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A New Partnership for OpenStack

What happens when the market leader in cloud infrastructure partners with an open source expert? We witness a very unique opportunity for disruption.

Recently, Cisco and Red Hat announced an integrated infrastructure for OpenStack-based cloud deployments. OpenStack is a collaborationf developers and cloud computing technologists aimed at creating new, scalable solutions. This partnership will target enterprise and mid-market customers by streamlining deployment and operation of OpenStack-based private clouds while providing access to the InterCloud. The integrated infrastructure will combine Cisco Unified Computing (UCS), Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

Together, Cisco and Red Hat will deliver a set of InterCloud-ready solutions designed to bring OpenStack to enterprise and service provider customers. By combining complementary strengths, Cisco and Red Hat are in the position to capitalize on this disruption and strengthen their positions as market leaders. Read More »

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Mobile Making It Happen at The Internet Of Things World Forum

So during last week’s IoT World Forum in Chicago more than the 1,500 Internet of Things (IoT) industry experts came together for the second annual conference. The IoT is opening up a world of real opportunities for service provider growth while rapidly transforming our communities, our cities, and our daily lives. Still as discussed during many of the sessions at the IoT World Forum, there are a number of questions that need to be answered to accelerate IoT globally.

  • #1 Concern is Security -- New way of thinking “don’t trust, verify”
  • #2 Faster Time-To-Market (TTM)
  • #3 Lower TCO
  • Another top reason was the need for improved asset utilization and risk management.

So during the break-out session the The Value Delivered by the Service Provider in IoT many attendees listened to service providers discuss how they are addressing these areas, and make money while doing it.

The Panel:

  • AT&T SVP, Kevin Petersen – AT&T Digital Life
  • Sprint Director, Mohammed Nasser – Connected City
  • Orange Deputy Director, François Duquesnoy — Orange Smart Cities & Territories

The Topics Covered:

Smart Home Security, Home Health Care, Home Automation, Energy, Connected Car, Telematics, Connected Agriculture, Connected Transportation, Asset Tracking, Cloud Delivery.

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Figure 1 From L to R; Doug Webster VP of Cisco SP Marketing -- moderator, Francois Duquesnoy Director Orange Smart Cities, Kevin Petersen President AT&T Digital Life Inc., Mohamad Nasser Sprint -- Director of M2M Product and Marketing

Below are some key quotes overheard at the panel: Read More »

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Hard Choices !

Sorry .. I did not mean to steal the title of Hillary Clinton’s book. It so happened that we had to deal with “hard choices” of our own,  when we had to decide on the management approach to our new M-Series platform. In the first blog of the UCS M-Series Modular Servers journey series, Arnab briefly alluded to the value our customers placed on UCS Manager.As we started to have more customer conversations, we recognized a clear demarcation when it came to infrastructure management. There was a group of customers who just would not take any offering from us that is not managed by UCS Manager. On the other hand, a few customers who had built their own management framework were more enamored by the disaggregated server offering that we intended to build. For the second set of customers, there was a strong perception that UCS Manager did not add much value to their operations. We were faced with a very difficult choice of whether to release the platform with UCS Manager or provide standalone management. After multiple rounds of discussions, we made a conscious decision to launch M-Series as a UCS Manager managed platform only.  Ironically enough, it was one such customer discussion that vindicated our decision. This happened to be a customer deploying large cloud scale applications and did not care much UCS Manager. During the conversation, they talked about some BIOS issues in their super large web farm that surfaced couple of years back. After almost 2 years, they were still rolling out the BIOS updates !

UCS Manager is the industry’s first tool to elegantly break down the operational silos in the datacenter by introducing a policy-based management of disparate infrastructure elements in the datacenter. This was made possible by the concept of Service Profiles, which made it easy for the rapid adoption of converged infrastructure. Service Profiles allowed the abstraction of all elements associated with a server’s identity and rendering the underlying servers pretty much stateless. This enabled rapid server re-purposing and workload mobility as well as made it easy for enforcing operational policies like firmware updates.  And, the whole offering has been built on the foundation of XML APIs, which makes it extremely easy to integrate with other datacenter management, automation and orchestration tools. You can learn more about UCS Manager by clicking here.

UCS M-Series Modular Servers are the latest addition to the infrastructure that can be managed by UCS Manager. M-Series is targeted at cloud-scale applications, which will be deployed in 1000s, if not 10s of 1000s of nodes. Automation of policy enforcement is more paramount than the traditional datacenter deployments. Managing groups of compute elements as a single entity, fault aggregation, BIOS updates and firmware upgrades are a few key features of UCS Manager that kept surfacing repeatedly during multiple customer conversations.  That was one of the primary drivers in our decision to release this platform with UCS Manager.

In the cloud-scale space, the need to almost instantaneously deploy lots of severs at a time is a critical requirement. Also, all of the nodes are pretty much deployed as identical compute elements. Standardization of configurations across all of the servers is very much needed.  UCS Manager makes it extremely easy to create the service profile templates ahead of time (making use of the UCS Manager emulator) and create any number of service profile clones literally at the push of a button. Associating the service profiles with the underlying infrastructure is also done with a couple of clicks. Net-Net: you rack, stack, and cable once; re-provision and re-deploy to meet your workload needs without having to make any physical changes to your infrastructure.

Storage Profiles is the most notable enhancement to UCS Manager in order to support M-series. This feature allows our customers to slice and dice the SSDs in the M-Series chassis into smaller virtual disks. Each of these virtual disks is then served up as if they are local PCIe devices to the server nodes within the compute cartridges plugged into the chassis. Steve has explained that concept elaborately in the previous blog. In the next edition, we will go into more details about Storage Profiles and other pertinent UCS Manager features for the M-Series.

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Register for the Infonetics Webinar: Building More Efficient Networks with Multi-Layer Packet-Optical

leonard_lunaBy Leonard Luna, Senior Marketing Manager, Cisco Service Provider Solutions

Tuesday, October 28 at 8:00 am PT/11:00 am ET, Cisco joins Infonetics’ Andrew Schmitt (Principal Analyst, Optical) on a three vendor panel to discuss how equipment vendors and their customers are taking advantage of new multi-layer packet-optical systems leveraging advanced software to build more capable and efficient networks.

Use this Infonetics link to register.

Representing Cisco will be Walid Wakim, Principal Engineer – Architecture Team, High End Routing and Optical Business Unit.

Walid-wakimWalid heads a Cisco architecture team that focuses on future system and network architectures.  He actively collaborates with network operators all around the world to create next generation networking solutions.  A regular speaker at industry conferences, Walid holds a number of patents and has authored many papers in the International Engineering Consortium, IEEE, OFC and other major journals.

Key topics for this Infonetics webinar include: Read More »

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Summary: Three Ways IoT is Impacting the #InternetOfEverything

As a key enabling technology to the Internet of Everything (IoE), the Internet of Things (IoT), is connecting new places and objects. Manufacturing room floors, energy grids and wearable devices are just a few examples of the millions of objects coming online at an unprecedented pace.

These “things” are creating vast and increasing amounts of data and sharing it over the Internet – largely via machine-to-machine connections. It is one of many important technology transitions taking place today that is making the Internet of Everything a reality.

Recently, I had the chance to participate in a new Future of IT podcast episode with Steve Hilton, co-founder and Managing Director at MachNation. We discussed how today’s IoT solutions are impacting the evolution of the Internet of Everything and ultimately, business outcomes. You can listen to the entire podcast recording via iTunes.

Here’s a look at three ways the Internet of Things is impacting the Internet of Everything and what it means for your organization:

Read More »

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