Catch the Livestream of #TFDx at the #Interop 2016 Conference

– April 29, 2016 – 0 Comments

Are you missing the Interop Conference and want a taste of Enterprise NFV? Starting at 2:30pm on Thursday, May 5th we will be presenting to six awesome bloggers about everything Enterprise NFV! Here is where you can view the livestream: Cisco at Tech Field Day Extra – Interop

Kicking off the dynamic is Senior Vice President of Enterprise Infrastructure and Solutions Jeff Reed. If you’ve been wondering what the heck Cisco DNA is Jeff will be giving a great overview!


Starting off the session following Jeff Reed is Director of Product Manager Liad Ofek. Liad will be going over the Benefits of NFV to the Enterprise and the top requirements to deliver such a solution. Liad will provide his view on the network trends, which drive the need for agility, flexibility and lower TCO at the branch. Liad will also explain the four main elements of the Cisco Enterprise NFV solution – Flexible platform choice, NFV Infrastructure Software, rich and open Virtual network functions and finally orchestration and automation.

We will then transition to James Sandgathe Engineer in Technical Marketing for the Enterprise Infrastructure and Solutions Group. James will be speaking to the delegates and discussing the building blocks of the Enterprise NFV solution. James will provide a detailed overview of the OAM operations, provide a detailed overview of the Enterprise NFV engine ‘under the hood’ – Cisco Enterprise NFV Infrastructure Software (NFVIS), and will demo some of the capabilities of NFVIS. James will also discuss some of the differences to implementing virtualization at the branch as opposed to the data center.

James will further be discussing the hardware platforms for Enterprise NFV such the ISR-4000 series with UCS-E Series.

To wrap up our session of Tech Field Day at Interop Product Manager Kishan Ramaswamy will demonstrate The Cisco Enterprise Service Automation (ESA), application that runs on Cisco’s Enterprise Controller (APIC-EM) and allows customers to deploy Enterprise NFV. APIC-EM is free on DevNet for download.

To catch more sessions from Tech Field Day please visit:




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Nexus and MDS Management & Automation Made Simple!

– April 28, 2016 – 0 Comments

As customers move to architect their data centers to support cloud model to enable them to respond quickly to business needs, software management and orchestration plays a key role in making that happen. Simply put you need software that easily integrates with existing infrastructure and provides ease of fabric automation and flexibility, visibility, troubleshooting and operation.


DCNM Dashboard with Customizable Dashlets


Cisco Data Center Network Management (DCNM) has evolved over the years to support such function and need for Nexus switches. The power of the NX-OS with DCNM can accelerate IT efficiencies operational model.

Let’s look at the newly released DCNM version 10 with the built-in data base and high availability:

Fabric automation – DCNM allows customers in Day 0 operation to make big fabric deployments easy, leading to lowered Opex. With Power-On Auto Provisioning (POAP), validated templates and definable fabrics, DCNM lets customers normalize fabric images, devices, provisioning methods, and Fabric underlay settings for reliable, consistent fabric behavior.


DCNM POAP Navigator


Defining New Fabric



Selecting a Validated VXLAN-EVPN Template

Fabric flexibility – Great for brownfield or greenfield deployments whether you have VxLAN, FabricPath and/or VLAN fabrics. Customers who have N7K/N5K and now thinking about VXLAN/IP Fabric — DCNM has you covered and lets you integrate Nexus 9K platform seamlessly. Only the Encapsulation and underlay Templates change.


FabricPath and VXLAN/IP Fabric templates for Nexus 7000

Fabric visibility – Very easy to visualize switches, links, health, vPC connections, FEX, End to end fabric view of network, virtual machine and storage.


VXLAN/IP Fabric and FabricPath on interactive topology view


Large Topology View with Storage

Fabric troubleshooting – in Day 1 & 2 operation, DCNM provides a view of the overall fabric, shows overlays regardless of encapsulation type (e.g. VXLAN or FabricPath), simplifies fabric troubleshooting and helps find things across the enterprise using multi-site/search (Aggregated DCNM search views across multiple sites)..


