS Director and FlexPod are the perfect one-two combination for your organization.

In this blog I would like to focus on two reasons why UCS Director should be your choice for managing FlexPod.

Comprehensive Management
UCS Director manages physical, virtual and bare metal environments from a single pane of glass. No purchasing of multiple product licenses that need to be cobbled together by a service engagement or dealing with component adaptors. UCS Director installs in less than two hours and can have you productive and provisioning simple infrastructure workflows in one day. Best of all, you can manage your entire IT infrastructure — not just the virtual infrastructure.

Native management
UCS Director natively manages all the components of FlexPod: Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus and FAS storage. Why does native management matter? With native management your organization has access to all the functionality of each component layer because UCS Director speaks fluent Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus and NetApp ONTAP and OnCommand. This is a significant advantage over solutions that only utilize “plug-ins” or adapters.

Solutions that utilize plug-ins, place the development responsibility of these solutions onto the hardware vendor. With already busy development schedules, vendors develop to the minimum viable feature set.

Best of all, UCS Director speaks fluent FlexPod 7-Mode, Cluster Mode ONTAP, and ExpressPod.

Forrester has lots of financial data in their report and the $264,000 is only an estimate that is worth your time understanding. Across the board industry analysts agree that seamless, automated orchestration and management is crucial for organizations to achieve the full experience of elastic infrastructure pools that become the foundation for as-a-service.

Cost savings of $264,000. Just imagine what your organization could do.

To obtain an evaluation copy of UCS Director, go here and choose free evaluation copy.

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Step off that old, familiar path

Venturing off the beaten path may just be the only way to stay ahead of the competition.

And while IT-as-a-service and cloud computing concepts are not as precarious as once perceived, there are still a lot of unknowns as businesses and organizations set out to explore new possibilities.

Discover how industry thought leaders are paving new roads by enabling new business opportunities.

Subscribe to Unleashing IT today, or log in, for a fresh perspective and innovative approaches to business.  Hard copies of the Summer 2013 edition—produced in collaboration with Intel®—are now available in addition to the electronic PDF. And don’t hesitate to check out the newest event listings, offers, and resources on the website.

To get in touch with a Cisco representative regarding any solutions found in Unleashing IT, fill out this form or send a message to

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#EngineersUnplugged S3|Ep5: Fibre Channel Routing: How and Why (Best Practices!)

Welcome back to Engineers Unplugged! In this week’s episode, we feature not one but three experts! Rob Koper (@50mu), Allen Ward (@AllenFWard), and Sergey Kamenetskiy (@Dynamoxxx) discuss why Fibre Channel Routing works and the best practices for your data center. No matter your setup, if you have fabrics you want to merge, this is the episode for you:

And it wouldn’t be Engineers Unplugged without a unicorn, this time it’s a Fibre Channel Routing Unicorn!

FCR Unicorn, with a Router Horn.

FCR Unicorn, with a Router Horn.

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:
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

We welcome your feedback and ideas. Only a few spots remain for our next season: record with us at #VMworld. Contact me @CommsNinja.

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Securing the Open Network Environment

With all of the focus on Software Defined Networking, open networking, API’s, you name it, I do often wonder how, with all of this ‘openness’, does an Enterprise keep their network secure? After years of security teams working  tirelessly to protect their business critical infrastructure does this paradigm shift where anyone can write an application to control, get the intelligence from, and manipulate the network become the reason for many a sleepless night for security experts around the world? And on the other hand, can this new way to manage the network help in threat detection and prevention?

If you, like me, are wondering the same thing, I invite you to register here for the 5th session of the Cisco Open Network Environment Webcast Series titled “Securing the Open Network Environment” broadcasting on July 30th at 9 a.m. PST.

Jon Oltsik, ESG, Security, Mike Nielsen, Bret Hartman, ONE, SDN

Join Mike Nielsen and Bret Hartman from Cisco as well as Jon Oltsik from Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) for a great discussion featuring live Q&A throughout the session.

If you have missed any of our previous sessions featuring introductions to OpenFlow, OpenStack, Cisco’s onePK, and Using Open Source in Networked Environments, please visit

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Channel Partner Webcast – Virtual Networking for Hyper-V Environments

Hyper V First SlideCisco and Microsoft have a developed a powerful alliance in the data center that extends the value of the Cisco Unified Fabric, Unified Computing System, and Unified Network Services through leading-edge integrated solutions with Microsoft Windows Server, Hyper-V and System Center. These integrations provide an opportunity for Channel Partners to deliver differentiated solutions that address their customer’s most pressing business and  IT challenges.

