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#EngineersUnplugged S4|Ep3: Inside FlexPod Edition

November 5, 2013 at 8:27 am PST

Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, the crossover edition. That’s right, this week, as we answer the question “I’m an Engineer, Why Would I Do That?” with TechWise TV’s very own Jimmy Ray Purser (@jimmyray_purser). He’s taking up the question of why FlexPod instead of of DIY architecture with NetApp’s Joel McKelvey (@joelmckelvey). This episode is lively and informative as our experts explore the solution from a tech and business point of view.

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From Information to Innovation: The New CIO in an Internet of Everything World

In my role at Cisco, I have taken interest in understanding how we, as people, are driving the need for innovative technology to fuel change in our world. As we find new ways to interact as consumers or communicators, we demand that technology keep pace – to be fast and to adapt.  

Today’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are well aware of Internet of Everything (IoE) and are already thinking about how connected their unconnected people, processes and things can help them gain efficiencies as well as a competitive edge. Massive shifts in technology and consumption models brought about by cloud, security, mobility and programmable networks are accelerating new markets and new business models. These new models are transforming communication and massively disrupting the role of IT.

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Annual Event Targets Untapped Resource: Our Military Veterans

In America today there is a huge untapped resource that could dramatically improve the productivity of companies across the nation. Renewable energy? Tax breaks? No… It’s the 1 million military veterans returning to the job market. One million individuals who understand teamwork and leadership, have a proven ability to learn quickly, a strong work ethic, dedication, and the ability to work under pressure.

Time magazine called this wave of returning veterans “The Next Greatest Generation.” If we can tap into this resource we can do much to fill the skills gap that our country faces and make progress toward a faster-growing economy. However, many companies have been slow to see this wave. Unemployment for veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 hovers at a shockingly high 22 percent.

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The Internet of Everything Including Security

It’s one thing to say that by 2020 the world will host 50 Billion Internet Protocol-connected devices. It’s even more amazing that the planet’s number of Internet-connected devices already exceeds the human population. So how do we secure tens of billions of devices when we know that the vast majority of them will not possess sufficient memory and processing power to accommodate conventional anti-malware or other security software? Two things are clear to me. We need to build security into Internet of Things solutions from the beginning, and that the network is the only option we have to bring security visibility and control to this new universe of connected devices.

The Internet of Things is going to transform the world, but unless we act to secure it now we will find ourselves asking at some future date whether it was worth doing in the first place. I don’t claim to have all the answers in the video post here, but we need to start asking the right questions about securing the Internet of Things now.

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Tackling Operational Complexity – Fresh perspectives on role of DataCenter Infrastructure

In less than 48 hours, on Nov 6th, Cisco will officially announce details of its approach to Application Centric Infrastructure based on innovations from Insieme networks.
[To join our Webcast with John Chambers and Insieme Soni Jiandani on Wednesday November 6 at 10:30 am EST/7:30 am PST  register here ]

No doubt that there are great expectations riding on this announcement. In part due to Insieme’s pedigree, and in part due to the promise it brings. The former I covered in my previous blog – Application Centric Infrastructure gets ready to rumble. As for the latter, it is important to put the promise in perspective.

As businesses of all sizes continue to pump billions of dollars of investment into  data center and cloud IT and consumption models, the expectations for IT to generate a credible RoI in terms of business agility, productivity and efficiency has never been higher. IT today epitomizes a very powerful business function that directly impacts agility and contributes to bottomline and customer experience. It is but natural to think of data centers are futuristic, glamorous environments, quietly humming away transforming businesses at their core. Many new data centers are in fact that, and seem to come out for sci-fi movie.

However, in a majority of cases, many data centers have just “grown-up” too fast over the last decade that saw adhoc spurts in data center consolidation and server virtualization.  While both phases have provided tremendous benefits in terms of efficiencies and economies of scale, they have also contributed their mite to increasing operational complexity. From cabling sprawl, to network and server sprawl, to VM sprawl – the rapid growth has in some cases negated cost efficiencies gained through server virtualization. The same can be said of software stacks with complex licensing and version control issues. The affinity to applications in this chaos has somehow been either taken for granted or partially lost in the complexity, making it harder to bring predictability into application deployments or troubleshooting, leading to both time and cost overruns. How can this be simplified? How can infrastructure be better linked to the needs of applications? How to make life simpler for data center operations and facilitate a better application experience?

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Per a survey conducted by ESG last year, 63% of IT pros say new app deployments take a month or more, 50% say upgrades take just as long. 77% of enterprise IT pros say they would manage more than 150 applications over the next year. This is a lot! For IT to deliver high performing apps, they need a way for infrastructure to automatically respond to the needs of the application, and to have excellent visibility when something goes wrong and requires troubleshooting during application deployments or upgrades.

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