DCNM Multi-Site Manager

Fabric operation and automation – Engineer and customize the fabric solutions ahead of time to meet your business needs. Consolidate and automate current and next-gen overlay technology (VxLAN and FabricPath) on the same topology/manager. Integrate Border/Edge Router to the fabric seamlessly. Scale to many hundreds of devices.  Automate workload deployment for physical or virtual workloads and integrate with virtual machine management (e.g. OpenStack, VMware, UCS Director). Engineer deployment scenarios with a large library of customizable Configuration Profiles.


Fabric Automation Profiles for almost any Host automation scenario


Best of all, DCNM is designed to provide investment protection for customers allowing them to run across all Nexus platforms as well as MDS storage.



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Vblock Systems Built on a Foundation of UCS Integrated Infrastructure

– April 27, 2016 – 0 Comments

I’m looking forward to EMC World 2016 at the Venetian in Las Vegas where thousands of attendees will meet and learn about the latest in compute, storage, networking, and solutions.  This year Cisco is a Diamond sponsor at EMC World 2016. The Cisco booth is number 412, right near the entrance to the exhibit hall. Please stop for a moment and participate in our interactive booth experience, joint theater presentations, chat with our experts and attend our speaking sessions.  In addition, Cisco will give away three different prizes including Apple TVs after each theatre preso, Cisco hats and Microsoft Surface Pro tablets at the end of day raffles.

Apple_TV     Surface Pro    Cisco_hats


At EMC World 2016 and Cisco booth 412 attendees also get to see how Cisco MDS 9000 Series Switches have met and often exceeded the demanding requirements for storage area networks for more than a decade. They offer a combination of performance, non-stop operations, and multi-protocol flexibility.  In addition, learn more how Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) reduces TCO, automates IT tasks, and accelerates data center application deployments. It accomplishes this using a business-relevant software defined networking (SDN) policy model across networks, servers, storage, security, and services.

Many of these theatre presentations will also revolve around Cisco UCS servers and Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure.  What are Cisco UCS servers?   It can really be summed up in a few words: software-abstracted hardware.  The “secret sauce” of UCS is really is software–compute hardware (servers) are abstracted in software objects, called service profiles that live in the network.   It sounds like a simple concept, but it affords both UCS Servers and UCS Integrated Infrastructure customers numerous, business-altering advantages.  These are real-world advantages that accrue to customers just like you.

Two of our earlier blogs take a look explaining what UCS Server are by metaphor and analogy:

UCS Integrated Infrastructure take UCS Servers and their benefits to the next level by with combining UCS Servers, Nexus switches and UCS Director with EMC storage to form a vBlock. One could think of an equation:

  1. UCS Integrated Infrastructure plus EMC Storage  = Vblock



UCS Integrated Infrastructure can really be thought of as the “Intel Inside” of Vblocks.   Much of the IP of a Vblock is contained in these Cisco technologies that are branded UCS Integrated Infrastructure. Looking a little deeper inside a Vblock show that  UCS Integrated Infrastructure offers many advantages and benefits that aren’t readily apparent from looking at the outside of a Vblock.  Next time you hear the word “Vblock”, please also think of the benefits that the Vblock gains due to UCS Integrated Infrastructure.

Another interesting question is if UCS Integrated Infrastructure comprises such a large part of the Vblock value proposition: what kind of benefits does it in fact provide to a Vblock?   Luckily, we have such a proof point in a recent IDC study.    For example, this IDC study showed how 15 companies running Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure achieved 483% 5-year ROI, 7-month breakeven.

Click On IDC Paper Image to Get Paper


This same study went on to list benefits beyond these significant monetary benefits. Some of these benefits include:

  1. 76% decrease in unplanned downtime per year
  2. 56% decrease in a mean time to repair
  3. Large increases in productive staff hours



These and other benefits are listed in the IDC paper.  However, what really matter is how UCS Integrated Infrastructure helps your company and employees.

