dcim - getting the most from your data center's infrastructure

Today, it’s all too easy to take our technological resources for granted. Instead of optimizing the systems we already have, we throw money at them when performance falls below standards. Running out of memory? Buy more. Latency? Increase bandwidth. Slow service? Get more server racks.

The computer that took man to the moon had exactly 72 kilobytes of memory. Fifty years later, the newest iPhone has almost 900 thousand times that storage capacity. NASA programmers had to make every bit count. They couldn’t afford to be wasteful: unfortunately, we can.

The DCOI Update

This June, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) tackled the problem of wasteful spending with a new update to the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI). According to the latest draft, government agencies will not be allowed to expand or invest in new data centers without express permission from the OMB.

Instead, the legislation directs government organizations to invest in Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools to optimize power consumption, efficiency and energy utilization. If all goes as planned, agencies will improve their performance with minimal spending and no additional assets.

Businesses in the private sector could learn a thing or two from this initiative. But what is DCIM, and how will it help data centers to reduce unnecessary costs? In this article, we’ll answer both questions.

What is DCIM?

Servers and network infrastructure are resource intensive – power consumption alone can cost a medium sized data center millions of dollars per year. Armed with continuous monitoring and granular data, an organization can optimize power usage and workload to reduce these costs significantly.

The goal of DCIM is to give administrators better control over the low-level architecture supporting their business by providing a high-level overview of the relationship between IT and an organization’s facilities. Today, the role and capabilities of DCIM have expanded beyond cooling and power consumption with an emphasis on lifecycle asset management.

DCIM Capabilities

According to Gartner, the average DCIM tool on the market today can “monitor, measure, manage and/or control data center utilization and energy consumption of all IT-related equipment (such as servers, storage and network switches) and facility infrastructure components.”

Typical use cases include:

  • Identify, monitor and locate all assets (new, decommissioned, in transit)
  • Assess availability of racks and other equipment
  • Generate comprehensive compliance reports
  • Forecast capacity, load and energy consumption
  • Analyze power usage for optimized performance

The information provided by DCIM tools provides a robust foundation for decisions at every level of a business, from preventive and responsive maintenance to business strategy and development. A good DCIM tool can also generate recommendations and diagnose problems, cutting down on the guesswork needed to improve performance.

Benefits of DCIM

As technology advances and network standards become more demanding, the capabilities required to build and maintain a viable data center increase every year. Higher costs for equipment and greater energy footprints have led to environmental legislation in many countries, and regulations like the DCOI.

In order to survive in the face of scrutiny and financial limitations, organizations must move from growth strategies centered on acquisition to lifecycle asset management, enabling them to extract maximum value from their existing architecture at minimum cost.

To that end, a DCIM tool helps in many ways:

  1. Identify cost savings – directly reduce the expense of running a data center by highlighting excessive energy consumption, opportunities to use fewer resources, redundant processes and unnecessary expenses. By consolidating all the assets at an organization’s disposal, it ensures that no resources are underutilized or overlooked.
  2. Improve asset lifespan – increase the longevity of assets in the data center by helping administrators to resolve problems quickly and avoid burnout through forecasting. Workloads can be optimally distributed to prevent overburdened assets, which also leads to improved performance.
  3. Determine impact – predict the impact of new or proposed decisions before they go into effect, including expansion, migration, retirement, upgrading, new acquisitions, onboarding clients, downsizing, strategy changes and much more.
  4. Business alignment – align IT architecture with business strategy and goals. Insights from continuous monitoring allow the resolution of conflicts between an organization’s mission, technology usage and facility design.
  5. Automate processes – automatically perform monitoring processes and workflows. With situational awareness, systems can be turned on or off when certain conditions are met, resources can be allocated or swapped, energy can be conserved, and services can be deployed.

Should you invest in DCIM?

Ultimately, the potential improvements from DCIM capabilities are obvious – not only can they raise an organization’s bottom line through improved spending and resource conservation, but they also increase customer satisfaction and stakeholder confidence.

Gartner recommends that any business with a medium-sized data center should invest in DCIM, and we agree: by putting strategy first and fully exploiting the value of its infrastructure, an organization will ensure that it makes the most of its assets through their entire lifecycle.

