Archive for the ‘UCS’ Category

Exchange 2010 Blasphemy, Virtualization and Rock Star Bloggers!

October 11th, 2010

Today I was cleaning up my mailbox when I came across some BLASPHEMY about Exchange! Okay, not blasphemy per se, but I continually hear from folks who are being incorrectly told “Exchange cannot be virtualized”.  I’m not exactly sure who started this ‘trend’ but that’s neither here nor there!   So I did a little digging [and you know, digging for me tends to turn into a blog post ;)]  And I came across not only some AMAZING Material! But I also want to make sure you’re following up on regularly posted updates from a Rockstar who’s clear focus is on Exchange!

Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange 2010 with Confidence  Microsoft Exchange 2010 Zero-Data Loss Virtualization and Replication

These are two very SHORT and to the point, giving you the high-lights letting you know what is required to kick things off and something you can hand up to mgmt! So it’s great to not spend a lot of time trying to figure out what it’s saying!

One thing I’d like to bring particular attention on these papers is that these are not EMC Papers, but are in fact co-branded collaborations by Microsoft, EMC and others (the one below was Microsoft, Cisco and EMC, and some of the others involve Dell and Brocade) but either way, Microsoft was directly involved in their creation as opposed to ‘slap a tag on it’

STOP THE PRESS! (vicki vale!) – Check out this paper though!  It is definitely longer! 84 pages!  Filled with raw technical example, use cases, all that jazz! Great must read paper and not just words! Lots of pretty pictures!  Yes it is Hyper-V but that cmon, this was co-branded Microsoft.. :)  And note: Published October 2010! So Vicki Vale did get one thing right!

Business Continuity for Microsoft Exchange 2010 Enabled by EMC Unified Storage, Cisco Unified Computing System, and Microsoft Hyper-VWow, look at those DAGs!

Okay fine! Here is another paper! This one is a little older but I know you wouldn’t let me get away without giving you some VMware love! So here is one, with less pretty pictures!

 Microsoft Exchange 2010 Efficiency, Flexibility, Performance, and Availability at Scale Enabled by EMC Symmetrix VMAX, Virtual Provisioning and VMware vSphere VMAX it up!

Alright, one more then! This one was from August – not a whitepaper only a basic Reference Architecture, but I found it to be pretty damn cool looking!

 

EMC Virtual Infrastructure for Microsoft Exchange 2010 Enabled by EMC Symmetrix VMAX, VMware vsphere 4, and Replication Manager Pretty Reference Architecture

Okay, enough of these (albeit amazing papers!) With no further adieu I’d like to introduce you to Dustin Smith! I’d tell you all about him, but Brian interviewed him here so you can find out all about how he’s an MVP, MCM and so many other things!

So, Dustin has his own blog where he talks almost exclusively about Exchange (okay, I think it’s all about Exchange, but whatever! this is MY BLOG! ;))

Exchange In the Private Cloud is definitely a must check out blog if you care anything about Exchange, or have to deal with it!

I’d like to highlight a few of his blog posts here for you to check out:

  • Yes, Exchange Server is being virtualized!
    • Within EMC, our entire 40,000+ user infrastructure is virtualized on Exchange Server and the organization as a whole is moving towards virtualization of most all applications. Most all of the infrastructures we design and showcase within our Proven Solutions are geared toward virtualization, either with VMWare vSphere or Microsoft Hyper-V. See my previous blog post on what we recently did with the Tested Exchange Solutions Program case with Cisco and Microsoft where we showcased 34,000 users on Microsoft Hyper-V with Cisco UCS blade servers and EMC Unified Storage.
  • EMC Whitepaper, Exchange Tested Solutions Program
    • What we are showcasing in this whitepaper is a result of our joint solution development with Microsoft and Cisco that was deployed and tested in Microsoft EEC labs in Redmond. In the whitepaper you will find the reference architecture for 32,400 users across a three site Exchange DAG scenario leveraging Microsoft Hyper-V, EMC NS480 Unified Storage, and Cisco UCS B-series blade servers along with analysis of testing results and key best practices on virtualizing Exchange Server 2010 on Hyper -V on EMC Unified storage and Cisco Unified Computing System.
  • Exchange 2010 Backups? I don’t need any stinkin backups?!?
    • I think overall, the backupless/Exchange Native Data Protection option certainly brings a new element to the Exchange 2010 architecture discussions and different options for providing recovery when bad things happen. VSS based options (hardware and software based) are  still heavily used options to protect Exchange data that have been popular since the Exchange 2003 days and have increased with features and functionality into Exchange 2010.
  • Getting Exchange Server 2010 into the Private Cloud
  • Yes, EMC can do Exchange for SMB too