  1. Could your staff be working on other high-value projects due to the productivity benefits gained by UCS Integrated Infrastructure?
  2. Could you have less infrastructure downtime?
  3. Could your business automate processes and bring software benefits to compute hardware provisioning and deployment?
  4. Could your business have lower environmental costs due to SingleConnect technology of UCS Integrated Infrastructure?

Could your IT shop be missing out on these benefits?  Please stop by booth number 412 and learn more about how UCS, Vblock / UCS Integrated Infrastructure can help your business and IT experts become more productive.  In fact, perhaps, with UCS Integrated Infrastructure, your infrastructure can truly serve your business, not the other way around.


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Cisco Brings The Digital Transformation to Las Vegas

– April 27, 2016 – 0 Comments

The Cisco team is preparing to ship out to Interop Las Vegas, a conference focused on IT infrastructure and networking. MandalayThis year Cisco is bringing a refreshing look and feel to the show. With a clean and open environment the Cisco booth should offer a never before seen presence to the show floor.

What’s different about Interop from years past? 

Many new booth items will be highlighted at Interop. These new activities will bring another level of excitement surrounding the Cisco booth and I’m excited to see what show-goers will think.


There are several 1 to many demos being developed by Technology Marketing Managers Andy Phillips and Rich Zavala, and Technology Experiences Director Sean Curtis, the 1:many (one-to-many) demo’s are aimed at providing a larger audience a high level look at Cisco DNA technologies. Rather than focusing on one technology, 1:many demos will show how all of Cisco innovations can drive business success. This conversational approach to showing off our technology is a great way to engage the CIO and Network Buyers that will be attending Interop.

Guru Bar

Instead of the standard welcome desk that would show people to whatever demo happens to fall into the same technology umbrella, Interop will introduce a “Guru Bar” that will be staffed by Architecture TME’s that can answer specific IT/Network questions without having to sit through a demonstration that may not adequately get the job done.

TED Talk Speaking Sessions

There’s more than enough technical discussions at Interop that we wanted to provide a change of pace for attendees. These speaking sessions will be high level, solution based, inspiring presentations that will be a nice change of pace from the breakout sessions.


Don’t miss the Cisco Keynote with Jeff Reed, VP Enterprise Infrastructure and Solutions Group on Thursday, May 5th, 9:28 to 9:50 am, PST.

Social Media Fun

To award our most social Interop attendees, Cisco will be giving away a special gift (clue: you want it) to top tweeters who tweet about Cisco booth activities, and talks by comprising a tweet using both #CiscoInterop and @CiscoEnterprise.

Winners will be notified via Twitter and will be asked to come to the booth to pick up your prize. Be sure to follow @CiscoEnterprise to join in the fun.

The Best of Interop 

Last, but definitely not least, three of Cisco DNA Technologies Reign in Three BOIFinalist Spots for Best of Interop:
• APIC-EM is available for free download to everybody with an account on
Enterprise NFV
• Flexible Radio Assignments- Available on Cisco Aironet 2800 and 3800 Access Points

Awards will be announced at 12:30 pm on Wednesday. Post announcement please go to the Cisco booth for an awards celebration party.

With all that we have lined up, it’s going to be a jammed packed week of exciting activities. The team is ready to share the DNA story with Interop attendees and I’m excited to see what kind of buzz is created around the Cisco booth. Stay tuned for more from Las Vegas!

To find out more details about Cisco at Interop Las Vegas, please visit:


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Interop and EMC World – A double header in Vegas next week

– April 27, 2016 – 0 Comments

If it is May, it must be raining conventions in Las Vegas. I am heading for a double header the first week of May to be part of the excitement at Interop and EMC world. It is going to be extra exciting for me personally, as I will be shuttling from Mandalay Bay (Interop) and EMC world (Venetian) every day to meet Cisco’s customers and partners and share with them what’s latest from Cisco on the technology innovations front, and how they can derive business outcomes deploying them.