Professional TPM Provider for Northern Virginia

Located near the booming data center corridor in Loudoun County, VA, Digital Tech Inc provides rapid response maintenance services including EOSL extension, spare parts, short- and long-term maintenance agreements, migration assistance and depot repair options. Our skilled engineers offer multi-vendor support, covering IBM, HP, Dell EMC, Cisco, NetApp, and many more.

To learn more, contact us today.

Multi-vendor IT Support, DTI is the leading provider of IT maintenance and support for data centers

When building a data center or enterprise resource plan (ERP), organizations inevitably have to make a simple but tricky decision: should they follow a single-vendor strategy, or use the best products they can find throughout the market without worrying about software or compatibility? As we will soon see, both methods have their pros and cons, and IT support looms large when choosing between them.

Deciding on a multi or single vendor portfolio is a relatively recent phenomenon. Before the age of “super-vendors” like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM, multi-vendor was the only game in town: no single brand produced all the products an enterprise could need for its information architecture. By the mid-2000s, the “one-stop-shop” model was pioneered by CISCO with its Unified Computing System (UCS), which it began to push heavily as an elegant alternative to the mix-and-match madness which reigned over data centers until that time.

CISCO’s argument was convincing, and to this day, it remains so:

  • Ease of implementation: a multi-vendor approach involves numerous device profiles encompassing multiple operating systems, user interfaces, APIs and more. Setting up a network this way is difficult and labor intensive.
  • Maintenance headaches: when multiple vendors comprise an IT portfolio, tech support can be a pain. Problems often arise which require overlapping skillsets that OEM technicians simply lack and coordinating service calls among different vendors creates inefficiency.
  • Licensing deals: CISCO – like other companies who have followed in its footsteps – offers a significant licensing discount to clients who will deploy its products extensively or exclusively. A multi-vendor approach generally lacks this advantage, requiring multiple, full-priced licenses across vendors and product types.
  • Compatibility: products from the same vendor are made to work with each-other, and frequently styled as “plug-and-play”. Today, organizations can expect high-level administration features from vendors which encompass and unify different equipment types.

In short, the single-vendor approach has been touted as the best way to simplify the process of building and managing a data center while significantly reducing costs. But when it was first raised, not everyone was convinced.

Choosing Best of Breed

Almost a decade ago, Gartner studied the difference between companies using a single or multi-vendor portfolio and found that some pretensions of the single vendor model fell apart under careful scrutiny. For instance, total cost of ownership (TCO) was lower for multi-vendor organizations, and operational complexity was not always found to correlate with the number of vendors operating in the enterprise.

More saliently, Gartner raised a powerful suggestion: not every organization benefits from a single-vendor model. Some organizations require power and functionality from their IT infrastructure that one vendor simply cannot provide. Choosing superior equipment regardless of its origin constitutes the “best of breed” approach to building enterprise architecture, and for some this works better, even if benefits of the single-vendor model are sacrificed as a consequence.

In any case, some time has passed since this debate was strictly relevant. By now, most organizations that want single-vendor IT have made the switch, and the rest have moved forward. However, not everyone agrees on the best way to service and maintain an IT portfolio.

The Benefits of Multi-Vendor Support

Multi-vendor maintenance and tech support is frequently superior to OEM support, and even organizations with a single-vendor portfolio can benefit from choosing a multi-vendor support team. Here are several reasons why:

  • Flexibility – in the real world, “single-vendor” is rarely unalienable. The needs of an organization or data center change with time, and vendors often take up new directions which alienate some customers. Multi-vendor support gives organizations the flexibility to bring in new vendors when necessary without sacrificing operational efficiency.
  • Lower cost – because they can handle a diverse IT portfolio, multi-vendor support can address more problems with fewer service calls. And since multi-vendor support is typically provided by skilled third-parties, competition reduces the price of labor. This translates to significant savings.
  • Reduced complexity – without the need to juggle multiple OEM providers or coordinate overlapping skillsets, multi-vendor support reduces the complexity of servicing equipment and managing assets.
  • Easier end-of-service transition – when equipment reaches the end of its service life, continuing operation can be difficult. Investing in multi-vendor support early on solves this problem through a single point of contact for ongoing maintenance and repair for all equipment no matter the warranty status.

