Saturday, July 31, 2010

3D Quick View - Cisco UCS Rack Servers C250 and C460

Here's a 3D quick view video of the Cisco UCS C Series systems (Rack servers) for the higher end, high performance models: UCS C250 and UCS 460.

Note: they are best viewed in full screen and HD mode

You can also access the 3D model from the Cisco Product Page.

Monday, July 26, 2010

3D Quick View - Cisco Nexus 5020

I decided to create a few videos with 3D models of some Data Center 3.0 Architecture components. To start, the Data Center Access layer (i.e. where servers connect to), here's a quick silent video on the Cisco Nexus 5020 Unified Fabric Data Center Switch.

Note: Best seen in HD mode, and full screen

The Nexus 5000 comes in two flavors: 5010 and 5020. The Nexus 5010 has 20 embedded line-rate 10 GigE FCoE capable ports for server connectivity; the Nexus 5020 has 40 of those ports. They also have one or two expansion modules, respectively, that can be used for Fibre Channel ports to connect to a SAN.

The Nexus 5000 family is also capable of having the Nexus 2000 associated to it, to add 1 GigE ports for legacy server connectivity. That combination makes it an ideal design for datacenter access looking for a single management point, user defined oversubscription (or line-rate) access layer, and Unified Fabric support.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Linux Journey: The beggining

I decided to start playing around with Linux after so many years that I don't touch a Linux distribution. The goal is not to play just to play, but more importantly participate and contribute to the community. I also decided to document some of my random thoughts in the form of a blog post here.

Everything started with the selection of the distribution. I thought of starting with the 3 big names: Fedora, Ubuntu, OpenSuse. I used to run Redhat (when it was free, before Fedora) and Suse (before Novell). I heard Ubuntu became very popular and I did some research and found out it is the most downloaded distribution according to the dedicated distrowatch website. Debian was only for hard-core Linux users, and Mandrake disapeared somewhere in the French riviera.

After a few tests and some research, I decided to stick with the Fedora Project and become a contributor. These are some of the reasons:

Non-Technical Reasons

  • Fedora Project is a global partnership of free software community members, sponsored by the world largest Linux vendor: Redhat
  • It's fundamental and core values are "Freedom, Friends, Features, First"; which I like and agree with. Especially "First".
  • It has two projects that I want, can, and will work with: Fedora Marketing sub-project, and I will explore the Cloud Special Interest Group (SIG)
  • Fedora has the best documentation available and wiki system, by far
  • It is the second most downloaded (therefore used?) distribution today; so it is defintely a top distro
I tested a few distributions via the live USB option.
  • The Fedora Linux USB Live version boots considerably faster than any other
  • I experienced a small hicup with data persistency on the USB Live version, but that was after I installed a bunch of new packages. I currently run without persistency and I do not install anything on it.
  • The Live version does not include too many useless packages for me, such as OpenOffice. Just the right ones for the "thin client" or "netbook" type
  • YUM is an awesome package installer system; very easy to use
  • There are plenty of RPMs to choose from.
Finally, if you are still wondering, you can download and use Fedora Core from here

Friday, July 16, 2010

Data Center Innovation - No more oversubscription

Oversubscription in a network is not bad, it is healthy. Best practices show that a 1:20 and a 1:4 oversubscription level is acceptable at the user campus and server access, respectively. These are based on theoretical and empiric values, that produce best practices documentations and design guides - for more information go to Cisco's Design Zone for examples on these documents.

The Data Center is getting a lot of attention when it comes to R&D and innovation lately. I'd say it started getting hot again with the new trends in cloud computing and unified "X" (i.e. Unified Fabric, Unified Compute, etc) early 2009. The latest: FabricPath technology to aggregate multiple switches and eliminate oversubscription when needed.

FabricPath is a set of capabilities in the Cisco Nexus platform that combines simplicity of Ethernet with the reliability and scalability of Layer 3 routing.

Using FabricPath you can build highly scalable Layer 2 multipath networks without Spanning Tree Protocol. When deployed across multiple Nexus chassis, FabricPath creates a flat data center switching fabric with high switching capacity, cross-sectional bandwidth, and low predictable latency.

The FabricPath Switching System improves business agility through workload flexibility and delivers operational efficiencies through network simplification, provisioning, and reduced power needs. Such networks are particularly suitable for large virtualization deployments, private clouds, and high-performance computing (HPC) environments.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Noise is bad

Surfing through GoodReads (one of my new favorite destinations) I bumped into a great blog post by Janalyn Voigt about page margins.

It's worth reading it, and realizing that ads are filling our online lives with noise.... think about the Bing TV commercial: "Los Liiiiink!!! No!!! "