Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > SP360: Service Provider

The Programmable Network: IP and Optical Convergence

Someday soon, personal sensors, wearable gadgets, and embedded devices and services may make today’s PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones look quaint by comparison. But as the Internet of Everything­ (IoE) ─ with its diverse array of devices accessing a plethora of existing and new services ─ continues to rapidly evolve, user friendly interfaces mask growing complexity within networks. An article on today’s digital designers in the September 2013 issue of Wired captured how the focus is now “creating not products or interfaces but experiences, a million invisible transactions” and that “even as our devices have individually gotten simpler, the cumulative complexity of all of them is increasing.”

Which inevitably takes us behind the curtain to the exciting challenge of building hyper-efficient programmable networks using virtualization, the cloud, Software Defined Networking (SDN), and other technologies, architectures, and standards.

So far, this blog series on The Programmable Network has described various new and exciting capabilities leading to greater efficiencies and cost benefits. We’ve shared with you how you can now:

  • Visualize and control traffic using path computation via a network controller
  • Monitor and optimize traffic flows across network connections
  • Order services through an easy-to-use online portal which then launches automated service creation tasks

These capabilities are all Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

The Fifth Step to Enterprise Mobility: Defending Your Data

This is the fifth post in a blog series featuring Vine-format videos focusing on the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility”. The first blog post discussing how to build a mobile structure can be found here. The second blog post highlighting the benefits going virtual can be found here. The third blog post focused on preparing enterprises for the division of devices can be found here. The fourth blog post focused on creating an app checkpoint can be found here

In a 2012 survey of IT executives and CEOs, nearly half of the companies that permit mobility and BYOD reported experiencing a data or security breach as a result of an employee-owned device accessing the corporate network. In addition, security concerns continue to remain a key issue for decision makers looking to deploy additional mobile solutions such as enterprise mobile apps, according to a recent article from IT Pro.

Careful planning can help enterprises manage security concerns and harness the power of mobility. Here’s a brief checklist to help organizations secure devices, data and the network:

Watch the video: http://youtu.be/k8ytncvjE7M

Watch the video: http://youtu.be/k8ytncvjE7M

1. IT Pushing of Capability Down to End Devices

 IT needs to be able to push capabilities down to end devices and access control for both on-premises and off-premises apps, while providing pull capabilities for users, so they can self-provision apps.

IT must have the ability to apply situational control policies (for example, for disabling cameras on mobile devices in order to protect on-premises company assets when employees and guests are on corporate premises or in restricted areas). Another must have? The ability to remotely locate, lock, and wipe devices should there be a theft or if an employee leaves the company. It is also essential to be able to automate geo-specific policies to control roaming costs when workers are out of country. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Trick Question: Have You Registered for the Internet of Things World Forum?

IoTWF for blog smallAs you may have heard, Cisco is hosting the inaugural Internet of Things World Forum, October 29-31 in Barcelona.  The goal of the IoT World Forum is to gather the best and brightest thinkers, doers, and innovators from business, government, and academia together to accelerate the Internet of Things.  At the end of the conference, participants will walk away with an enhanced understanding of what they can do to advance the Internet of Things, as well as strategies for maximizing its benefits—both for their organizations and the industry as a whole.

If you’re one of those thinkers, innovators, or doers and would like to attend, please check out the handy list of steps below to register. Registering for the IoT World Forum is actually a two-step process.  Nominations and Registration.  I detail both, below.  Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Storage Distance by Protocol, Part III – Fibre Channel

September 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm PST

In the previous article we looked at some of the physical characteristics of building a SAN extension. In other words, we looked at the different ways there are to “build the pipe.” We didn’t, however, get the chance to talk about the speed or capacity of the pipes, nor did we talk about the various methods to fill the pipe with SAN data.

In this article, we’re going to look at the first of four specific methods of how we can extend SANs across distances using those pipes: “Native” Fibre Channel (FC). Understanding how FC works becomes critical for understanding how distance solutions are resolved using the technology, and that in turn leads us to understand how something like Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) differs.

Afterwards, we’ll take a brief look at how the pieces fit together and are part of the process for building a strong solution. Read More »

Tags: , , , ,

Blade Server TCO and Architecture – You Cannot Separate Them

September 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm PST

I have heard this a lot over the years, in one way or another – “The only price that really counts is what I actually pay for my server.” 

Alright, so why bother with a TCO analysis?  The truth is that server acquisition costs only contribute 20% (or less) to a 3 year server TCO.  Management and other OpEx costs contribute the remaining 80%.  If you go to 5 years, the acquisition cost starts to fade into obscurity.

There are a number of studies you can find online that call out server acquisition cost at 15% to 17% of TCO, or even less.  One is an Information Week report that quotes a 2007 IDC study.  The Information Week article is very good, with multiple sources and definitely worth a read.  Since 2007 there have been myriad improvements in processor performance, as well as, server and architectural innovations (Cisco UCS).  All of these supply ample rationale for a low CapEx component for Server / Data Center Total Cost of Ownership, see the figures below.  

[The WW Server Related Spend… chart is from IDC, “New Econmoinc Model of the Datacenter”; IDC 2011]  [Only the graph is from the cited source, the table is my analysis of the numbers presented by the graph.]

WW Server Spend & Mgmt

Summary of the figures above:

  • Server purchase spend and associated power & cooling spending is flat (red and green bands above)
  • Physical server management cost is the down (blue aband bove)
  • Virtual server management cost are way up and increasing (orange band above)

  Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,