Professional Multi-Vendor Support for Northern Virginia

Located near the booming data center corridor in Loudon County, VA, Digital Tech Inc provides rapid response maintenance services including EOSL extension, spare parts, short- and long-term maintenance agreements, migration assistance and depot repair options. Our skilled engineers offer multi-vendor support, covering IBM, HP, Dell EMC, Cisco, NetApp, and many more.

To learn more, contact us today.

Multivendor IT Support,IT Maintenance, High Tech Dulles Corridor - Data Center Hub

Today, business owners in Northern Virginia like to say that 70% of the world’s Internet traffic passes through Fairfax and Loudon county where the “Silicon Valley of The East” is located.

While this figure cannot be perfectly substantiated, it’s true that the stretch of communities near the Dulles International Airport is widely renowned as America’s most important hub for Internet traffic and network infrastructure.

Formally known as the Dulles Technology Corridor, the cluster of data centers, businesses and government organizations which native Virginians call ‘Data Center Alley’ is increasingly favored by tech leaders throughout the U.S.

So how did things come to be this way, and why does it matter? To answer those questions, we have to go back several decades.

A History of Data Center Alley

Many of us who work in the tech industry in 2019 can remember the early days of the Internet, when a 56k modem was the hottest gear in town. That was before AOL, social media or smartphones.

But there was a time before the World Wide Web, or even Usenet boards that increasingly few of us can recall: the Internet as it existed prior to the 1980s. Back then, packet-switching networks had just been invented with ARPANET, the DoD’s TCP/IP network which connected universities across the continental United States after it was turned on in 1969.

ARPANET began as a project of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (modern day DARPA), centered in Arlington, Virginia. It was in Arlington that the Metropolitan Area Exchange, East (MAE-East) brought one of the earliest Internet Exchange Points to the Eastern seaboard, transforming Northern Virginia into the powerhouse of connectivity it is now.

After the arrival of MAE-East – and later Equinix – companies like AOL, Yahoo! and AT&T set up shop leading up to the DotCom bubble. Today, the area houses regional offices for every one of “the big five”: Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google.

The Ideal Location for Data Centers

As of late 2018, the power consumption of Northern Virginia’s data center market was close to a record-shattering 1 gigawatt, showing that the importance of Data Center Alley has not decreased. In the past few years, it has become a strategic location for Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), home to four of the country’s top cloud players including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Digital Realty.

Aside from its history, what makes Data Center Alley ideal for new data centers? According to Loudon County head of business development Buddy Rizer, data centers require six resources to stay in good shape: power, water, fiber access, a competent workforce, proximity to resources and space to build.

Data Center Alley has them all:

  1. Power – Dominion Virginia Power provides most of the energy consumed by businesses in Northern Virginia. Using a combination of available and environmentally friendly sources, it provides a cost per megawatt 20% lower than the national average.
  2. Water – located less than an hour’s drive from the historic Potomac River, Data Center Alley has abundant municipal access to water for cooling needs.
  3. Fiber Access – Data Center Alley is littered with redundant fiber optic loops that provide high-speed connectivity to businesses and ISPs throughout the area.
  4. Competent Workforce – government contractors and tech experts from every area of specialization congregate in Northern Virginia for proximity to Washington D.C, giving data centers access to an elite and highly skilled workforce.
  5. Resources – surrounded by a high concentration of other businesses providing equipment, parts, and labor, the area is rich in competitively priced resources for running a data center.
  6. Space to build – in the past decade, 75 data centers have been opened in Loudon County alone, encompassing 10 million square feet of operating space. While the real estate market is competitive, there’s still plenty of room for expansion.

Professional Data Center Support in Data Center Alley

Located near the booming data center corridor in Loudon County, VA, Digital Tech Inc provides rapid response maintenance services including EOSL extension, spare parts, short- and long-term maintenance agreements, migration assistance and depot repair options. Our skilled engineers offer multi-vendor support, covering IBM, HP, Dell EMC, Cisco, NetApp, and many more.

To learn more, contact us today.

IT Maintenance Provider - Third Party Maintenance

Let’s get real: if you have to call your IT maintenance help desk, that means there’s a problem. Nobody likes having problems, so nobody likes calling for IT maintenance. But in an ideal world, at least they wouldn’t make your problem worse than it already is.

