UCS Express: Converging computing, virtualization and network platform for the branch office [Cisco]

Data center consolidation and server virtualization have gone a long way in reducing costs and complexity in organizations’ IT systems, not to mention displacing a lot of traditional branch-office infrastructure. But these dual and interrelated trends haven’t completely led to full application centralization, in large part because of inherent speed and reliability limitations of the WAN that affect the quality of user experience, as well as concerns over privacy and access with data being stored outside the branch office.

 In short, a variety of performance, availability and compliance concerns have meant that some applications – including core Windows services, mission-critical business applications and client management services – can’t leave the branch office.

 But while branch office infrastructure isn’t going away, that doesn’t mean it can’t evolve or that new solutions aren’t being introduced to reduce complexity and costs and address a whole host of IT challenges in the brand office.

 What kinds of branch-office-specific challenges?

  1. The high costs associated with unused or inefficiently used physical servers, for starters, as well as performance, application availability and increased complexity. This is still a problem at the branch office, just like in the data center. Converting a branch office’s physical servers to virtual ones and running them on a virtualized platform – with each application assigned to a dedicated virtual server and all virtual servers hosted on one or two physical servers – can still substantially minimize costs. [Read more…]

Going from 1,600 cables to 28 in your Data Center [NetApp]

NetApp & Softchoice helped an Atlanta-based company virtualize

Like many growing companies, a Softchoice customer specializing in printing supplies was relying on a hosted data center to enable efficient operations. But when costs and power usage continued to mount, the company needed to do something different.

The Atlanta-based organization partnered with Softchoice to build a virtualized dynamic data center that would use far less power and space – dramatically reducing their costs.

Softchoice recommended NetApp due to its native support of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) giving the customer an end-to-end solution that allowed them to: [Read more…]

Unified Computing & Data Center Evolution [Cisco]

The history of enterprise computing has been marked by compromises between scale and simplicity. As systems increased in scale, they also increase in complexity. As the complexity increased, so did the expense of deployment and ongoing management.

What we see resulting is that organizations must continually increase resources to maintain a growing, complex, and inflexible infrastructure versus using them to rapidly and effectively respond to business needs.

IT organizations are seeking ways to change that – they need to decrease costs of ownership while increasing IT business value. As a result the data center is in the midst of a major transformation. Data Center Virtualization has created a market transition where IT organizations are trying to reduce costs and increase flexibility. However, too often we see inflexible existing hardware platforms so that data center administrators spend too much time on basic tasks instead of focusing on more strategic initiatives.

As a next-generation data center platform, Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), can help unite computing, networking, storage access and virtualization into a cohesive solution. It integrates a low latency, lossless 10 Gb Ethernet unified fabric with enterprise-class, x86-architecture servers. What we see with this approach is that it decouples scale from complexity. Whether the system has 1 server or 320 servers with thousands of virtual machines, all resources participate in a unified management domain all of which is designed to: [Read more…]