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Cisco Live UK: Day 2, Part 1

Day 2 at Cisco Live UK is rapidly underway!

It has been quite an exciting day, and it started with me traveling on a  red double-decker red bus and then on  ‘the tube’ – well, we are in London!

Cisco Keynote

Cisco’s CTO Padmasree Warrior delivered her keynote speech, “Zero to Zetta,” on the macro industry trends driving the industry today. She discussed many of today’s hottest IT topics, from the relentless explosion of devices and content on the Internet, the rapid ascent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), to the new models of consumption of cloud computing. Within this backdrop, she talked about Cisco’s unique architectural approach to innovation and its focus on building the Intelligent Network to optimize the infrastructure in light of the changes facing the industry today.

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Know It, Use It, Sell It: One VAR’s Journey with Cisco HCS

Would you buy a car from a dealership where none of the salesmen knew how to drive? Or order prime rib at a restaurant where the chef was a strict vegetarian? What about when it comes to your customer’s network? Are you willing to risk installing products that you don’t have firsthand experience with? I’m guessing the answer is “no.”

When making purchases, big or small, customers want to have confidence that the company they partner with has in-depth knowledge and can stand behind the products they sell. Consider Amy Smith, Director of Collaboration at Nexus IS and a Cisco Gold Certified Partner. She’s committed to live by her company’s marketing motto: “Know it, use it, sell it.”

This was the case when Nexus IS decided to add Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) — an offering that allows partners to provide a wide range of Cisco collaboration applications to their customers as a subscriber-based service—to its portfolio. Their first step was to go the wholesale route and participate in Neutral Tandem’s proof-of-concept trial. This was an easy decision, since Nexus IS always tests new products on its own network before installing them on a customer’s network. It’s all about fully understanding, embracing, and discovering best practices of a product before offering it for sale.

Think HCS would be a great addition to your list of offerings?
Learn about Nexus IS’ trial experience and why the timing is right for the HCS market. Read More »

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Ever wondered what the key barrier is to telework?

Telework is increasingly becoming a topic of interest, especially with Obama signing of the Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 one year ago, almost to the week. So if everyone is talking about it, why isn’t adoption more widespread?  Especially when the benefits of telework are vast and well known – from happier, healthier employees, to overhead cost savings for companies to greener business practices and cutting carbon emissions by taking drivers off the road. For example, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), General Services Administration (GSA), and 7 other sources, if 33 million Americans worked from home, Gulf oil imports could be reduced by 24% to 48%, greenhouse gases by up to 67 million metric tons a year, and as much as 7.5 trillion gallons of gasoline each year, for a total of $110 million in savings a day. Even government agencies, that have mandatory telework requirements to meet as a result of the Telework Enhancement Act, haven’t embraced it to the extent expected. What is standing in the way? 

Next week, we will release our latest whitepaper “Video at the Core of Government Telework.” This white paper, intended for executives planning telework strategies, highlights new findings on telework barriers and how to overcome these to make the most of the essential role of telepresence, for engaging and managing a remote government workforce. You won’t want to miss it. We will be giving our Facebook fans a sneak preview, so stay tuned.

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Managing Data Center Assets

Its hard to believe that almost an entire month has gone by since the beginning of the year.  The year has been off to a great start for Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) now serving 10,000 customers.  Reaching the 10,000-customer milestone is an achievement for relatively new and innovative platform.

Generally asset management implies financial management but this discussion is focused on operational management of the data center components. Typically, in Data Centers, different teams manage servers, networks and storage.  These teams have cursory knowledge of each other’s domains.  This organizational structure hinders data centers from obtaining higher efficiencies and agility.  Data Center Management tools that allow automated workflows with enforcement of policies set by domain experts reduce time needed to effect changes and hence increase agility.   Unified server, network and storage infrastructures with proper management capabilities improve overall efficiency, reduce data center complexity and promote better resource utilization.  With Unified infrastructures the server management teams can make informed decisions on application workload placement based on their visibility into the network setup and policies set by the Network domain experts.  For example, a server administrator could place more sensitive applications on servers that are connected to very secure network segments, or place bandwidth hungry applications on network segments with spare capacity.  If network managers need to move network segment capacity around they would need the equivalent of network hypervisors.  These decisions which affect multiple domains could be manually executed or orchestrated with systems management tools.  The crowning glory would be for the end customer of the IT service to request infrastructure services from a catalog and get access to it instantaneously.  A Forrester Research paper that Cisco sponsored even shows a maturity model for service orchestration within a data center.  Where do you think your organization is on this maturity model?

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Cisco, NetApp & FlexPod – The Momentum Continues at Cisco Live Europe

by John Rollason, Senior Manager Product, Solutions & Alliances EMEA, NetApp

For many years the server market was dominated by the likes of IBM, HP/Compaq, Fujitsu, Dell, Sun and characterised by small market share shifts. True the market changed as rack and blade servers became popular, but most of the players recognized the shift and adapted.  Then Server Virtualisation technologies changed the market and Cisco disrupted it completely with the launch of the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) in 2009. Today Cisco’s vision for server virtualization has been proven successful with more than 10,000 UCS customers and 54 UCS world record results. Customers obviously see the advantage!

Cisco’s innovation, vision and leadership are an ideal match with NetApp, a recognized leader and innovative in the storage industry. Over more than a decade of collaboration our companies have achieved a number of milestones including first native FCoE SAN storage solutions and first certified end-to-end FCoE solution for VMware environments.

Just over a year ago NetApp and Cisco introduced FlexPod, a pre-designed, pre-tested and validated Data Centre cloud solution built on modular and unified architecture composed of Cisco UCS servers, Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp unified storage systems running Data ONTAP. FlexPod components are integrated and standardized to help you eliminate the guesswork and achieve timely, repeatable, consistent deployments. FlexPod has also been optimized with a variety of mixed application workloads and design configurations in various environments such as virtual desktop infrastructure and secure multi-tenancy environments.

Today more than 500 customers across 33 countries are seeing the benefits of Cisco UCS + NetApp. In fact, I”ve blogged about European FlexPod customers including Accenture, Börse Stuttgart, Computacenter, Terremark, Guiness Partnership, Loughborough University, and many more.

This week at Cisco Live London 2012 you’ll have the opportunity to hear directly from several organizations transforming their infrastructures and businesses on FlexPod and talk with variety of partners activity selling and developing solutions built on FlexPod.  NetApp is a Platinum sponsor of Cisco Live and I’ll be at NetApp Stand P1 with the rest of the team for the 4th year. Highlights include:

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