In this blog, I want to give a quick tour of Cisco ACI presence at Interop and EMC World. First, Interop.


Interop is near and dear to me. Both in 2014 and 2015, I have fond memories of walking up to the awards stage to receive Best of Interop awards for Cisco Nexus 9516 and Cisco APIC products .This year  we have several in the list of finalists and running for the coveted winner’s spot. The ringside view to catch all Cisco ACI excitement is no doubt, the Cisco booth. Jeff Reed’s keynote on May 5 is a must attend if you are embarking on a digital journey to transform your business.

Next, I’d like to draw your attention to the Cloud Scale Nexus 9200 and 9300 Series Switches we recently introduced to the market. Visit Cisco booth# 105 in the world of Solutions to see these switches up close and personal, and learn how you can future-proof your data centers with the option of 10/25/40/50/100G – an “all-in-one” offering. Our product experts will be on show-floor to explain the latest ASICs powering these switches, and how they enable greater application visibility via real-time telemetry. Besides, we have compelling Ted-style talks at the Cisco Theater featuring ACI Security and  L4-L7 services automation with ACI among some of the major topics.  And should you desire a deep-dive on these or any topic, do not hesitate to stop by our demo Pods where we can engage you in a one-one style white-board architecture discussion. Plus there is plenty more and our booth ambassadors will be happy to assist you.

After spending the morning session at Interop, I will be heading to EMC World during the afternon session to continue my customer engagements.


At EMC World, the CliQr-ACI joint solution will dominate in both the world of solutions and in the breakout sessions. Cisco Insieme Product expert Farid Jiandani will lead a breakout session on May 4 about Cisco’s recent acquisition of CliQr, and how Cisco’s DC portoflio and VCE Vblock enable customers to embrace hybrid-cloud, and gain new business oportunities. We will also have technical demos at the World of Solutions featuring CliQr-ACI-EMC and ACI-EMC RecoverPoint. This validates the breadth and depth of Cisco’s DC portoflio. For a detailed tour of our solutions and product showcase visit Cisco Booth# 412


We will also have meeting rooms for one-on-one  customer engagements.  Please let us know if you have a desire to engage our Product Managers for a deep-dive.

It won’t all be hard work as there will be plenty to party hard about. EMC World will be providing attendees a music feast on Customer Appreciation Day with Duran Duran. I could go on and on, but it wouldn’t do justice to the vast array of actviities in store for you.  Have a great Interop and EMC World – see you there!


Useful Links


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What kind of TCO are You Getting From Your Next-Generation Sup6T?

– April 25, 2016 – 0 Comments

As the product manager for the flagship enterprise switching platform for campus core deployments: the Cisco Catalyst 6500 and 6800 product families, I frequently speak with key technology executives who drive business outcomes for customers across the world.

I was recently asked about the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model for the next-generation Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 6T (Sup6T).

Before I answer the question, it’s important to note that a typical, fully configured 6800 system consists of the chassis, supervisor engine, line card(s), optics, software and the SmartNet license, power supplies and cables for the chassis along with some accessories.

Understanding that, let’s look at two TCO models for the next-generation Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 6T so that that question can be answered properly:

1) The Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 6T offers a 20% TCO advantage (approximately $20,000 list price) with respect to the current fully configured Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 2T.

6807 config comparison

But what is driving the 20% savings? The answer to that lies in the feature-rich design of the Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 6T. It comes with eight 10GE ports on the supervisor itself, which means that fewer line cards are needed to achieve the equivalent port density of the Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 2T.