In the data center, speed is everything. The longer it takes to get equipment fixed or replaced, the longer your downtime. But – whether you like their products or not – OEMs can be slow at solving problems, let alone solving them quickly.

There’s a good reason for this: SLAs from manufacturers are mostly an afterthought; a bonus to sweeten the deal and boost sales. After all, a vendor’s bottom line is measured almost exclusively in sales, not repairs or service deals.

In this article, we’ve compiled a few of the most common complaints we hear about the OEM maintenance cycle from our customers. Do any of them resonate with you?

1. Getting Someone

On many levels, complaints about OEM maintenance overlap with complaints about IT support, and that extends to the call center. Nobody likes talking to robots, then listening to elevator music for thirty minutes before speaking to a rep.

Unfortunately, that’s what you’re likely going to do, because call centers are specifically designed to employ the minimal number of staff at any given time, meaning you are almost guaranteed to be placed in a queue. How long you’ll have to wait is a matter of sheer luck, but we say the best wait is no wait at all.

2. Getting THE RIGHT Someone

Once you’re finally patched through, you’ll need the right set of technical chops before a service rep is sent your way. For simple issues, it might not take that long: but as anyone who’s worked with IT equipment knows, problems aren’t always easy to communicate, and the right technician isn’t always easy to identify, especially when you don’t have on-site support to figure things out.

3. Resolving Issues

Once you are in, and once you’ve got someone who can help, you have to get the issue resolved. This can take a long time, especially for customers with large operations, lots of equipment and complex problems.

Before anyone is sent to help, the OEM will often have to check service logs, machine profiles, sometimes escalating through different tiers of consultation internally. Occasionally, you may be waiting for a couple of days before your issue is finally addressed.

4. Juggling OEMs

If you’re like any other enterprise in the world, you aren’t running your entire organization on a single vendor. Not only will there be multiple machines in your data center from many manufacturers, but they will be configured to work with one another in complex ways.

When you need service from multiple OEMs, or – heaven forbid – multiple OEMs at the same time, getting support can be a logistical headache as you coordinate several calls for several technicians who can only work with one family of products at a time.

5. Human Issues

Remembering this simple truth can help you to understand most of the pain-points you’ll hit with OEM maintenance: manufacturers get paid for their products, not their support. While you’re getting fed up with the hassle, chances are, the support team is getting fed up too.

It’s not their fault that they’re underpaid, undertrained and overloaded with queries. Then again, it’s not your fault either when things become heated or tense. This sort of thing just goes along with IT support.

6. SLA Headaches

SLAs – or Service Level Agreements – lock organizations into a support relationship with their vendor, and they’re supposed to benefit you by providing unambiguous ground rules about what you can or cannot expect.

But to paraphrase a certain Captain Barbossa from a certain Disney film about pirates, “the code is more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules”. Most companies know what it’s like to argue with a rep about what is and isn’t covered by the SLA. But in the event your vendor plays fast and loose with interpreting their end of the bargain, there’s usually some legalese which lets them off the hook.

Third-Party Maintenance: A Better Way

OEM maintenance is annoying. So what? You still need servicing when problems arise, and it’s not like there’s another, cheaper option – or is there?

Third Party Maintenance (TPM) providers offer the same services as an OEM, nix many of the drawbacks, with many advantages. To name a few, TPM providers are:

  • We make our living service IT equipment, not selling or upgrading new hardware.  We have to be good or we would not be in business.
  • Smaller and therefore provide faster, more personalized support
  • We know you have smart IT teams that can tell a hard drive failure from something more complex, allowing us to rapidly deploy resources to facilitate the repair without wasted time qualifying the need for an on-site tech.
  • Experienced down the support chain, meaning you’ll be connected to someone who knows what they’re talking about the first time you call
  • Competitive: they provide high-quality support because it’s not an obligation; it’s a business model
  • Multi-Vendor: techs are versatile and provide a single point of contact for different systems/machines

If you’re suffering from common maintenance provider woes, TPM provides an affordable and flexible middle road that will keep your data center up and running without the headaches.

Professional TPM Provider for Northern Virginia

Located near the booming data center corridor in Loudon County, VA, Digital Tech Inc provides rapid response maintenance services including EOSL extension, spare parts, short- and long-term maintenance agreements, migration assistance and depot repair options. Our skilled engineers offer multi-vendor support, covering IBM, HP, Dell EMC, Cisco, NetApp, and many more.

