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To help prepare customers' data center infrastructures for cloud services, Cisco is preparing to implement the Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP).
LISP breaks the connection between the identity of a user of a workload and that user's location, making it possible to move workloads regardless of where the user is located, Sultan said. For instance, in follow-the-Sun applications which move from data center to data center over the course of a day, LISP will allow a workload to move while maintaining the same IP address so that users can find it wherever it is, he said. LISP also enables workloads to move to and from the cloud without breaking the IP address, he said.
For its Catalyst 6500 storage switches, Cisco is introducing several new modules including new ACE-30 for dynamic workload balancing, the ASA Service Module firewall appliance, and the ES-50 module with the DCI (Data Center Interconnect) interconnect to allow 40-Gbit bandwidth between two 6500s, Sultan said.
On the server side, Cisco is upgrading its Cisco UCS (Unified Computing System), which combines networking, blade servers, storage, core switching, routing, security, and voice over IP (VoIP) into a single architecture.
The company introduced a new blade server, the UCS C260 M2, which features two sockets for the Intel Westmere-EX processors, up to 1 TB of memory, and up to 16 SSDs or hard drives totaling up to 9.6 TBs of storage capacity. The UCS C260 M2 is targeted at OLTP (online transaction processing) and data warehousing applications, Sultan said.
Cisco is also updating its UCS C460 M2, UCS B440 M2, and UCS B230 M2 servers with the Westmere-EX processors.
For solution providers, Cisco is offering new promotions and enhancing its channel program to go with the new unified data center offerings, said Dave Gronner, senior manager of worldwide channels for data center technologies at Cisco.
In the second half of 2011, Cisco plans to offer a new data center and cloud accelerator promotion which provides solution providers additional backend rebates on incremental deals, Gronner said. The company will also increase the backend rebate for incremental data center solutions sold into registered deals. Gronner declined to specify the amount of the additional rebates.
Cisco also introduced a new remote data center and virtualization lab that allows channel partners to log in with customers to play with and demonstrate the new solutions, Gronner said.
"Not every partner can restructure its own labs for a new demo," he said. "Partners can run their own labs. But we're giving them the benefit of a large environment which they don't need to run on their own."
Cisco is also providing its partners with new tools to do data center assessments for customers. These tools, which go beyond those which Cisco has offered for years for network assessments, let solution providers to do an inventory analysis of data center equipment and identify potential issues related to latency, gaps, or CPUs, Gronner said.
"These assessments are one of the most powerful ways for partners to identify issues and help customers solve them," he said.
Finally, Cisco is introducing complete data center marketing campaigns that partners can use, Gronner said. These "campaigns-in-a-box" include all the collateral solution providers need to develop their campaigns, and within the next two months will encompass all the new products released unveiled on Wednesday, he said.