So, there are some teasers there of just some of the content that Dustin is putting out (There is obviously more.. but I’ll let you do the reading up on it! It’s definitely worth reading! – How so though, I just discovered Dustin TODAY and I’m sharing him with you a few hours after that point, So, yea I consider that to be pretty compelling :))

I want to leave you with links to all of the resources I mentioned above, so you can forth to gain access to the WP’s I mentioned and others I didn’t include pictures for!

There are so many more than just these links alone – I actually was surprised on how much content there was at www.emc.com/exchange ! – So check it out, and as always let me know if I can help you in a particular way :)

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Posted in Celerra, Cisco, CLARiiON, Cloud, DMX, emc, Exchange, FAST, Hyper-V, Iomega, Microsoft, SATA, SSD, Storage, Symmetrix, UCS, V-Max, Virtualization, VMAX, vmware, VPLEX, vSphere | Comments (7)

EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager 1.0 is GA? VCE, UCS and Configuration Simplified?!

December 17th, 2009

Hey big datacenter, I think “booyah” is in order, with this almost stealth announcement of UIM for Ionix!  

EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager to manage vblock elements

Look at the big picture and see what this means for your datacenter!

Unified Vblock element management

Manage one or more multiple Vblocks from a single management point

Consolidated Vblock dashboard

Policy-based configuration and change management

Deep visibility, including unlimited revision history

Integration with third-party enterprise management

 

 

 

 

So, out of box today UIM fully supports management of the whole Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) stack, with evolution to support the rest of the Vblock infrastructure!   Which means taking your Pain of glass you have today and truly turning it into a comprehensive datacenter wide pane of glass for managing the entire stack from a single interface.

What this can mean is consolidated views of your entire Vblock infrastructure..

With the Ionix UIM dashboard you can visualize across multiple Vblock deployments, giving you consolidated views into your entire Vblock infrastructure.

In the first release your datacenter will be cooking with Service Profile Catalogs enabling a “recipe” for building services and the basis for truly delivering infrastructure as a service.  Yea I know it sounds like lip service but when was the last time you truly had this level of ‘cookie cutter’ capability to deploy what you want, where you want it without having to reinvent the wheel every single time – Service Profile Catalogs will be the answer to let you take control of your datacenter again.

Though, if you feel that even creating recipes is a recipe for disaster – Policy-based management helps keep your environment honest to ensure configuration policies are set and enforced to ensure system-wide compliance to avoid configuration drift.   Oh, did I mention this functionality is also fully supported in this release of UIM with Cisco UCS Network infrastructure, such as Nexus and MDS? I say sweet! :)

Compliance Checks - Notice the 'duplicate mac' view there?!

What helps to complete this story is Unified Provisioning, configuration, change management – and a simplified integration.

What I’m particularly floored by is the deployment, bare metal provisioning which includes automated provisioning of the disaster recovery site! (Whoa, he did not just say Automated DR!)

The story around provisioning, configuration and change management will be the foundation of your success in the datacenter of the future.   Think about it! unlimited revision history, fine-grained tracking, traceability, and reproducibility! This isn’t the datacenter of 2010! This sounds more like the datacenter of 2100!     Out the gate this first release of UIM will focus on the unified provisioning, configuration and change control of Cisco UCS and the related network infrastructure.

You aren’t going to get away so easily though! I did say simplified integration and I mean it!   UIM Element management integrates with your existing enterprise management solutions on the floor today, providing change and compliance events to help track critical changes.   Furthermore, it leverages Cisco UCS manager APIs and EMC storage management systems allowing you to take advantage of existing instrumentation and component configuration.