To learn more, contact us today.

cisco ucs - data center it support, end of life support for it systems

“Agility” has become the marching order of today’s digital transformation initiatives across industries ranging from IT to services to fast food restaurants. A vector of “scalability” and “adaptability,” the term simply means: “the ability to respond quickly to changes or threats.”

An agile data center is therefore one which can scale or downsize quickly with growth, respond well to variable workloads and get back on its feet quickly after a network outage or system failure. This comprises a few distinct goals:

  • Meeting service level agreements (SLAs) by maintaining performance standards
  • Reducing the amount of labor and steps required to service, replace or scale systems
  • Reducing the impact of failure on operations using automation and straightforward response strategies

If this scheme smacks of getting your cake and eating it too, that’s because efficiency and higher performance rarely go together with a reduction in labor or complexity. DCAs often walk a thin line between cost and performance, falling back on redundant infrastructure and a large staff to keep things working smoothly.

Why Data Centers Aren’t Agile

The average data center has too many moving parts to be predictable. Equipment failure happens all the time, whether due to mechanical issues or human error. When it occurs, deployment is often cumbersome, resulting in a lengthy time-to-service (TTS).

To make matters worse, most data centers are perilously complex, involving an indefinite number of blades, racks, switches and routers without a central administration platform. This “siloing” of equipment and systems means that upscaling or downsizing is no easy task for administrators.

Agility means – among other things – efficiency and simplicity. When an organization, strategy or workflow devolves into a rubik’s cube of interconnected parts, one small change has unintended consequences, creating resistance to change in general.

Fortunately, it is possible to achieve even the highest ambitions of agility in the data center using a non-traditional approach to IT: unified computing.

The Unified Computing Servers

Cisco’s unified computing system (UCS) is a converged IT architecture for enterprise environments which abstracts hardware from functionality, allowing administrators to define and automate processes with minimal labor.

Using fabric interconnects (FI), UCS takes a “single pane of glass” approach to server management, enabling administrators to manage equipment through the creation of policies, pools, and profiles for blades and rackmount servers. Not only does this centralized approach eliminate a significant amount of grunt work, it also solves the issue of siloing in fell swoop.

Here are some of the ways that UCS creates a more agile data center:

  1. Policy Based Management allows administrators to configure 100 servers as easily as configuring one. UCS allows for the creation of service profile templates which are automatically configured as soon as a device is plugged in. This approach is as close to “plug and play” as a data center has ever come, leading a significant reduction in labor.
  2. By eliminating the need to manually boot and configure servers, UCS reduces TTS by a significant margin. In comparison with competitors, blades can be fully integrated into UCS fiber interconnects 47-77% faster than in traditional server environments.
  3. By simplifying the number of switching layers, devices and equipment connected to a network, UCS also allows for fast scaling and easy downsizing. Adding and removing devices is painless, requiring no manual adjustments.
  4. UCS improves utilization of equipment through the use of server pools that dynamically repurpose to accept certain kinds of traffic or tasks depending on workload. This reduces the amount of equipment a data center must deploy, leading to lower costs.

While the term “agile” has been overused in recent years, UCS is one of the few technologies which really lives up to that promise in a field where agility has never been more elusive or important. And with Cisco’s recent updates to its UCS server line configured to support edge computing and AI/ML workflows, support isn’t going anywhere soon.

If you’re looking to bring digital transformation and agile processes to your data center, UCS isn’t a bad place to start the search.

Professional Cisco Support in Northern Virginia

Located near the booming data center corridor in Loudon County, VA, Digital Tech Inc provides rapid response maintenance services including EOSL extension, spare parts, short- and long-term maintenance agreements, migration assistance and depot repair options. Our skilled engineers offer multi-vendor support, covering IBM, HP, Dell EMC, Cisco, NetApp, and many more.

To learn more, contact us today.

Cisco ucs, Data Center IT Maintenance and Support - northern virginia

The Challenge

The digital business transformation is upon us, and it is creating new demands on IT organizations:

  • Applications: Modern applications are becoming less monolithic and more like organic entities that grow and shrink through the use of modular, distributed microservices. This reduces dependence on traditional IT infrastructure and places new demands on IT organizations in terms of the large number of endpoints to manage and flexible infrastructure needed to support them. With agile development and DevOps deployment approaches becoming the norm, developers and administrators demand the capability to program their own infrastructure. This is necessary in order to quickly roll out new applications and updates to existing ones.
  • Management: The main issue for IT organizations is managing infrastructure at scale and being able to match resources to application requirements—yet manage all of the different types of infrastructure in a simple, holistic fashion. Furthermore, the IT organization’s clients—line-of-business managers, application developers, and DevOps teams—are asserting increasing influence over the adoption, purchase, and deployment of technology. IT organizations saddled with ponderous management tools are hard pressed to compete with the fluidity of self-service, multicloud environments that their clients can purchase on their own if the IT organization doesn’t keep pace.
  • Location: Once upon a time traditional IT organizations could support and manage their clients and applications safely within the glass walls of an on-premises data center. Now they must support clients, applications, and workloads in public, managed, edge, and private cloud environments— all while maintaining compliance with best practices, business and governmental regulations, and data sovereignty requirements.

As a modern IT organization, the challenge is to meet the needs of the digital business transformation while still supporting the traditional, monolithic applications that are the foundation of your business. You have to simultaneously embrace the traditional deployment model and the fluid nature of today’s multicloud deployments.

The Solution

The straightforward solution to today’s data center challenges is Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®). It’s not a collection of servers. It’s a fully self-aware, self-integrating system. Because it is 100 percent programmable, it has been the solution to computing challenges for more than 63,000 customers since 2009. The system is flexible, agile, and adaptable, and the portfolio of products supported by Cisco UCS includes blade, rack, multinode, and storage-intensive servers; converged infrastructure; hyperconverged infrastructure (Cisco HyperFlex™ systems); and solutions for the network edge such as Cisco UCS Mini and Cisco HyperFlex Edge.

There is a fundamental difference between vendors that sell servers and Cisco Unified Computing System. Servers arose as more powerful personal computers, taking many of their attributes, including time consuming, manual, error-prone configuration of I/O, network, and storage subsystems. Traditional servers are monolithic, complex to deploy, and even more complex to adapt to new workload demands. In contrast, Cisco UCS is a single unified system, with six fundamental attributes that make it revolutionary.

Fabric Centric

We blend all of the system’s I/O traffic into a single shared active-active network that carries all modes of communication from servers to the outside world. Our low-latency, high-bandwidth network fabric is a shared resource so networking can be allocated to interfaces based on policies rather than physical interface configuration and hard-wired cabling. The result is that you can provision and balance resources to meet your workload needs easily.

Endpoint Aware

Cisco UCS was developed in the virtualization era, where the norm was multiple independent workloads running on the same server. Today the number of workloads has become practically unimaginable as containerized environments place hundreds of workloads in a single virtual machine. Whether you run virtualized, containerized, or bare-metal workloads, all I/O is virtualized. This gives you the capability to support a massive number of endpoints but with a level of control equivalent to each endpoint having its own dedicated (but virtual) cable to the outside world. This gives you the scale of virtualized, with the workload isolation and security of the physical world.

100 Percent Programmable

From the very beginning, Cisco UCS was designed with the entire state of each server—identity, configuration, and connectivity—abstracted into software. This makes our system 100 percent programmable, easy to adapt to the varying requirements of both modern workloads and traditional monolithic business applications. With a completely programmable system, you can give your clients the level of control they need to manage their workloads. For global organizations, Cisco Intersight™ software-as-a-service management gives you complete role- and policy-based control over all of your resources regardless of where they reside. Fine-grained infrastructure management can be handled in Agile development and DevOps shops with scripting languages that provide access to the Cisco UCS unified API.

Intent Based

Cisco Intersight software helps you to more precisely align your infrastructure with the needs of your business. It enables administrators to automate configurations or tasks based on specific requirements that are tied to business objectives and application performance. Rather than having to be concerned with every detail of system configuration, intent-based management enables you to describe what you want to accomplish, with the cloud-based automation we provide translating your intent into action.

Delivers Business Benefits

Our policy-based approach to management gives you the simplicity, automation, and capabilities you need to increase productivity and support a fast-paced business environment.

