CiscoLive 2013 concluded last week in Orlando. Some of the sessions are available for viewing at www.ciscolive365.com. One of the keynote addresses featured an AVA 500 robot from irobot (Registration required - Hour and 48 mins into the video). The robot brought a flood of memories from my days as a grad student. I was a student participant in a consortium of companies striving for manufacturing excellence. There was a major push in the 90’s to improve US Manufacturing and the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award was instituted to spur progress. It is now awarded to companies for performance excellence and the 2010 the winner was the parent company of two Texas restaurant chains – Rudys and Mighty fine burgers.
So what has this got to do with Cisco UCS you ask? Large scale data centers are ushering in the industrialization of IT services with standardization and stringent service level agreements. Cisco UCS is the infrastructure platform for delivery of IT Services and has the main ingredients to power service excellence.
Service excellence come about with reduction in variation in the process. Good service principles and practices bring about consistency, reliability and predictability. The slide deck which was a result of work with Forrestor analyst Glenn O’donnell a couple of years ago, gives more details on service orchestration, and the business case to invest in it.
The presentation addresses how orchestration goes beyond automation. The two key points were:
Automation is restricted to a single domain or systems whereas Orchestration encompasses multiple domains.
Orchestration takes into account real time feedback of the system where as automation does not do so.
To give a more concrete example, provisioning of a Cisco UCS server for a service with a script or software program, would be automation. Adding server capacity for the service when 90% of compute capacity is in use, would be orchestration.
Automation of tasks is however the foundation for service orchestration and Cisco UCS excels at it. The Cisco UCS XML API enables automation regardless of user preferences. Since I will be attending Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, TX next week, I expect to meet many Microsoft Powershell users who can now exploit Cisco UCS C-Series PowerTool to manage standalone UCS (needs CIMC v1.5) rack servers. With Cisco UCS PowerTool, users can enjoy the benefits of automation and hence service orchestration in their data centers. If you are attending the conference come by and check out all the Cisco solutions including the Cisco UCS Manager and Cisco UCS PowerTool.
Orlando 2013 being Cisco Live’s largest event yet with over 20000 delegates was where CMX was shown to be a very key part of Cisco’s strategic business solutions offering and was shown right throughout the show from Key note addresses to booth demos, to focussed presentations to whisper suites even to deep customer on to one discussions.
Cisco Chairman & CEO, John Chambers in his keynote address to all the assembled delegates both live and via video link, where he outlined the the vision for tomorrow by exploring new opportunities and the amazing things that can happen when you connect the previously unconnected, demo’ed the key component that CMX plays in delivering enormous insights and business value to the retail industry.
Taking things a little deeper and more specific in the Hospitality Industry, SVP Enterprise Networking Group, Rob Soderbery in his Keynote, demonstrated a very compelling scenario using CMX to deliver incredible guest experience in a hotel. He showed how CMX can recognize the customer on arrival, wake up the hotel app, offer virtual concierge services, enable automatic checkin, navigation to the room, keyless entry and highly targeted offers. Read More »
Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have it.
Off The Top
It’s a holiday week in the United States but that doesn’t mean a full stop for Cisco partner news and updates. For starters, we’ve named a new VP of Worldwide Distribution, Julie Hens.
“A 14-year Cisco veteran, Julie is a familiar face to many of our distribution partners and I’m confident she will be a fantastic leader in this global role thanks to her depth of experience and strong relationships,” says Edison Peres, SVP, Worldwide Channels.
In 1983, Clark W. Griswold and his family embarked on an epic road trip across the country, encountering numerous obstacles on their way to Wally World. The film, National Lampoon’s Vacation, was released during a time when the family road trip was an American staple and exaggeratedly illustrated some of driving’s biggest pain points. From getting lost in not-so-pleasant areas and running out of gas in the middle of the desert, to finally reaching your destination only to find it closed, it is easy to imagine how in today’s world of constant connectivity, these problems could be easily avoided. Cisco is doing its part in laying the groundwork for a fully connected driving experience – bringing the power of the Internet of Everything to the streets.
Working with the Think Global Eco System, including companies like Sude (smart mobility), Urbiotica (sensors) and Citelum (smart lighting), Cisco recently showcased what could be considered one of the smartest streets in the world. The “Connected Boulevard” in Nice, France, the world’s first Internet of Everything (IoE) proof-of-concept for a smart city, showcases what IoE can enable for a connected world and for connected transportation. The project is more than just a street loaded with sensors; the PoC will serve as a blueprint for future deployments, taking the lessons learned from Nice and other innovative cities and sharing this information with other aspiring communities.
