These and other top concerns for IT professionals were paired up with Cisco and partner technologies to show real solutions. These solutions have been on display at Interop at the Cisco booth in our NOC area and will likewise be at the Borderless Networks booth at CiscoLive Orlando. Jimmy Ray Purser and Rob Boyd caught up with the architect of this NOC, Marlowe Fenne to get an introduction to the Unified Access solution.
Cisco published earlier this week the 2013 Cisco Global IT Impact Survey, exploring the relationship between IT and the business goals of the companies they support. Among other things, 42 percent of those interviewed responded that they know about the Internet of Things, “as well as I know Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.” In other words, beyond a passing knowledge of e=mc2, the relevance of the Internet of Things to IT is about as illuminated as a black hole.
Does that really matter at this point? you might ask. Isn’t the Internet of Things about Nike FuelBands and talking toasters? In fact, a lot of what we call “industrial automation” or “safety and security” is the leading edge of the Internet of Things. It’s already here today, called into the service of greater efficiency, productivity, and safety. This is “operational technology” instead of “information technology”: in other words, technology that directly monitors or controls physical objects and processes, such as assembly lines on a factory floor.
This has enormous implications for IT:
1. Security threats go from the merely cyber to the cyber-physical. Gartner summed it up nicely in the WSJ last week. And let’s not even talk about Shodan.
2. Beyond BYOD. The consumerization of personal electronic devices transformed the enterprise networking landscape. IT adapted to the new security threats posed, figured out how to associate multiple devices to a single user, etc. Now imagine “bring your own programmable logic controller.”
3. Redefining networking scalability and data management. And we thought video was a huge driver of traffic on the network. SAP and Harris Interactive recently estimated that 4 billion terabytes of data will be generated this year alone. (For some idea of the scale, take a single IoT use case — smart meters. Jack Danahy estimated 400MB of data per year. Not much, you say? Multiply that by, say, 1 million households, and you get 400 terabytes already. For a single use case. In one city.)
IT has much to offer, and should. As proprietary connectivity networks converge onto TCP/IP, IT can bring its expertise in securing IP-based networks. With experience in deploying cloud services, IT can bring in network management best practices. And with expertise in software-defined networking, IT can help re-architect networks to support immense scale, real-time requirements, analytics at the edge, and more.
From the outside-in, the Internet of Things may seem like a fast-moving train that’s zooming by too fast to board. But if you’re in IT, get on board: you’ll experience relativity and relevance.
As we prepared for this show working with the Cisco MDS (which I think stands for Multi-Layer Director Storage Switches), I thought it was fun that Nitin Garg, our top of show guest, was also our guest from a segment shot back in London. Nitin was foreshadowing upcoming announcments that he subsequrently revealed in today’s show.
Nitin Garg with Jimmy Ray Purser at Cisco Live London
Beyond the people you see on screen, this show was largely made possible by the hard work of Gabe Dixon. Gabe has worked with us on multiple topics over the years.
Usually at shows like Interop Las Vegas 2013, attendees wander around the show floor looking at all the new products that are coming out from vendors. Now it is always exciting to see the latest and greatest technology coming out, but very often there is so much information to consume it is difficult to envision how these new products will solve problems that IT organizations are facing today.
Cisco is taking a different approach at Interop this year. In the Cisco booth there are a number of demo stations including the traditional new product demos, ask the experts stations, trivia games and many more, but in addition there are two unique demos the “Your NOC Your Way” Demo and the Unified Access Experience Demo that take a solution perspective to addressing top IT concerns.
1. The “Your NOC Your Way” Demo
This unique demo focuses on how Cisco solutions can aid in addressing the top concerns of network operations managers. Read More »
InfoVista recently announced its support for Cisco’s Application Visibility & Control (AVC) as part of its Application Visibility Services solution for communications service providers (CSPs). I took some time out this week to speak with Christopher Cullan, product marketing manager for business services at InfoVista, to discuss the solution and specifically the significance of Cisco’s ISR-AX and AVC to his business.
Bob: Christopher, tell me what’s behind InfoVista’s investment in the Cisco AVC technology as part of your solution?
Christopher: Sure, by the way, you can call me Chris. Cisco AVC and the ISR-AX capability provides an attractive and simple architecture that takes advantage of the Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), and allows CSPs to offer customers a better service experience by enhancing the visibility of the service from an application perspective.
Bob: The application visibility?
Christopher: Yes, exactly—it’s a solution to the problem of the enterprises’ business-IT gap. Enterprise IT is constantly tasked to deliver greater agility to their business stakeholders, and it’s challenging for them to communicate with the business from an infrastructure perspective, including WAN services. The application is better understood and more tangible to the business because they experience it more directly (e.g. the business understands salesforce is slow today, versus the network latency is high). Having insight into not only what applications are traversing the WAN, between which users and systems and how much, but also the application performance itself, empowers enterprise IT to make better decisions and provide a greater experience to their stakeholders. In essence, it helps enterprises better align their IT to the needs of the business. Read More »