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Does Virtualization Really Matter?

That was the question that an attendee at a recent conference sponsored by the Communications Technology Management, part of University of California’s Marshall School of Business, asked me last week.  With all of the industry discussion on the topic over the last year or two on the topic, I think it is always worthwhile to pause, assess, and reflect, as sometimes some of the simplest questions can be some of the hardest.

“Yes,” I told him, “but maybe not how you think.”

No question I’m proud of the advances Cisco has made in this area, from our announcement of the Evolved Services Platform in February to now having over 40 virtualized functions in our portfolio.  As far as we can tell, it is the largest, most expansive virtualized portfolio in the industry with so much of it not on a drawing board but already in use in customer network.

But while we’re proud of the aggressive execution of our strategy, far more relevant than the number of functions, however, is what they can enable.  I think this was the reason for the question and certainly the reason for my answer.
Take our announcement last week: enabling Read More »

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The Global STEM Alliance: Collaborative Education and Mentoring to Solve the “STEM Paradox”

GlobalStemAlliance_Oct2014The New York Academy of Sciences has recently released a report that redefines the global STEM crisis as a “STEM paradox”: there are sufficient numbers of STEM graduates, but low numbers of grads who are actually prepared for work, “brain drain” from developing countries and the lack of women in STEM fields makes it impossible for employers to fill all their STEM job openings. The new report also outlines how partnerships between governments, corporations and institutions can solve problems in the STEM workforce pipeline.

Additional information on the Global STEM Alliance is available here:

To see Wim Elfrink, Executive Vice President, Industry Solutions & Chief Globalization Officer, discuss the initiative, visit:

As a founding partner since 2013, Cisco is excited to support the Global STEM Alliance, an international collaboration of public and private entities that harnesses the collective mindshare of corporations, local and national governments, nonprofits, students and STEM leaders. This multimillion-dollar Alliance will bring together STEM professionals of different ages and cultures to develop often-missing foundational skills and adapt to specific environments. The Alliance will engage and prepare the next generation for careers that encourage global economic development and the innovation needed to address and overcome today’s biggest challenges. Read More »

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Fast IT Top Insights Part 1: IT Transformation and Innovation

In the Internet of Everything (IoE) era, CIOs face a maze of challenges — along with a wealth of opportunities.

But for the IT organization to fully realize those opportunities — and become a source of organizational agility and a true partner for innovation in the business — a wholly new IT operating model is required. We call that model Fast IT.

Fast IT is the IT operating model for the IoE era. It is what the CIO needs to do to drive true business transformation.


To better understand the current state of IT — and the opportunity for IT transformation amid a dynamic time of change — Cisco undertook a comprehensive global survey and research study.

We surveyed more than 1,400 senior IT leaders in Brazil, Germany, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States. We interviewed leading industry analysts, authors, academics, IT executives, and IT practitioners. And finally, we compared this data with conclusions from numerous customer engagements.

Read More »

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Automation and Ambassadors. Smart Move?

In today’s marketing world we’re bombarded with automated solutions to help us meet our goals. For every objective we set there are ten platforms ready and waiting to assist. Ambassador Programs are no exception, and when vendors show you all their sparkles and bells and whistles it’s tempting to jump on board. But how do you know if you’re making the right decision? What do you look for when you’re shopping for a solution? In this article I’ll share three important guidelines to use when exploring Ambassador Program platforms. But first here are two important lessons I’ve learned. Read More »


MPI 3 logoAs you probably already know, the MPI-3.0 document was published in September of 2012.

We even got a new logo for MPI-3.  Woo hoo!

The MPI Forum has been busy working on both errata to MPI-3.0 (which will be collated and published as “MPI-3.1”) and all-new functionality for MPI-4.0.

The current plan is to finalize all errata and outstanding issues for MPI-3.1 in our December 2014 meeting (i.e., in the post-Supercomputing lull).  This means that we can vote on the final MPI-3.1 document at the next MPI Forum meeting in March 2015.

MPI is sometimes criticized for being “slow” in development.  Why on earth would it take 2 years to formalize errata from the MPI-3.0 document into an MPI-3.1 document?

The answer is (at least) twofold:

  1. This stuff is really, really complicated.  What appears to be a trivial issue almost always turns out to have deeper implications that really need to be understood before proceeding.  This kind of deliberate thought and process simply takes time.
  2. MPI is a standard.  Publishing a new version of that standard has a very large impact; it decides the course of many vendors, researchers, and users.  Care must be taken to get that publication as correct as possible.  Perfection is unlikely — as scientists and engineers, we absolutely have to admit that — but we want to be as close to fully-correct as possible.

MPI-4 is still “in the works”.  Big New Things, such as endpoints and fault tolerant behavior is still under active development.  MPI-4 is still a ways off, so it’s a bit early to start making predictions about what will/will not be included.

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