UPDATED 18:01 EST / MAY 25 2012

dominick-delfino-emcworld2012-thecube NEWS

Cisco on the Next-Gen Datacenter

Cisco’s Dominic Delfino is the Senior Director for the company’s datacenter portfolio and he sat in on #theCube at EMCWorld 2012 with Stuart Miniman for a discussion that covered the evolving datacenter, EMC, and Cisco’s role in the changing environment.  Delfino has been a part of the EMC-Cisco relationship since day one and has worked closely throughout.  As the relationship has evolved, it is as strong and deep as it has ever been.  The video can be seen here.

Going back on the relationship’s early roots, the company initially was merely service as a storage networking technology base for EMC’s business.  Throughout time in this partnership, the companies started gravitating towards taking more of a systems approach, culminating in the partnership they have today.  As this evolution of converged infrastructure has taken place, it is exhibited by the continued offerings emerging with VCE, Vblock technology, and the upcoming VSPEX proven reference infrastructure program.  This blend of offerings help bring about a complete cloud solution to market for customers.  The numbers reflect a growing base of repeat clients, infrastructure size and types that illustrate adoption is on the rise.

Services plays a crucial role in this evolution, as solutions such as Vblock introduce a departure from roll-your-own solutions or working from reference architecture of the past.  The benefits of a total converged infrastructure introduce a number of advantages including availability of a standard, fixed configuration that is tested, proven, and provides a unified resource for support.   Through VSPEX a very channelized program emerges, where the flexibility of following a proven reference model is introduced, and allows for customers to deviate as needs require for tailored solutions.

Skillsets in the marketplace are a significant consideration as these technologies continue to come together and dealing with the traditional IT silos of data team, network team, system teams, security, and so on is a challenge for an organization on their own.  Cisco and EMC tout the phenomenal partner base opportunities in this space, and mention is made of some partners beginning to develop and offer good datacenter practice offerings to fill these needs.

Delfino shares that the increase of networking present at the annual event indicates that all these new partners in attendance is a reflection of the concept of converged infrastructure and the evolving datacenter and reinforces its importance to the ecosystem.  Historical marketing that leveraged metrics such as price, performance, savings are no longer the focus, and has turned towards the value that can be described out of operational transformation.  To make these technologies deliver on the promise of the cloud, it has to be packaged among other things as easy to use, implement security, and allow for diagnostics.  In essence the datacenter is now being looked at as an entire system.

Reflecting on the current state of the networking industry, Delfino talks about the current generation that is taking hold throughout many environments.  Cisco’s FCoE standard is seeing a great success in what is best described as a brown field/green field situation.  Adoption is on the rise and is taking hold such that in some 13,000 UCS environments, 90% of those customers are using FCoE for access to I/O.  Delfino states that FCoE is a very hot technology at this time and any concerns about the rate of adoption have been quelled.  Continued interest around the converged infrastructure is surging in relation to the increase in interest of offerings such as GreenPlum, Hadoop, BigData, and VSPEX.  There is also great interest on the ongoing partnerships such as with EMC and Intel.   Dominic Delfino had some great thoughts and insight on the networking aspect of the new datacenter and it is worth your while to go watch the video.


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