BOTE2013_Winner_ProdAwardsThe Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V stands out as an example of how Cisco and Microsoft are collaborating to offer integrated solutions to customers and partners. The Nexus 1000V extends Cisco networking benefits to Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V deployments and provides a consistent operational model across physical and virtual environments. Cisco was the first company to integrate with Hyper-V and the industry is taking notice. Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V was recently recognized as Best of TechEd 2013 in the Virtualization category.

If you’d like to learn more about Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V, you’re in luck. Redmond Channel Partner is hosting a webinar on Cisco Nexus 1000V: Virtual Networking for Hyper-V Environments on Thursday, July 25, 2013, at 11am PT / 2pm ET.

Matt O’Brien, Business Development Manager for Worldwide Channels at Cisco, will open the webinar and will provide an overview of new channel opportunities and programs available through the Cisco alliance with Microsoft. Appaji Malla,  Sr. Product Manager, Cloud Networking & Services Division, Cisco Datacenter Group, will cover:

  • The new networking stack introduced in Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012
  • Cisco Nexus 1000V architecture and how it integrates with the Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) component of System Center 2012
  • The rich networking capabilities Nexus 1000V brings to Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V environments

Click HERE to register for the July 25th webinar on Nexus 1000V for Hype-V. For more information on the Cisco alliance with Microsoft visit:




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Invade the NOC: Video Tour & Weekly Recap for Enterprise Networks

If you’ve been to a CiscoLive recently, you’ve likley seen the beautiful plexiglass NOC we set up.  These are wonderful to show off how all of our products and services come together to put on the show and conference you know and love.  However, have you, ever seen those little hidden rooms sprinkeld throughout the show?

These little rooms are where we hide the mini-NOC.  In these the tables are fold-up and the cables hang out, and I got to get a tour and interview with the crew.

Cisco UCS Outperforms HP and IBM Blade Servers on East-West Latency

Virtualization, Private Cloud, Big Data, HPC, etc. have been steadily changing the landscape of data center architectures. Lower latency and higher performing server-to-server data traffic (East-West) have become key discussion points as customers look to modernize their infrastructures.  Cisco specifically designed UCS unified fabric for this type of traffic to create a highly-available infrastructure with reduced latency and unmatched consistency as the solution scales. Without providing any supporting data, HP and IBM have been incorrectly asserting that Cisco UCS unified fabric would increase latency and slow blade-to-blade traffic. Cisco ran the tests, and the results were simply amazing.

Cisco UCS Outperforms HP Blade Servers on East-West Latency
Cisco UCS Outperforms IBM Flex System Blades on East-West Latency

“Cisco UCS demonstrated lower latency than the HP BladeSystem c7000 with Virtual Connect for every test group and every packet size (User Datagram Protocol [UDP], TCP, and round-trip time [RTT] TCP).”

“Cisco UCS delivered better performance than IBM (faster virtual machine migration times) for every group size tested.” “As the virtual machine size and network load increases, the Cisco UCS performance advantage also increases.”

Cisco Outperforms HP Blade Servers on East-West Latency    Cisco Outperforms IBM Blade Servers on East-West Latency

HP and IBM blade architectures rely on placing networking switches (HP Virtual Connect; IBM Flex System Fabric Switches) inside of every 16 or 14 blade chassis. These legacy vendors imply that data can communicate from one blade to another more efficiently because their networking switches reside within the chassis.  They fail to mention two critical points:

  1. All HP and IBM Blade-to-Blade data must still traverse the switch ASICs (HP Virtual Connect; IBM Flex System Fabric) – it does not magically jump across the mid-plane.
  2. Beyond a single enclosure requires data to exit chassis 1, travel through Top-of-Rack (ToR) switches, then down to chassis 2 through a second set of in-chassis networking switches.

Not only does Cisco UCS outperform HP and IBM, but UCS clearly provides lower latency and faster VM timing by a wide margin. Thousands of East-West samples were collected, testing raw blade-to-blade latency (UDP/TCP/RTT TCP) and virtual machine migration times. Testing was performed on a number of different fabric topologies both within a single chassis (best case for HP and IBM) as well as across multiple chassis. We are excited to share these performance briefs and communicate a subset of this compelling data.  Full details can be obtained under NDA from your Cisco representative.

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