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MCNC Powers Advanced Academic and Economic Development Research and Communications

Good news.

MCNC, the non-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), is working with us to help MCNC enhance the user experience for those who enjoy their broadband and communications services for advanced academic and economic development organizations.

NCREN is a fiber-based network that spans more than 2,600 miles across the entire state of North Carolina. MCNC also provides broadband services for numerous non-profit hospitals and public health agencies through the N.C. Telehealth Network.

MCNC is working on a $144 million expansion of its network with efforts expected to be complete by end of this year. Their initiative, known as Golden Read More »

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The Internet of Everything and the Digital Industrial Economy

As we continue to progress toward an Internet of Everything (IoE) digital world, organizations will need to think strategically about IT budgets and smart spending in order to keep pace with the changing landscape. CEO’s want a flexible, adaptable enterprise, and IT needs to deliver “fast IT” for them to achieve that.$3 8 Trillion

One part of this rapidly changing landscape is the rise of something Gartner calls the “Digital Industrial Economy.” Gartner SVP Peter Sondergaard said recently at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo that the digital industrial economy will be built on the foundations of cloud integration, social collaboration, mobile, and data. As part of this, worldwide IT spending will reach $3.8 trillion by 2014.

The main notion of the Digital Industrial Economy is that every company will become a technology company, every budget will become an IT budget and every business will become a digital leader. By this definition, it’s clear that the Internet of Everything—and the $14.4 trillion in value it will unleash—is at that the heart of this new economic model.

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ACI addresses the Data Center Agility Gap

To know more about Application Centric Infrastructure join us for a special webcast 
with John Chambers and Soni Jiandani
on November 6th at 10:30 am EST/7:30 pm PST/15:30 GMT
Register Here 

Revolutions are usually led by challengers, not incumbents.  But Cisco’s Nov. 6th mega-launch of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is sounding revolutionary as described by some experienced industry watchers.  Any revolution must transform the experience of its participants – in this case , the Application development teams, DevOps and CloudOps that are provisioning new applications in many mid-to-large Enterprise Data Centers.  As John Chambers said at Interop “The ability to create an infrastructure that is agile, simplified, automatically programmable and able to scale on demand is critical to enabling the application model”.  In this blog, we’ll zoom in on “Agility”  as an experience.

The growing agility gap

In the last decade, Cisco and other equipment providers have greatly improved the agility of data center infrastructure – the ability to respond quickly to new demands for scale, performance and security.   Technologies such as a unified fabric, virtualization and infrastructure controllers augmented by intelligent Automation and Governance have greatly simplified the management of the infrastructure.

But there is strong evidence that the demand for agility is increasing even faster – creating a growing agility gap.

RateOfChange

Compared to traditional backoffice applications, new Mobile, Social and Big Data applications  are much more dynamic due multi-tenancy, higher demand peaks, more distributed users, broader device support, varying performance needs,  24x7 global usage, and changing security vulnerabilities.    Furthermore, to run economically at scale with performance and availability, these applications need a mix of virtualized and dedicated, “bare-metal” resources.  And the reality is that only 40% of workloads are virtualized anyway in most enterprise data centers.

These factors are driving more distributed workloads and storage across the data center, more frequent changes to ports, LANs and subnets, more re-configurations of security and load-balancing, more application and flow optimizations and more monitoring and diagnostics to ensure application metrics.

Data center teams are getting overwhelmed.  IDC’s 2011 research showed that total Data Center spend has shifted to these type of management and administration tasks – and that was just for virtualized servers.  New bare metal workloads will increase this spend further as they move to scale, unless something is done.

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VDI at VMworld Barcelona, Co-opetition, Taio Cruz, and Tumblers

IMG_2356I just got back from another blockbuster of an event that was VMworld Barcelona.  If you’re VMworld Alumni, you know the drill – long days turn into nights, meetings, convention hall food, and before you know it, you’re at the customer reception and Taio Cruz is there.  I also scored a really nice plastic tumbler (the drinking kind, not the Batman kind) when leaving the conference – which my family is probably going to steal from me in the near future.