  • Improved staff productivity: By aligning your infrastructure with applications and the way teams work together, you can create synergies that can’t be achieved with other architectures.
  • Better use of IT staff: The common, simplified management of servers, storage, and fabric establishes best practices and eliminates the need to understand the nuances of specific components. You can use your subject matter experts to develop policies and use lower-level administrators or operations personnel to implement policies.
  • Effective communication: Cisco UCS management improves communication between roles through cross-visibility and role-based administrative access.
  • Faster time to value: You can rapidly roll out new applications and business services at cloud-like speed and enhance the competitive strength of your enterprise.
  • Increased operational efficiency: You can automate many routine tasks, improve resource utilization, and proactively prevent manual errors that typically keep your IT staff from working on high-value tasks.
  • Improved flexibility and agility: The capability to automatically integrate additional resource capacity into larger, flexible pools helps ensure that your IT staff can achieve economies of scale and efficiency without greater complexity.

Analytics Powered

What if your infrastructure integrated directly with your support organization? The recommendation engine built into Cisco Intersight software integrates with the Cisco® Technical Assistance Center (TAC) to help you easily detect problems and initiate support requests. As the Cisco Intersight recommendation engine gains intelligence, our vision is for it to provide suggestions and recommendations for you to optimize your configurations to gain the most from your investment.

Download the full UCS Solution Overview from Cisco.

Located near the booming data center corridor in Loudon County, VA, Digital Tech Inc provides rapid response maintenance services including EOSL extension, spare parts, short- and long-term maintenance agreements, migration assistance and depot repair options. Our skilled engineers offer multi-vendor support, covering IBM, HP, Dell EMC, Cisco, NetApp, and many more.

To learn more, contact us today.

Hyperflex - cisco support

HyperFlex systems provide you the performance you need

If your organization is like most, databases like Microsoft SQL Server are used throughout your operation. Maybe you rely on these databases for online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing, or batch processing. Perhaps you use business intelligence, online analytical processing (OLAP), or report generation tools. Most likely, you use a mix of these systems. Whatever the workloads, your databases need to perform if they are going to be able to keep your applications fed with data.

Cisco HyperFlex™ systems are a great platform for Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and SAP databases. Our all-flash configurations allow you to run your database and applications on one platform and get predictable performance every time. Read the case study on how CorpFlex used HyperFlex to deployed Microsoft and Oracle databases and ERP applications, reducing their storage footprint and TCO.

A distributed architecture for faster results

It starts with the HyperFlex Data Platform where all of the storage devices are combined into a single distributed, multitier, object-based data store that allows all cluster resources to participate in I/O responsiveness. Data is dynamically distributed across the data store and, as you scale the cluster, every new and existing component contributes processing power and storage capacity.

We designed the data platform around a log-structured file system that uses a caching layer to accelerate read requests and write responses.

  • Fast writes: Incoming data is striped across the number of nodes that you define to meet your data availability requirements. When data is added or updated, the log-structured approach simply appends a new block and updates the metadata, requiring little use of the server’s processors.
  • Fast responses: When data is moved from cache to disk, the data is deduplicated and compressed. This process occurs after the write operation is acknowledged, so there is no performance penalty for these operations.
  • Fast reads: The most frequently used data is stored in the caching layer to accelerate read operations.


Faster I/O for faster results

Let’s take a look at networking in Cisco HyperFlex systems. Why? Because your databases and applications need massive amounts of east-west traffic bandwidth and low latency. With integrated fabric interconnects, you get high-bandwidth, low-latency unified fabric connectivity that carries all production IP traffic, hyperconvergence-layer traffic, and management traffic over a single set of cables. Every connection in the cluster is treated as its own microsegment, with the same level of security as if it were supported with a separate physical link, making the integrated network more secure.

Consistent network performance

The system is designed so that all traffic, even from different blade server chassis, reaches any other node in the cluster with only a single network hop. No other vendor can achieve this result because they build switching into the blade chassis—switching that adds latency. Our latency is deterministic, so you get consistent network performance for the data platform, and you don’t have to worry about network constraints on workload placement. This single-hop architecture accelerates east-west traffic so that the cluster—and your databases and applications—perform better.

