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Cisco live Redux: Nexus 1000V InterCloud, Now Available, is a Hit to Enable Hybrid Cloud

July 8, 2013 at 9:00 am PST
Cisco live party

Who doesn’t love a Cisco Live! party?

If you live in the US, I hope you had a good 4th of July holiday last week. It’s already been over a week since a very exciting Cisco live! If you were there in person, or you caught much of it on video, I’m sure you know about the enthusiasm and excitement from an unexpectedly large number of attendees. Crowds in the World of Solutions were amazing, especially trying to learn about our new Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) technology, as well as the new enhancements in our Nexus 1000V virtual networking portfolio, like Citrix NetScaler 1000V.

While on the Nexus 1000V topic, I would like to point out a great blog write-up by the always insightful Jason Edelman, a Solution Architect at a national solution provider, on our Nexus 1000V InterCloud hybrid cloud solution. Nexus 1000V InterCloud received a great deal of interest and attention at Cisco live and may have been the busiest pod in our virtual networking area in the World of Solutions. The concept of hybrid cloud is really gaining traction and organizations appreciate the importance of now seamlessly extending virtual overlays from the on-premises data center to public cloud providers as Nexus 1000V InterCloud now enables. Nexus 1000V InterCloud began shipping last week, as well (with vPath and the Virtual Services Gateway coming soon), so the timing of all this interest couldn’t be better. To download the Nexus 1000V InterCloud GA image for evaluation, go here.

One of the aspects of InterCloud that we were talking about in more detail at Cisco live! was the internal security. The architecture supports complete encryption of all traffic not only between the enterprise or on-premises data center and the service provider cloud, but encrypts all data-in-motion within the provider cloud, to protect traffic from exposure to the service provider and other tenants. This encrypted tunnel includes all traffic going to the virtual services residing in the cloud. And this is on top of the security provided by the virtual services (when supported in InterCloud in Q4 CY 13), such as the virtual firewalls, VSG and ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall.

InterCloud Security Architecture

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Cisco Live USA 2013: Recap from a Network Security Engineer

July 8, 2013 at 7:14 am PST

Having just returned home to New Jersey from Cisco Live US in Orlando, Florida, I thought I’d share my experiences as a Network Security Engineer both attending and presenting at this year’s conference.

There were approximately 20,000 attendees at this year’s conference, which I believe set a new Cisco Live attendance record! Considering the huge size of the conference, which rivals game day attendance at some small market Major League Baseball teams, I was amazed at the efficiency and organization of the conference—from the session logistics to the World of Solutions “happy hours” and the Customer Appreciation Event held at Universal Studios!

While listening to the various keynote speeches, most notably those from John ChambersPadmasree WarriorRob Lloyd, and Edzard Overbeek, it’s clear that Security, is “Top of Mind” for the Cisco Leadership Team.

Out of the roughly 625 sessions, there were approximately 100 sessions and labs focused on security, including a few below, which were presented by some of my fantastic and extremely bright peers within the Security organization. Sessions and labs included relevant topics such as network threat defenseIPv6threat mitigation, and intrusion prevent and signature development.http://csio.cisco.com/blog/wp-includes/js/tinymce/plugins/wordpress/img/trans.gif Read More »

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Securing Access to the Network and Beyond

Often when I think about what mobile means, I picture sales people out in the field, inspectors on bridges, repair men high atop utility poles. But in reality, we are all mobile a lot closer to home. I’m mobile when I check email from my backyard. I’m even mobile when I’m in the office, accessing the network from my device from a meeting room or even from my desk. Mobile truly means working from anywhere.

As employees have become increasingly mobile, their needs have changed both while they are in the office and when they are remote. And network access control has had to mature to meet user needs. SAP has been a long time partner of Cisco when it comes to managing mobile devices and networks.

Cisco easily solves the problem of determining who is allowed onto a corporate network and, once there, what they can access. Getting the correct network rights and having the ability to change attributes over time is an important area for any network administrator to control. It is a natural extension to add Mobile Device Management (MDM) to the mix for full control over mobile deployments. That’s why SAP Afaria and Cisco ISE make a fantastic pair.

Companies who have both Afaria and Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) can configure ISE to only allow network access to devices that are managed by Afaria and are compliant. ISE can then route non-compliant devices to the Afaria Self Service Portal where users can enroll their device and get access to the corporate network. For an administrator, the combination of Afaria and Cisco ISE provides a single view into the compliance status of network identity across all regions with detailed visibility into all kinds of devices management information. The ability to add contextual awareness to your access control is interesting to ponder. For example, perhaps an employee is OK to access the company network when in the United States, but not when traveling abroad. You can have the added contact to allow or disallow access with very specific requirements. Administrators love the ability to gain immediate insight into non-compliant devices trying to connect to the network – and shut them down!

SAP’s expertise in mobile device management is only one aspect of a comprehensive system. The company’s expertise in real time data management and analytics also come in to play. Imagine the capabilities you would have with real time analysis of compliance across all of your global networks and devices. You’d have the ability to capture high volume of data from all sources and translate that into valuable reporting and dashboard capabilities via a great user experience. For example, you could gain insight into overall device adoption rates, network usage, BYOD compliance, track devices attempting to connect without the proper enrollment, etc. One example that is particularly interesting is tracking data roaming – being able to know at any point in time what devices are roaming without a data plan.

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Cisco UCS in an industrialized world

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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 requiredHour 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.

Pasted_Image_7_5_13_3_31_PMService 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.

 

 

How Service Providers Realize ROI With Service Orchestration from Cisco Data Center

 

The presentation addresses how orchestration goes beyond automation.  The two key points were:

  1. Automation is restricted to a single domain or systems whereas Orchestration encompasses multiple domains.
  2. 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.

 

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Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences at Cisco Live Orlando 2013

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.

keynote 1

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 »

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