Cisco and EMC VSPEX with Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 4.0

We are honored to host as a guest blogger Rex Backman, from the data center solutions team at Cisco. Rex tells us about the Private Cloud Fast Track solution that Cisco is showing at Ignite.

I am Rex Backman, and I am responsible for Microsoft oriented data center solutions at Cisco. I am glad to have this opportunity to discuss the FastTrack configuration that we are showing at Ignite.

VSPEX with Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 4.0 with Windows Azure Packis a Cisco validated reference configuration (CVD) delivering a virtualized data center in a rack comprised of leading compute (Cisco), network (Cisco), storage (EMC), and infrastructure software components (Cisco, Microsoft). Based on Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 R2, Hyper-V, Windows Azure Pack, and System Center 2012 R2 offerings, VSPEX affords customers a private cloud architecture that supports Windows Azure-like self-service capabilities.

Our Cisco Validated Designs (CVD) program is an important link for us to help our customers effectively, confidently, and efficiently deploy new technologies and solutions. These Cisco Validated Designs provide the foundation for systems design based on common use cases or current engineering system priorities. CVDs incorporate a broad set of technologies, features, and applications to address customer needs. Each one has been comprehensively tested and documented by Cisco Engineers to ensure faster, more reliable, and fully predictable deployment.

For this CVD release we based our design on our prior Fast Track 4.0 VSPEX offering from September 2014 and focused on refreshing our hardware and software bill of material as well as leveraging Microsoft’s emerging Windows Azure Pack. Customers like the self-service capabilities provided by Microsoft Azure, so Microsoft developed the Windows Azure Pack (WAP) to provide a similar self-service capability for private clouds.

WAP is a collection of Windows Azure technologies, available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost for installation into your data center. It runs on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 and, through the use of the Windows Azure technologies, enables you to offer a rich, self-service, multi-tenant cloud, consistent with the public Windows Azure experience.

Figure1. Cisco EMC VSPEX Conceptual Architecture Overview

Figure 1. Cisco EMC VSPEX Conceptual Architecture Overview

As Figure 1 shows, the CVD brings to market new compute options with our UCS M4 series - which includes SMB storage options, refreshed Virtual Interface Cards, as well as introduces the important Nexus 9000 switch family– the basis for our Application Centric Infrastructure architecture.

This solution, with its validated architecture from Cisco and Microsoft, brings to the customer the speed of our UCS servers and Nexus switches as well as sets a foundation for moving forward with increased data center automation facilitated by the Nexus 9000 and its ACI capabilities.

To learn more on our VSPEX program as well as our extensive support for Microsoft technologies and solutions please visit and .

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest bloggers are not necessarily endorsed by Microsoft. The statements made in guest posts may not have been verified by Microsoft.