So, putting all the marketing jibber jabber aside what does this mean for you, the datacenter owner?   This means that old fashioned model of “Is UCS ready? WTF is this VCE thing? Why do I even need a simplified datacenter operation? What do you mean Private Cloud, it’s sunny outside!”  It means welcome to the future of your datacenter.   The days of silo provisioning, configuration, management and troubleshooting are over!   You know that the top of mind conversation for the 2010 datacenter and on ever C-class’s lips will be  datacenter virtualization, reshaping the data center, and enhanced security – Take a look at that Gartner list and you tell me that VCE isn’t the answer to 5 or more of them ;)

So, the future is most definitely here (hey, 14 days ahead of schedule! How can you go wrong?!)  So there’s no better time than the present to educate yourself about this opportunity and what the rest of the future lay in store.  if you’re looking to discuss the future of your datacenter, let me know because your priorities are my priorities!

I’ve taken the liberty to consolidate all of the Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager 1.0 documents here for your ease: (Powerlink credentials required)

? EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager Release Notes
? EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager Data Sheet
? EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager Installation Guide
? EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager Report Advisor User Guide
? EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager Backup and Recovery Guide
? EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager System Management Console Guide
? EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager Regular Expressions User Guide
? EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager Infrastructure Driver Release Version Support Matrix
? EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager Non-EMC Software Read Me
? EMC Ionix Device Services Engineering DASL Language Changes

I’d also like to thank Chad Sakac for this great YouTube Video and post More VCE Vblock Details including EMC Ionix Unified Infrastructure Manager and Storagezilla for their post Vblock and Ionix Unified Infrastructure Management

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Posted in Cisco, emc, Storage, UCS, VCE, Virtualization | Comments (3)

Dell misses the mark in understanding Cisco UCS Value

March 17th, 2009

Dell apparently sat back yesterday, watched all of the Cisco UCS announcements, and then said “I only see what I want to see” and apparently, all Dell sees is a Blade Server. Doh!

In this article Cisco Blade Server Misses the Mark Rick Be from Dell had the following to say:

17 March , 02:00 PM

Virtualization is undoubtedly a hot topic in the industry, especially today. After much anticipation, Cisco finally announced its “Project California.” As expected, Cisco launched its Unified Computing System (UCS), a blade server appliance designed for virtualization.

There has been a lot of discussion about what this means for Cisco’s partners in the virtualization server market. Are we partners? Are we competitors? Yes and yes. Dell continues to have a strategic networking partnership with Cisco to provide comprehensive solutions to our customers – today’s news does not change this.  Am I worried that Cisco’s new appliance will take away business from Dell? Not at all.

We’ve seen this before. Companies bring to market solutions that address a narrow population of customers or a single IT issue. While Cisco is a leader in the networking space, the server market is a very different ball game. CIOs aren’t looking for proprietary, appliance-like products like UCS because they drive up TCO and create more complexity. This is where Cisco has missed the mark.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the excitement about virtualization that Cisco’s news has generated is great. This is a technology that has revolutionized business computing and I am particularly passionate about it. It seems, however, that Cisco is a bit confused about what customers want and need from virtualization solutions.

When I am talking with customers, there are common themes that come up about what businesses want:

  • Options and open standards – Flexibility is key to long term survival in today’s economy and this is what Dell delivers better than anyone else. Companies need more from a supplier than specialized, high-priced solutions. Businesses are looking for the whole package – a technology partner that can help them address and manage their large data sets, edge of the network workloads and everything else.
  • Better total cost of ownership – Customers expect that innovation in IT will be focused on lowering the cost of operations WITHOUT significantly raising the price for the hardware.
  • Simple management – Customers need the ability to manage their hardware locally. This is not possible with HP’s Virtual Connect –unless you have a 100% HP data center. And it does not appear to be possible with Cisco blades.

Dell’s strategy to simplify IT resonates with CIOs because it helps their organizations reclaim the most valued business resources: people, time and money. You will see exciting news from Dell in the coming months. Soon, we will introduce our totally redesigned Nehalem-based 11th Generation PowerEdge virtualization servers. And you will also see us expand out partnerships to offer even more options for business looking to build open, flexible and powerful virtualized environments. Stay tuned.

I absolutely agree Flexibility is key for long-term survival, and reliability is paramount for survival period.    Look no further than Cisco for an example of what reliability is while establishing what open standards are, and how they’ll be pioneered and delivered upon.   It will be Cisco’s story in the future than when you think of Virtualization, you will think of Cisco and their significant role in the Datacenter and beyond.

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Posted in Baltimization, Blog, Christopher Kusek, Cisco, Technology, UCS, Virtualization | Comments (0)

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