Well, it’s that time again… 2017 has come and gone, and sometimes I just don’t know where all the time went and what I was able to accomplish.

I’m happy to say that for the 2nd year in a row I’m part of a great group of people in the IT industry, those of us pushing the value of Nutanix and their simple, effective and scalable HyperConverged solutions.

Pretty cool in the large world of IT, to be a part of this small group of folks in the #NutanixNTC family, and especially joined by another eGroup Member, Dave Strum (http://vthistle.com) on this journey.

Thank you Nutanix for giving us an amazing platform to help our customers along on their journey, and I cannot wait what’s in store for 2018!

To read the full post about the 2018 Nutanix Technology Champions, follow the link below.

http://next.nutanix.com/t5/Nutanix-Connect-Blog/Welcome-to-the-2018-Nutanix-Technology-Champions-NTC/ba-p/26328

Cisco seems to be having a rough go of it lately with bugs that have a time bomb for certain hardware and software.  Following up on the Signal Component issues –  that plagued a large number of product lines (And in Cisco’s defense affected more than just Cisco – other vendors are affetected).  I’m still waiting to find out when my Meraki MX84 will be replaced on that one 🙂

Yesterday, Cisco released another Field Notice as well as a blog post, this time affecting a good number of ASA code versions dating back to 9.1.x, and certain FirePower versions.  The Field Notice states that all appliances are affected, so this is not a hardware issue like the Signal Component, but a software bug.    After around ~ +213 days, the appliance will just start to stop passing network traffic.

No workarounds listed (Cisco has stated updated versions will be available in the coming weeks), other than to perform a planned reload of the ASA or FTD appliance.  So plan accordingly for a reboot so you don’t get stuck in a unexpected outage situation.

To find out how long your appliance has been online, run the command show version | grep up.

Here’s the table that lists the affected ASA code versions.  The Field Notice is also assocated to Bug CSCvd78303 from Cisco.

Products Affected
CISCO FIREPOWER 6.1.0.1
CISCO FIREPOWER 6.1.0.2
CISCO FIREPOWER 6.2.0
ASA 9.1.7.11
ASA 9.1.7.12
ASA 9.1.7.13
ASA 9.1.7.15
ASA 9.1.7.9
ASA 9.2.4.15
ASA 9.2.4.17
ASA 9.2.4.18
ASA 9.4.3.11
ASA 9.4.3.12
ASA 9.4.3.6
ASA 9.4.3.8
ASA 9.4.4
ASA 9.4.4.2
ASA 9.5.3
ASA 9.5.3.1
ASA 9.5.3.2
ASA 9.5.3.6
ASA 9.6.2.1
ASA 9.6.2.11
ASA 9.6.2.13
ASA 9.6.2.2
ASA 9.6.2.3
ASA 9.6.2.4
ASA 9.6.2.7
ASA 9.6.3
ASA 9.7.1
ASA 9.7.1.2

eGroup – Together, We make IT happen.  Our slogan, our tagline.  IT is what we do, together.  From our Operations team, to Inside Sales, to Sales, to Pre-Sales, to Delivery.  We do IT, and together.

We announced today that eGroup has been named to CRN Tech Elite 250 list for 2017, which “honors an exclusive group of North American IT solution providers that have earned the highest number of advanced technical certifications from leading technology vendors, scaled to their company size”.  Read the full press release here.

It’s amazing to work at a place that focuses on the team, and making sure that from project to project, customer to customer, our strategy, customer focus and delivery revolves around the team.  Whether its part of our Microsoft strategy, Data Center and Hyperconverged strategy, or our Managed Services

So to my eGroup co-workers, thank you for bringing your A games every day to work!

To the guys on the Data Center Architecture team (Pete, Dave, Joe, Adam and Steven), let’s keep raising the bar, bringing amazing solutions and results to our customers.

tech_elite_250_2017 2

Back in November 2015 I wrote a post about FEX Topologies with the Cisco Nexus platforms, and at the time the Nexus 5K/6K line was the only model that would support the active/active FEX topology (FEX-AA), which was unfortunate in designing redundant connectivity for downstream devices.

But with the release of NX-OS code 7.2 and above, we now get FEX-AA support on the 7000 and 7700 series switches!

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Continuing our journey with testing out Nutanix AHV functionality for one of our partners, one of things we wanted to get deployed was Prism Central.    Prism Central is very similar to VMware’s vCenter, defining Prism Central as  “software provides centralized infrastrcuture management, one-click simplicity and intelligence for everyday operations.”

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As I wrote about in the last post that started our journey with Nutanix and Mellanox, we will be testing AHV DR replication for one of our partners while evaluating the use of the Mellanox SX switch platform for a lower cost 10/40Gbe switch.

The NX-1050 Block was pre-configured at another location, so all network subnets will be recreated in this lab. The NX-3050 block is net new, and that will be configured onsite.

This post will serve as the initial setup of the lab testing environment and topology.

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I’ve been given the opportunity to do some testing with 2 Nutanix blocks and a Mellanox SX1012 switch for one of our customers, who is looking to do some disruptive changes to the platform they deploy their software onto.

Background

Currently, we partner with this customer to do your typical 3-Tier infrastructure deployments with EMC VNX/VNXe for Storage, Cisco Catalyst and Nexus for switching, Cisco UCS or HP for compute and VMware vSphere for the hypervisor. While this solution has worked very well over the years, when we approached this partner a few years ago with Nutanix, the interest was there but the justification was hard to come by.

Fast forward to this year, we were able to get our partner out to the Nutanix .Next conference for an executive briefing and generate some more internal interest.

To say we were successful is an understatement! By the time we had gotten over our jetlag coming home, it was how fast can we get a POC box onsite to test with. We got a box into their hands, a nice 4 node NX-1050 model, I headed out to California, did the install and gave them the keys and let them start testing – all on Nutanix’s Acropolis Hypervisor (AHV).

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