2) Second, the next-generation Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 6T offers an attractive bundle C6807-XL-S6T-BUN priced at $38,000. This offers a whopping 42% savings (approximately $28K in USD list price) with respect to the a-la-carte Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 6T configuration. The Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 6T bundle price gets you a 6807-XL chassis, two power supplies, one Sup6T (with standard tables), one Fan Tray and one IP Services license, similar to what you would get with the existing Sup2T bundle.

sup6t comparison

A simple way to visualize this bundle is that the customer effectively pays the price for the IP Services license and a discounted Sup6T. The 6807-XL chassis, power supplies and accessories are then included for free in this bundle.
It’s not just the price saving. The Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 6T offers advantages such as higher port density, 40GE readiness, faster processor, greater on-board memory, 440G/slot on the 6807-XL chassis and 3500+ advanced network services with Day 1 maturity of code.

Given its rich features and advanced capabilities, the next-generation Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 6T is optimally positioned to provide tremendous ROI. This makes Cisco Catalyst 6800 Supervisor Engine 6T the optimal choice to address trends such as: the Internet of Things, mobility, flexible workspaces and Big Data in the next-generation campus.
For more information, click here.


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Bring Application Intent to Networking Containers

– April 22, 2016 – 0 Comments

Yesterday, Mike Cohen’s post Networking Containers: Policy Finally Comes of Age appeared on the Open Networking User Group blog site.  He talks about the tremendous interest among application developers to use Linux containers to develop, deploy, and operate applications.  Containers and microservices simplify complex application development into smaller, less risky software components with the benefits of portability and speed.

Like cloud and big data, containers and microservices will transform the traffic in your data center infrastructure.  As applications are disaggregated into many component services, each service now becomes an endpoint to be accessed and shared across the network.

Moving to a container-based microservices architecture will increase the number of addressable endpoints in the data center by an order of magnitude or more.  (See “The Impact of Containers and Microservices” below)

Cisco anticipated these forwarding scale and associated bandwidth requirements by releasing a new generation of Nexus 9000 switches based upon what we call Cloud Scale ASIC technology that delivers up to 12X the IPv6 routes, increased end host scale, increased end point density, and much greater network segmentation.

Finally, the blog makes the connection that tools like Docker Compose and  Kubernetes already use aspects of application policy and therefore it would be quite simple to use policy to automate the networks for these containers.

Container PolicyThe open source Project Contiv compliments application intent to enable operational intent to specify infrastructure and policies for network, storage and compute.

At Cisco, we’ve been talking about using Group Based Policy for awhile.

And Cisco ACI  supports Group Based Policy  and the same high level Application Policy Model works with all of these workload types – Bare-metal, VMware ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM, Xen, containers, and L4-L7 services.


To learn more about Cisco innovations in networking come join us at ONUG Spring May 9-11, at:

ONUG Academy

Monday May 9th 9:00AM-12:00PM

Hands On Container Networking with Contiv

Wednesday May 11th

Townhall Meeting and After Party 4:00PM-9:00PM



For More Information

Networking Containers: Policy Finally Comes of Age

Group-Based Policy: Using Intent to Manage Infrastructure

Integrate Cisco ACI with Docker Containers White Paper

Cisco ACI Policy Model spans Physical, Virtual and Container based environments

Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Driver for OpenStack Group-Based Policy

Group-Based Policy

See “The Impact of Containers and Microservices” in “Why Network Silicon Innovation Is Critical to Next-Generation Datacenters” by Brad Casemore, Feb 2016



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The Rounds: Industry Experts discuss Data Center, Cloud and Best Practices

– April 21, 2016 – 0 Comments

There is something special about round tables. It gets people to open up, collaborate, and talk to everyone that sits at the table. Be it at home, in political discourse or in business, round tables help to solve problems, and foster the open exchange of ideas and thoughts.  It eliminates side or siloed conversations at the other end of the table. This is especially important when you put top experts together on a topical, and sometimes, a controversial subject.

It was with this spirit in mind that we accepted the Robert Frances Group (RFG) offer to join “The Rounds”, a new series of industry experts from users and vendors collaborating with RFG in the development of Open Cloud frameworks. Cisco has embraced open conversations, the sharing of ideas and participation in industry bodies and forums for a long time. As such, “The Rounds” was a perfect fit – so when RFG invited to join in, we gladly accepted.

