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Video Usage & Young Executives: A Survey of Tomorrow’s Leaders

Gen Y has been a new breed of worker that transformed the business world from the moment they stepped through the door (in Converse and jeans, to boot).  They are idealistic and digitally savvy; they value meaningful work and social media freedom; they’re hungry for interaction and thirsty for acknowledgment.

Fast forward to 2013 … Gen Yers are rising through the ranks and entering into management roles. They are poised to transform the business world yet again, but this time they’ll be making changes from the top and leading the workplace with collaboration and mobile technologies that have already proven integral to their daily lives.

As a collaboration connoisseur myself, I was excited to check out the results of a survey Cisco released today about one of the primary tech tools young executives will use to lead their organizations – business-class video. Some of the notable findings from The “2013 Cisco Global Young Executives’ Video Attitudes”survey are:

Video Usage and Young Executives: a survey of tomorrow's leaders- Three out of five management-track Gen Y leaders will rely more heavily on business-class video during the next five-10 years.

- 87 percent of respondents stated that a company’s video investment would significantly impact their decision when considering job offers.

- 94 percent of those organizations with less than 400 employees value video as a way to break down language barriers in the increasingly global marketplace

 

This doesn’t surprise me at all Read More »

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Will your Citrix XenApp infrastructure perform for thousands of mobile users?

The number of mobile devices in our companies are exploding  -- and one of the fastest and best ways to deliver all those existing Windows-based apps to these devices is using app virtualization. At the same time many of you are probably thinking about upgrading and expanding your Citrix XenApp deployment to Citrix XA 6.5 or XD 7 in any case.

But can your Citrix XenApp infrastructure support this upgrade and all these new users? When customers started asking us these questions we decided we needed to check it out. So we asked Principled Technologies  to look at helping us test out how well our Cisco UCS architecture with Cisco UCS VM-FEX would cope with these stresses.

Here’s want they found….

  1. With Cisco UCS VM-FEX 29% more responsive Citrix XenApp sessions can be obtained
  2. Under extreme network loads, Cisco UCS VM-FEX enabled Virtual Machine (VM), provided up to 53% more CPU resource optimization, than is possible with a traditional vSwitch

Read More »

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Error Correction Using Response Policy Zones: Eliminating the Problem of Bitsquatting

A memory error is a condition that occurs any time one or more bits being read from memory have changed state from what was previously written.  By even the most conservative of estimates Internet devices experience more than 600,000 memory errors per day.  Cosmic radiation, operating a device outside its recommended environmental conditions, and defects in manufacturing can all cause a “1” in memory to become a “0” or vice-versa.  Most of these bit errors are harmless, but occasionally the bit error occurs inside a domain name or URL, and this can affect where Internet traffic is directed.  The term “bitsquatting”, which refers to the practice of registering a domain name one binary digit different than another, is a term coined after a similar term, “cybersquatting” --the practice of registering an unofficial domain which could be confused for a legitimate one.

For example, the fully qualified domain name “www.cisco.com” could by changing only a single binary digit become the bitsquat domain name “wwwncisco.com”.  In this example, the dot separating the second and third level domain names has experienced a bit error, and changed to become the letter “n”.

Binary representation of a dot versus the character "n"

Binary representation of a dot versus the character “n”

Read More »

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Why I Chose the Open Source Model I did for OpenDaylight

Now that OpenDaylight has arrived, it’s time to explain why I made the Open Source choices eventually embraced by its Founders and the community at large.  One doesn’t often see such leaders as Cisco, IBM, Intel, HP, Juniper, RedHat, VMWare, NEC, Microsoft and others agree, share and collaborate on such key technologies, let alone the latter engaging in a Linux Foundation based community (some thought hell will freeze over before that would ever happen, though it got pretty cold at times last Spring).

For those of you not familiar with OpenDaylight (see “Meet Me On The Equinox”, not a homage to Death Cab for Cutie or my Transylvanian homeland), IBM and Cisco have actually started this with an amazing set of partners, nearly that ephemeral Equinox this year (~11am, March 20th) though we couldn’t quite brag about it until all our partners saw the daylight, which by now, we’re hoping everyone does.  It was hard not to talk about all this as we saw those half baked, speculative stories before the Equinox – amazing how information flew, distorted as it were, but it did; I wish source code would be that “rapid”, we’d all be so much better for it…

The Open Source model for OpenDaylight is simple, it has only two parts: the community is hosted in the Linux Foundation and the license is Eclipse.  The details are neatly captured in a white paper we wrote and published in the Linux Foundation.  Dan Frye, my friend and fellow counterpart at IBM and I came up with the main points after two short meetings.  It would have been one, but when you work for such giants as our parent companies and soon to be OpenDaylight partners, one has to spend a little more time getting everyone to see the daylight.  It boils down to two things, which I am convinced are the quintessential elements of any successful open source project.