This year was no different, and there’s been plenty to talk about especially as it pertains to the Cisco / VMware relationship (if you’re following the whole ACI vs. NSX thing) – I’ll get there in a minute, but before I do…

I spent a ton of time chatting with folks in the Solutions Exchange, re: their VDI implementations.  Taking inventory of the most frequently asked questions, here’s what became discussion fodder in ranked order for those of you dying to know:

  • Solutions for graphics-intensive use cases using NVIDIA GRID
  • Persistent VDI with Cisco’s On-Board architecture (server-side flash caching)
  • Cisco Validated Designs for FlexPod and Reference Architectures for VSPEX
  • Desktone (now “Desktone by VMware”)

If one had to “connect-the-dots” across these topics, two common themes readily emerge.  This year, no doubt, has been all about:

  • Making VDI address a wider array of use cases with “equivalent-to-physical” levels of performance and,
  • Simplifying how organizations implement and manage it.
    Read More »

Are Vendor Neutral Trade Shows Dead?

TechWiseTV just got back from Interop in NYC. It was a really small show. Kinda the size of a regional show to be honest. As a walked the floor, I wondered; “Are true mixed vendors trade shows over?” Compare Interop NYC to the very next week’s event VMWorld Barcelona and wholly smokes! That is a big show for sure.

Seems like we started drifting towards a more vendor specific format around the time COMDEX was killed off. Then Supercom was next. Networld+Interop become Interop. Man alive that really used to be one heck of a show. N+I as the cool kids called it, had the show and then N+I at Night where you could catch a ball from Steve Young or listen to a concert from the latest 80’s re-re-re-reboot band. Ah the old days when we had to notch a disk on both sides. Back then, we had a ton of competitors all pushing many ways of doing things (give me a shout out if you remember Fore Networks; “Network of Steel” demos where they’d take a chain saw to the network to show how ATM self-healed.  Of course your CAP-EX never did…

Heck now in booths, if vendors are giving out t-shirts man that’s like Club Med passes to other jealous vendors looking down at their combo key ring, toe file, pocket knife that’ll never make it past TSA for the flight home. In booths we booth staff say; “Did you see vendor X is giving away….?” Followed by a Oh man! or a WTF? Really. My fav is a vendor once giving away half the casing of an empty SPF. I thought it was their garbage at first and they were trying to get me to chuck it. Which I actually did.

Seems like as larger vendors snapped up more and more companies, mixed trade shows got smaller and smaller. I watched N+I not only change name to Interop but move from the massive Las Vegas Convention Center to the Mandalay Bay Conference Hall. Which to me is too bad. I loved going from booth to booth pitting solutions against each other between vendors or getting good advice from many sources not friendly to each other, yet had to at LEAST work together. And your demos and booths better be smokin’ awesome to stand out.  Trade shows split into really two main areas; Specialty Focused like Defcon, Management World, etc.. and Vendor Hosted, RSA, Cisco LIVE, VMWorld, etc…  The best part of this split is not the exhibit floor but the career training available to us network type folks  at Specialty  Focused shows and Vendor Hosted is outstanding and far better then other vendor neutral shows.  The exhibit floors at Cisco LIVE or VMWorld, etc…have booths that are friends of the host. Kinda like having a party for a friend. You invite the groovy folks not the friend’s enemies that’ll drink all the beer and then pee in the pool before leaving.

I believe a few vendors noticed this too and tried the whole “virtual trade show” thing.  That’s something that looks good to bean counters and upper level managers as a good way to save money. The truth is those are interesting as a six week virtual class in US Tax Code Laws. The big piece of any trade show is really meeting peers and colleagues there. Heck IT is a small world and it never fails that at every trade show I always meet someone I worked with before and we get a chance to catch, hear about what they are going now, etc…

Maybe it’s a United States thing.  CeBIT in Germany is bigger than nearly all shows listed here combined! Oh mercy! Whatta great show! If ya never been go. It’s in March sometime.   So I ask you.  Are you still interested in mixed vendor shows like Interop? Or do ya just stick with vendor hosted shows? Post ‘um up and let’s hear ya! Now, where’s my Cisco Nexus 1000v USB stick in my Cisco Catalyst 4500 bag? If I only had my Cisco Unified Comms Manager combo penlight/pen…

Jimmy Ray Purser

Trivia File Transfer Protocol

The first and still the oldest domain name to be registered is Symbolics.com.  It was created on 15 March 1985