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Summary: #SmartConnectedCity Series: A Smart City is a Safer City: Look to the Internet of Everything

Increasing safety used to mean finding budget for additional personnel, vehicles, equipment, radio networks, and other traditional IT. But thanks to an influx of connected technology, cities all over the world are reimagining what’s possible.

One question that is on the minds of many government leaders is: how can my community bring the LindsayH IoEsame amount of funding and resources, achieve effective and secure collaboration and information sharing, and leverage new technologies —  such as BYOD and Internet of Things (IoT), as part of a scalable architecture?

The answer is the Internet of Everything (IoE).

The bringing together of people, process, data, and things (like sensors) in new ways can create powerful change. Here are a few examples:

The Internet Of Everything at Work: A New Zealand Police officer is more efficient on the streets thanks to the Mobile Responder app.

New Zealand Police Officers Spend More Time in Community. About 6,000 New Zealand Police officers now have about 30 extra minutes each day to spend in the community thanks to an intuitive mobile app called Mobile Responder. Instead of having to drive to the station to access law-enforcement databases, the officers rely on the power of the Internet of Everything to request assistance and help fight crime.

Hurricane Sandy Responders Used Video for Situational Awareness. During Hurricane Sandy, traffic lights at a major intersection in Queens, New York, lost power. The resulting gridlock had become dangerous to residents trying to evacuate. A fire department chief put in an urgent request for police officers to direct traffic, but the request was buried among hundreds of others. However, through the use of IP video cameras relaying the severity of the situation in real-time, a fire chief was able to escalate the evacuation request.

Accelerate Threat Awareness and Response. Problems like a flooded sewer system or downed power line hurt the local economy. Now, utilities are finding out about safety problems sooner, using their existing network. A sensor in the sewer system, for example, can report a problem before residents do. And the dispatcher can find the closest person—from any agency—with the expertise to fix the problem.

To read more about how the Internet of Everything is creating safer cities at a lower cost, read the full article: #SmartConnectedCity Series: A Smart City is a Safer City: Look to the Internet of Everything.

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Cisco & Telecom New Zealand Test Cisco EPC with LTE-A Category 6

To think that the number of connected devices will grow to possibly 10 billion by 2018 with some forecasts as high as 40 billion connected devices by 2020, that is mindboggling. That means that there will be about 10 connected devices for every man, woman and child on the planet.

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While most of the connected devices will only send a few characters and then go silent, people like you and I who own the mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, wearable devices) the need for speed is still very much a requirement.

The Test

So recently Telecom New Zealand performed a series of networking tests with Cisco leveraging LTE-A or LTE-Advanced. As a key LTE-A technology, carrier aggregation allows for full utilization of operators’ spectrum resources, empowering them to provide faster mobile broadband experiences including video conferencing, high-definition content transmission, high-speed video downloads, social networking and more.

2The testing Read More »

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#SmartConnectedCity Series: Dallas, Big Smart Things Happen Here

NewCitiesSummit2014If Dallas only brings images of football games and TV soap operas to mind, it’s time to re-consider this southern city.

A year ago, Dallas faced some challenges adopting comprehensive sustainability programs. But since then, the city has not stagnated in its journey to become smart and connected. Recently, Dallas has caught the attention of large technology companies, won grants, and been selected to hold thought leadership events.

This week, Dallas hosted the annual New Cities Summit, joining past host cities and world capitals Paris and São Paulo. The summit sponsor, New Cities Foundation, founded by Cisco and Ericsson, strives to incubate, promote, and scale urban innovations. The selection of Dallas as the summit’s 2014 location indicates its position as a city well on its way to becoming a technology hub. Read More »

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Finally, a hybrid cloud that makes both users and IT happy!

Two years back, I disparaged hybrid clouds in my blog: “Why Hybrid Clouds Look Like my Grandma’s Network”. Since then the pain and necessity of many clouds in business environment has become acute. I see a great similarity between Hybrid Clouds and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon that has become well-accepted in today’s organization. IT tried to resist it initially, but the consumer movement proliferated into the workplace and was hard to control. Hence IT had no choice but to follow along.

A similar movement is emerging in Cloud. After Amazon Web Services (AWS) made it simple for application developers to swipe credit cards to buy compute and get up and running in a jiffy, the addiction has been hard to stop. Enterprise stakeholders are consuming cloud infrastructure by the hour and in the process running up total costs for their organizations and leaving gaping holes in security and compliance. But this time around, IT has an opportunity to get ahead of the phenomenon.

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Challenges with existing hybrid cloud approaches:

 Vendor lock-in: It is hard to argue against the flexibility offered by public clouds. However, few realize that the flexibility comes at the cost of vendor lock-in. Public cloud APIs are typically custom and moving the workload back is almost impossible.

Skyrocketing costs: Granted that public cloud vendors have been driving down costs. However, using public cloud for regular application deployments is like using a rental car for long-term use. If you need a car temporarily, say during a vacation, it makes sense to rent it by the day. However, when you are back at home and need a car for everyday commute, using a rental car will run up costs. This is what enterprises are running into when public cloud charges for resources and bandwidth start to add up. However, it is hard to get out once you are locked into operational practices and workload customization in your favorite cloud.

Security & Compliance holes: Security, what security? When you don’t even know what workloads are running in public clouds and you have no control over who accesses them and how, it is needless to say how big a security and compliance hole this is.

The Solution: Embrace Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC), build hybrid clouds with Intercloud Fabric

Now that we agree that there’s no way around folks bringing their own clouds, IT needs to provide choice to users while driving consistency, control and compliance for its own sake. Here’s how Intercloud Fabric make this possible:

Choice: Intercloud Fabric enables IT to support a number of clouds including giant public clouds (Amazon, Azure) or their favorite cloud provider including Cisco Powered.

Consistency: Although users get choice of clouds, IT can maintain consistency in networking, security and operations. This is made possible by seamless workload portability across clouds, say vSphere to AWS while maintaining enterprise IP addressing and security profiles.

Compliance: Since public clouds appear as an extension of enterprise data center, current compliance requirements like logging, change control, access restrictions continue to be enforced.

Control: IT controls the cloud in a good way. They don’t have to say “No” to their end users in consuming diverse clouds but can still manage them with a single console and move workloads back and forth.

Seem too good to be true?

 See how cloud providers and business customers are getting ready to do it -- replay of recent webcast Securely Moving Workloads Between Clouds with Cisco InterCloud Fabric

Also, if you are Gigaom Structure in San Francisco this week, you can see the solution in action and get further insights in our workshop on Intercloud Fabric.

 

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Tech Innovation Emerges within Carriers’ Legacy Environments

Solution architectures are typically derived from open-ended questions designed to discover customer needs. However, Cisco approaches customers with insights-based assertions that rest on the belief that true innovation emerges from disruptive ideas that make customers aware of unknown needs.

According to Gartner’s report “Agenda Overview for P&C and Life insurance 2014,” three concerns for change stand out for insurance companies -- profitability and business growth, cost savings, and customer centricity. The study further indicates insurance executives struggle to maintain legacy products while simultaneously addressing concerns and uncertainties of innovation. Read More »

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