Two of the city services will directly affect the driving experience in Nice. The smart circulation technology will tackle city traffic by offering intelligent parking solutions. With about 25 percent of urban traffic caused by those looking for parking, the solutions will significantly reduce the time it currently takes for drivers in Nice to find a parking space. The smart lighting solutions will optimize street lighting intensity based on situational factors. For example, a streetlight will automatically increase the amount of light it provides when motion is detected within its effective range. Conversely, the light will dim when there is no movement.
This type of deployment may not be too far off for a U.S. city also. Already, Cisco is working with Streetline and the cities of San Mateo, CA and San Carlos, CA to tackle smart circulation and smart parking. Citizens and visitors to downtown San Mateo or Laurel Street in San Carlos are able to easily find parking spaces through the use of a free mobile application, which connects to a network of sensors. With the PoC, San Mateo, San Carlos and cities like them will find it easier to adopt smart city technologies and implement them successfully.
Check out this video about the Connected Boulevard project in Nice:
Cisco is not only looking to change transportation from outside the vehicle, but from inside as well. We’re living in times of changing consumer propensities for automotive technology. The Cisco Connected Customer Experience Report on the automotive industry recently showed that consumers are open and willing to adopt these new technologies, from autonomous vehicles or biometric monitoring. In fact, 57% of those surveyed would be likely to ride in a car controlled entirely by technology and does not require a human driver. This “Internet of cars” will create new business models for auto manufacturers and technology companies, and Cisco is able to provide the highly secure core network to enable and optimize new technologies. Cisco seeks to play an instrumental role in connecting vehicles to other vehicles, devices, the cloud and city infrastructures. Through partnerships with companies such as NXP and Cohda Wireless, Cisco is looking to embrace the next wave of innovation with in-car technologies.
The Internet of Everything provides enormous potential for transportation. When a car is connected to the street it is driving on, a host of capabilities could improve safety, traffic congestion, parking and the overall driving experience. Car-to-car and car-to-X communications could be used to avoid accidents, provide rapid assistance for those who need it or optimize routes to avoid traffic jams. Emergency vehicles could connect with streetlights, creating a faster response time to emergencies. These capabilities are not just possible, but inevitable. By “connecting the unconnected,” the morning commute (or the great American family roundtrip) could be safer, quicker and less stressful.
Cisco 819 ISR and HD IP video camera on board one of 34 connected buses at Cisco Live
Last week when Cisco Live attendees hopped on one of 34 connected shuttle buses in Orlando, they saw the Internet of Things (IoT) in action. The buses provided service for a record breaking 20,000 attendees traveling between 17 hotels and the Orange County Convention Center.
Free Wi-Fi kept attendees securely connected from the time they left their hotel until they reached the convention center without losing connectivity. They simply used the same Cisco Live SSID and password on the buses as in the convention center. Greater productivity and an enhanced service for attendees made for a great experience…but, that’s not all.
Video cameras help keep passengers around the world safer and more connected and Cisco Live was no exception. Each connected bus had an on-board Cisco HD IP video camera which sent a live feed to a monitor in the Cisco IoT Pavilion.
More than 50 touchscreen kiosks helped attendees in the convention center track important event information along with the bus schedule and route information.
Beyond keeping attendees connected, there was a lot going on under the hood…literally. The Cisco 819 Integrated Services Router (ISR) did more than just provide passenger Wi-Fi. It enabled high speed voice, video and data communication 24/7 …everywhere! The vibrations of a moving bus, a few spilled beverages, Florida’s high humidity and hot summer temps posed no challenge for the ruggedized 819 ISR that delivers Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications in even the harshest conditions.
Back in the Cisco Connected Transportation booth, a monitor showed live GPS tracking of every bus in the fleet and visually tracked all buses and their location on a color coded interactive map. On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) monitoring captured real-time vehicle telematics such as speed, tire pressure, RPM, engine temperature and fuel efficiency. This data was sent to the 819 ISR which transmitted the information to Davra Networks’ RuBan Suite for visual representation.
Wei Zou and Andy Manuel demonstrate Cisco’s Connected Fleet Management solution at Cisco Live.
Cisco Connected Fleet demo with video feed from buses (left screen) and Davra RuBan software showing GPS location of Cisco Live connected buses and telematics data (right screen).
Additionally, areas around schools, playgrounds and other locations with reduced speed limits can be identified as “safety” areas using geofencing to send warnings or alerts or even take automatic action when a warning is triggered. Managers can be notified immediately when accidents occur or speed thresholds are exceeded. On-board digital signs can display specific messages based on GPS location. The possibilities are nearly endless
The robust solution increases safety and fuel efficiency, reduces operating costs and enhances the passenger experience while helping transit operators comply with industry regulations and government mandates. Cisco’s Connected Fleet Management solution is bringing the IoT to life!
Wishing all of you in the U.S. a safe and happy 4th of July!