We handed out a stack of these buttons for the Cisco booth staff to wear this year and that sums up my favorite part of EMC World: it’s an infrastructure party. This is a place where you’re going to talk with people at the heart of the data center and IT, and the conversations all start there.
Our alignment with EMC couldn’t be any clearer than what we had on display last week. VBlock continues to rock and roll and Trey Layton of VCE summed that up quite nicely here. On the VSPEX front, Cisco recently released 7 new and updated integrated infrastructure designs that combine UCS, Nexus and VNX Storage. Moreover, Cisco offers these as single-part-number SmartPlay Solution Pak bundles that make them even easier for our partners and customers to order. Cisco’s VSPEX offerings span the gamut on choice of virtualization platform and application, paving that second of the three paths to cloud we talked about at EMCworld.
On a product front the big news for Cisco was the new MDS 9710 and that brought a lot of visitors into the booth. I was also really happy by the amount of people that came by to talk with us about UCS and the things we’re doing around data center automation. Each year the conversation has changed and the evolution has been fun to experience:
Customer: “What’s that funny looking switch there?”
Me: “That’s the Unified Computing System, are you familiar with Cisco’s new server platform?”
Customer: “What? No, really, what’s that funny looking switch there??”
Customer: “Do you have any UCS on display here? Our team in XYZ division just deployed it and I’d like to take a look”
Customer: “Hey, I really like what you folks did with the switch-based Fibre Channel zoning in the last release of UCS Manager. When does version 2.0 of UCS Central come out? We’re deploying UCS in three more data centers and I want to talk about implementing global ID pools”
Me: “Fantastic. Let me find our systems management expert.”
I speak geek pretty well, so when customers come in and want to go deeper than I can on operating the system instead of asking me “Cisco sells servers?”…I know we’re in the right place and on the right vector. Thanks to the EMC and Cisco teams for putting on such a great event.
I’ll leave you with a photo here for a caption contest. Leave your ideas in the comment section and try your best to keep it clean. My first take is “I loved EMC World 2013 thiiiiiiiiiiiis much!”
Imagine a world where homosexuality is both natural and normal and heterosexuality is perceived and treated as a sinful aberration.
The award winning short film Love Is All You Need? powerfully depicts this world where “gay” is “straight” and “straight” is “gay” and a sexual relationship between a man and a woman is a cultural, social and religious taboo.
By Adrian Flückiger, Head of Cloud Infrastructure Services – Corporate Business, Swisscom
At Swisscom, we’ve encountered a challenge that should be familiar to telcoms everywhere. As more of our customers shift from landlines to mobile devices, and as the mobile market becomes more competitive and complex, we’re finding it necessary to create new revenue streams by offering a broader range of services. Two years ago, we confronted that challenge head-on with the introduction of a comprehensive cloud offering—our Dynamic Computing Service.
We developed our own customer-facing portal for this cloud offering, but we ran into serious limitations almost right away. The billing and fulfillment processes were insufficiently automated, and customers had very little transparency into the management of their cloud data. The simple fact is this: by attempting to create our own cloud infrastructure with no external assistance, we were stealing focus from our own areas of specialization. We needed a vendor with deep experience in deploying and optimizing cloud solutions. So we asked Cisco and two other top cloud vendors to engage in an intensive proof-of-concept to demonstrate their capabilities.
We assumed that some of our use cases would be too challenging for an external vendor, but Cisco proved otherwise. They delivered a truly dynamic, customizable solution to meet our complex needs. The result? We now offer a standardized catalog of 26 different cloud-based services, all managed through Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) software.
The key to the whole solution is the level of customization provided by Cisco Services. With their help, we’ve automated some of our most time-consuming processes, and we’ve gained greater visibility across the enterprise from a single portal. We can now provision servers in minutes rather than weeks. We can also offer our customers more flexible billing options, billing them on a day-to-day basis rather than monthly or quarterly. That level of flexibility and value is a major differentiator for us, because it really highlights both the quality and affordability of our services.
For me, the best thing about this whole process is that Cisco Services always listened to us. They were open to input. We learned a lot from each other, which is exactly as it should be.
To find out more about how Swisscom worked with Cisco Services to reduce costs while achieving greater agility, read the case study.
As the hype cycle around aspects of concepts like software-defined networking continue, customers are continuing to sift through and educate themselves to determine what is real and actionable. I have had my fair share of participation in several events over the last 24 months, and have been speaking to different audiences both gaining and sharing insights in the process.
One person I spoke with recently was Dr. Jim Metzler. We seem to be crossing paths at multiple venues including Interop, the Network World SDN roadshows currently underway in a few cities in the United States, as well, as at the Open Network Summit in Santa Clara a few weeks ago.
Jim has become the messiah of sorts, on some of these emerging technologies, and is frequently consulted -- both as part of his day job at Ashton, Metzler and associates and during his role hosting various industry panels on these topics. I thought it would be good to host the host and get some of his perspectives here, as we both got together at the recently held Open Networking Summit at Santa Clara.
It’s no surprise that student safety is the upmost priority to educators, administration, and parents. I would know because I have two daughters in K-12. The topic of safety in K-12 schools strikes particularly close to home since one of my daughters has already been in a lockdown due to police activity in the area. A lockdown is where children are placed in the corners of the classrooms, away from windows and clear from the classroom door windows: lights off, doors locked, and no chatter. My daughter took it in stride since she thought it was a game. I, on the other hand, was extremely uneasy when I received the email bearing the news and was not relieved until I received the “clear” email notification.
Given some of the latest developments that Cisco has been working on with location-based analytics using wireless technologies, it didn’t take long for us to start talking about how Wi-Fi could be used to help in the case of public safety in K-12 schools. The intersection of K-12 public safety and Wi-Fi technologies stirred up such a discussion amongst ourselves that we wanted to open up the discussion with an external webinar. I hope you can join me for the discussion on May 22nd (Click to register), but just in case you need some convincing, here’s a teaser. Read More »