1) Community.  Why?  Because it trumps everything: code, money and everything else.  A poor community with great code equals failure (plenty of examples of that).  A great community with poor (or any) code equals success (plenty of examples of that too).  Why? Because open source equals collaboration, of the highest kind: I share with you, and you with me, whatever I have, I contribute my time, my energy, my intellectual property, my reputation, etc.. And ultimately it becomes “ours”.  And the next generation’s.  Open Source is not a technology; it’s a development model.  With more than 10 million open source developers world wide, it happens to be based on collaboration on a scale and diversity that humanity has never experienced before.  Just think about what made this possible and the role some of the OpenDaylight partners have already played in it since the dawn of the Internet.  Dan Frye and I agreed that the Linux Kernel community is the best in the world and so we picked the closest thing to it to model and support ours, the Linux Foundation.

2) Fragmentation, or anti-fragmentation, actually.  Why?  The biggest challenge of any open source project is how to avoid fragmentation (the opposite of collaboration).  Just ask Andy Rubin and the Android guys what they fear the most.  Just ask any open source project’s contributors, copyright holders, or high priests, how much they appreciate an open source parasite that won’t give back.  Though we would have liked to go deeper, we settled on Eclipse, largely because of the actual language and technology we dealt with in the OpenDaylight Controller: most, if not all the initial code is Java, and though some are worried about that, I’m sure Jim Gosling is proud (btw, I’m not sure the Controller has to stay that way, I actually agree with Amin Vahdat), but we had to start somewhere.  Plus having a more friendly language NB (northbound, as in the applications run on top of the Controller) is such a cool thing, we think that the #1 open source (Eclipse) and the #1 commercial (Microsoft) IDE’s are going to be very good to it, so why not?  There are more reasons that pointed in the Eclipse direction, and other reasons for such wonderful alternatives (as APL or MPL, perhaps the subject of another post, some day).  But when it comes to understanding the virtues of them all, no one understands them better than the amazing founders of these license models, most of them from IBM, of course (I wish they did that when I was there).

What happened between the Equinox and Solstice is a fascinating saga within the OpenDaylight community which I think played its course in the spirit of total and complete openness, inclusion, diversity, respect of the individual and the community, and most of all, that code rules – we do believe in running code and community consensus.  I tip my hat to all my fellow colleagues that learned these two things along the way, the enormous talent at the Eclipse and Linux Foundation that helped us launch, and even the analysts who tried (and did incredibly well at times) to speculate the secret reasons why these partners came up with the model we did: there is no secret at all, my friends, we’re simply creating a community that is truly open, diverse, inclusive, and never fragmented.  Just like a big, happy family.  Welcome to OpenDaylight, we hope you’ll stay!

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Cisco UCS in a converged world

August 2, 2013 at 8:40 am PST

071913 MI MissionPeninsula-31-1

After a refreshing summer road trip through the beautiful Michigan Upper Peninsula I am happy to be back at work.  I even got a fresh perspective on the phrase “cherry picking”.

 

 

Henry Moore Nuclear Energy sculptureThe geek in me got to see the “Nuclear Energy” sculpture at site where Enrico Fermi’s Manhattan Project team devised a nuclear reactor to produce the first self-sustaining controlled nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago. ( image from - http://www.chicagobauhausbeyond.org/ )

 

 

While I was away, I missed an interesting webinar on optimizing operations of Cisco Data Center environments with converged infrastructure management. Thanks to video archiving, I was able to review it this week. EMA analyst Jim Frey gave a comprehensive view of data center management using converged infrastructure.  Some key takeaways from my perspective were:

  1. Converged infrastructure will usher in a renewed focus on application performance and service quality.
  2. The need for automated discovery and configuration will become all the more important with converged infrastructure.
  3. The increased interest in converged infrastructure answered my question “Was 2012 year of the converged infrastructure solutions”

It was very interesting to see a customer -- Molina Healthcare -- discuss their journey to a service oriented data center.  The reorganization of the IT department along the lines of service delivery was fascinating.  Like other UCS customers, they had seen quantifiable benefits from the Cisco UCS management capabilities.

  • Speed of deployment improved 50- 75% (down to 1 week from 2-4 weeks)
  • Support costs reduced by 60%.
  • Discernable improvements in reliability and availability of the infrastructure.

As integrated infrastructure gains importance in data centers with physical and virtual environments that support application services, simplified management of these assets becomes very important.  The Cisco UCS management portfolio was recently enhanced with the Cisco UCS Director. It provides unified management of industry-leading integrated infrastructure solutions that Cisco delivers with EMC (VSPEX) Read More »

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