High data availability

The system stripes and replicates data across nodes based on policies that you set to meet your data availability requirements. You can even replicate data to local or remote clusters for backup or disaster-recovery purposes. How reliable is it? In the unlikely event of a failure, systems configured with five nodes or more can keep running even if all drives fail on two nodes simultaneously. And, the cluster can nurse itself back to health. In the event of a drive or node failure, lost data is regenerated using the redundancy mechanisms built into the system. When complete, the system can sustain further failures. That’s a deployment you can count on.

Proven results

Our distributed architecture allows every virtual machine (VM) to use the storage I/O operations per second (IOPS) and the capacity of the entire cluster, regardless of the physical location of the VM. Why does this matter? Microsoft SQL Server VMs frequently need higher performance to handle bursts of application or user activity. When VMs can access all of the resources in the cluster, performance skyrockets.

The Enterprise Strategy Group tested HyperFlex hybrid and all-flash systems using HCIBench, a tool that tests the performance of hyperconverged clusters. Baselining and iterative testing results showed that HyperFlex hybrid systems provides:

  • 3x higher VM density
  • 3x reduction in read/write latency
  • 7:1 reduction in IOPS variability

We didn’t just handle more I/O. We handled it faster. While the other platforms delivered average response times ranging from 6.61 ms to 44.45 ms, HyperFlex responded in 2.46 ms. You can read the full report here.

Get started with HyperFlex

On top of all that, HyperFlex systems are easy to deploy, manage, and scale. With our HyperFlex sizing tools, you can determine which configuration is the right starting point of your workload. You can also take the risk and guesswork out of deployment with our Cisco® Validated Design guide for deploying Microsoft SQL Server Database on Cisco HyperFlex all-flash systems.

IT support for data center operations

HyperFlex Multicloud Platform is ready for any app, on any cloud, at any scale

HyperFlex Multicloud Platform is built on 3.0 HX Data Platform innovations, introducing Microsoft Hyper-V support, container support, increased cluster scale with logical availability zones, and stretch clusters for high availability. HyperFlex Multicloud Services enable any application tier to be deployed, monitored and managed anywhere.


Stop by the HyperFlex Café at the Data Center booth and get a Demo Latte. Talk to our technical team for in-depth demos of the new capabilities and mark your calendar for the HyperFlex sessions described below.




HyperFlex Sessions at Cisco Live Barcelona:

Deep dive into multicloud innovations with Cisco HyperFlex

Speaker: Aniket Patankar, Senior Product Manager, Cisco

Discover the new HyperFlex HX 3.0 Data Platform features including mulitcloud services, Microsoft Hyper-V support, advanced data protection capabilities, container support, and increased scale. Learn how this new platform’s innovations extend operational simplicity to any application, on any cloud, at any scale.

Tuesday, Jan 30, 04:45 p.m. – 06:15 p.m. |  Register

Enabling A Multicloud World

Speakers: Liz Centoni, SVP/GM Computing Systems, Cisco & Kip Compton, Vice President, Cisco

Learn Cisco’s cloud strategy, how Cisco and our partners can help customers address complexity across a multicloud environment, and how HyperFlex is ready to deploy all your apps in a multicloud environment.

Wednesday, Jan 31, 12:20 p.m. – 01:00 p.m. | More details

The next Cisco HyperFlex release goes multicloud ready

Speaker: Darren Williams, EMEAR HyperFlex Leader, Cisco

Covering new features of the HyperFlex Multicloud Platform including Hyper-V support, logical availability zones, stretch clusters, HyperFlex Container Appliance, and increased scale. In addition, a panel of customers will share how they are using HyperFlex today.

Wednesday, Jan 31, 01:15 p.m. – 02:15 p.m | Register


We’ve just highlighted a few, additional Cisco HyperFlex sessions are available here.

Not going to Barcelona? Don’t despair. You can still catch up on HyperFlex’s new capabilities by attending our TechWise TV webinar: Accelerating Multicloud IT with the New Cisco HyperFlex  on February 28th.

But if you’re going don’t wait, register for these sessions now and visit us at the Data Center booth where you’ll also be able to catch 10 min deep-dive sessions on HyperFlex in our Education Zone Mini theater.

See you in Barcelona – Hasta pronto en Barcelona