Get a glimpse on what “The Rounds” is all about in this 90 second video.The Rounds Promo

In “The Rounds” a select group of industry experts will address all aspects of the Cloud, be they private, public or hybrid. They will address considerations for Policies and Orchestration, required to automate the Data Center. These subject matter experts will also examine the various approaches and solutions available, all with a view to best practices, guiding principles and taking into consideration the lessons learned from experience.

Over the coming weeks, moderated by the Robert Frances Group, you will hear from Cisco, Red Hat, IBM and other Cloud Architects in a series of short videos. The videos will be posted on the RFG Exchange webpage.

We think you will gain some surprising, valuable insights about how important it is to connect people, processes, and business technology around how you deploy applications and use policy driven automation to configure and control the infrastructure it runs on.

I encourage you to bookmark the webpage and keep up to date with “The Rounds”.


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Hybrid IT: It’s a Strategy Not Something You Build

– April 21, 2016 – 0 Comments

What do you think when you hear Hybrid IT?   Does your mind go to a 3rd kind of not quite private, not quite public cloud that your team needs to build?

Fear not.  Hybrid IT is not another type of cloud but rather a strategy for your organization to quickly and cost-effectively deploy technology across multiple platforms.  It is a service delivery strategy that places the right workload into the right environment based on business need.  That need could be speed of deployment, performance, cost, or security.  The essence of hybrid IT can be summarized in the following quote from EMC World last year:

“I want to be able to tell our business units, if you want to stand up services on the private cloud, go ahead.   We have the technologies and operating processes to do that.  And when it’s time to move appropriate workloads to a public cloud, we have the technologies and operational processes to do that too.”     Eric Craig, CTO, NBC Universal

Workloads-PathWorkloads are not created equal.  Some were designed to be in the cloud, some not so much. Hybrid IT doesn’t force fit workloads.  For example, standardized service requests deliver maximum efficiency in a private cloud. Other services make sense to be in public environments.   Lastly, some were never designed to be in the cloud and simply perform best in a traditional data center environment.  A hybrid strategy enables IT professionals to become the service consumption hub of your organization balancing workload performance with platform cost delivering budgetary efficiencies.

Last week Cisco completed its acquisition of CliQr.  This acquisition significantly enhances your organizations ability to become that service delivery hub. The combination of Cisco CloudCenter (formerly CliQr CloudCenter) plus Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite allows your organization to achieve a hybrid IT delivery strategy.

Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite enables the creation of a hybrid cloud to deliver applications and their supporting infrastructure across private and public environments. When teamed with Cisco CloudCenter, developers no longer need to be knowledgeable about cloud platform APIs or the nuances of infrastructure orchestration.  They simply create once and deploy to any data center, private or public environment.  Cisco CloudCenter’s application-centric approach frees up developers with visual application modeling and deployment of blueprints.   In essence, they can purely focus on the application — which is just what they want to do.

Businesses are quickly adopting hybrid strategies but they don’t want IT to build anything.  What they want is flexibility to quickly and cost-effectively deploy technology-based solutions to the appropriate environments. Cisco’s hybrid IT duo provides the flexibility your organization needs with service broker tools to make strategic placement decisions that are based on performance and cost-efficiency rather than status quo.

Learn more by watching these videos for Cisco CloudCenter and Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite.


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Announcement: Join the Community Party at EMCWorld!

– April 19, 2016 – 0 Comments

As we gear up for EMCWorld, I’m excited that Cisco will be co-hosting the Community Appreciation Wrap Party with EMC and VMware – especially as it will be in the Bourbon Room.  This will be a great opportunity to take a break after the show floor closes and catch up with the community over delicious beverages before the Customer Appreciation Party (with Duran Duran!).

Invitees include Cisco Champions, EMC Elect, and vExperts along with distinguished speakers, and other fun guests from EMCWorld 2016.  Awesome folks attending Interop are invited too.

Please RSVP if you’re going to stop by – this should be a great way to finish off the week!






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