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A Word Of Thanks

I rarely blog, and when I do it’s almost always about an event, rather than a person. This entry is an exception in no small part to draw attention to a seminal moment, and an illustrious career of someone who is finishing one chapter and about to start another.

On March 9, 2012, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) announced its top cybersecurity leader would retire at month’s end. Shawn Henry, the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director (EAD), has been at the forefront of the FBI’s response to cybersecurity crimes and investigations for the past several years, albeit his career at the FBI spans multiple decades and his responsibilities are broader than just cyber.

EAD Henry helped establish the National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force (NCIJTF) to mitigate and disrupt cyber attacks threatening national security in the US as well as other countries. He was instrumental in restructuring the Bureau’s cyber strategy and investigative programs, and recognized that his work in the United States alone would not be enough. He and his team reached out to national law enforcement agencies in Amsterdam, Romania and Estonia to make the necessary differences in those regions.

I was fortunate to work with EAD Henry during my time as a commissioner on the CSIS Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency, at the National Cybersecurity Forensics Training Alliance (NCFTA), as well as on strategies and discussions to determine how we can make the Internet safer for all users.

As a leader, EAD Henry was quick to credit his team and not ever seek credit for himself. He built a bench at the Bureau that will carry the hard work into tomorrow. His influence spanned the public-private and law enforcement communities in the US and abroad, even if the mission was challenging.

The sacrifices he and his family made during his tenure were non-trivial; we all owe him, his family, and the women and men at the Bureau a debt of gratitude for their hard work. His understanding of the threat landscape, his passion and accomplishments, and his commitment to making the world a safer place has made him a hero to me – and one that will be missed at the FBI. That’s ok, though. He leaves a great team in place to take their next step, and he will be in the private sector still fighting the good fight, just from a different angle. And that’s good, because we need him to.

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ANZ Private & ANZ Trustees rely on Cisco TelePresence to deliver private banking expertise around Australia

In today’s busy age, the hour long appointment with the bank is increasingly a relic of the past. Keen to reduce time and distance, not service, one of Australia’s top banks, ANZ Private & ANZ Trustees launched Wealth Presence at Cisco Live Melbourne yesterday. A life-like video meeting experience, Wealth Presence is aimed at the private banking market.   

As banks become more competitive with one another and their clientele becomes more geographically dispersed, there is an imperative to find ways of building a

In today’s busy age, the hour long appointment with the bank is increasingly a relic of the past. Keen to reduce time and distance, not service, one of Australia’s top banks, ANZ Private & ANZ Trustees launched Wealth Presence at Cisco Live Melbourne yesterday. A life-like video meeting experience, Wealth Presence is aimed at the private banking market.  

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Consumer Devices Changing the Public Sector Workspace

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement is taking hold in workplaces around the world, but some of my recent reading has led me to explore more deeply the impact of this trend on communication and security in the public sector.

An article in Forbes summed it up well: people rely more and more on smaller, mobile gadgets, and they’re using these devices to support telepresence and other collaboration tools to conduct work-related business. Though this embrace of BYOD (also called consumerization) means more flexibility to work from anywhere, more accessibility to coworkers and supervisors, and more opportunities for collaboration, it raises security concerns.

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GPON in the Campus Network – A Misuse of Perfectly Good Technology?

What’s wrong with running my campus network on Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology you ask?

Let me count the ways!

I was just reading a White Paper by Nick Lippis of the Lippis Report entitled, “GPON vs Gigabit Ethernet in Campus Networking” that lays out the issues pretty well in my opinion, and concludes up front that GPON is “suited to niche applications” and that “many GPON assertions and claims are overstated.”

Nick does a nice job of contrasting the two approaches, a last mile SP technology (GPON) that might be a good choice for the home & kids, with a Highly Available Ethernet Design that should be used to run a real business.

I’ll leave it to you to read the details, but he covers facts on all the key areas from power consumption and cabling costs to network scaling, single points of failure, and troubleshooting capabilites.

All this adds up to GPON being a poor choice in the Campus when you look at the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) even though the initial acquisition costs might be lower for the hardware itself.  When you look under the covers, the real price is quite high for GPON in terms of a “lack of flexibility, greater power consumption (certainly not green), limited network capacity, upgrades are system-wide events, troubleshooting tools and skilled technicians are limited and lacking, and multiple single points of failure exist.”

He goes on to say, with the Ethernet market being tens of billions of dollars, research and development is assured while competition privdes the motivation for innovation and feature enhancement.  An Ethernet campus network is a safe investment.

Caveat emptor!

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Introducing Data Center Virtual Symposia [updated]

After, chatting with other cohorts in the industry (namely Greg Ferro aka Ethereal Mind and of PacketPushers fame, Stephen Foskett of Tech Field Day fame and also writer of his own blog, and Ivan Pepelnjak who, amongst other things, writes an excellent blog on networking topics), its clear that trying to stay up to speed with all the various happenings in going on in the data center is pretty near impossible because of the sheer volume of information and the signal-to-noise radio that sometimes gets out of hand.  While all of us, in our own little ways are doing our piece to help address this through blogging, white papers, seminars and the like, we wanted to try something a little different to really dig into some of the more complex topics and came up with the concept of Virtual Symposiums:

  • Focused discussion on a single topic
  • Panel discussion with industry experts (or at least folks that believe themselves to be experts)
  • Focus on helping attendees understand the “how” and “why” of different technologies as opposed to advocating a particular perspective
  • Interactive, open to audience interaction–the goal is to get your questions answered

Our first symposium, next Tuesday, is going to cover  storage convergence.  Joining our panel for this discussion, we are lucky to have J Metz (@drjmetz) joining us to lend his FCoE and storage expertise. We will also get joined by special guest Stu Miniman (@stu), Principal Analyst from Wikibon who also brings perspectives shaped by over a decade in the storage market. We are going to spend approxiamtely the first half of the symposium discussing the storage options out their: FC, FCoE, and iSCSI and when we think each one makes sense (or not). As I noted above, the goal is to not push a particular technology agenda, but to educate you, and let you make your own decisions.  The balance of the session is open for Q&A–we will cove some of the common questions that we see all the time, but we expect you, the audience, to drive a lot of the discussion.

So, mark you calendar and join us–if you are familiar with this crew, you know it will be both educational and entertaining.

This particular session will be delivered via WebEx on Tuesday, March 27 from 9am-12pm Pacific Time.  The link to participate is and the password is “cisco”. There is no pre-registration necessary.

For subsequent symposia, we are looking other meaty topics like VM networking, data center interconnect and we are not done with storage yet.


Here is the replay link for folks that miss the live session: