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What You Missed at OpenStack Summit, Paris

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Global Participation. A few weeks ago, the OpenStack community gathered came in Paris for the Juno release of the OpenStack platform.  The Foundation reported record attendance of 4600, many attending a Summit for the first time.  Of those visiting Cisco’s booth: 68% came from Europe/Middle East/Africa/Russia; 18% from the Americas, 12% from Asia Pacific/Japan and 1% from Greater China.

Cisco Presenters. In his premiere breakout, “A World of Many OpenStack Clouds,” Lew Tucker, VP and CTO for Cisco Cloud Computing and Vice-Chair of the OpenStack Foundation, spoke about the future of cloud and how past experience building the Internet might be applied to building the Intercloud—the universe of clouds. Additional comments can be viewed in eWeek’s interview with Lew Tucker, where he discusses Cisco’s expanding support for OpenStack.

Cisco was a Gold Sponsor of the Summit and delivered eight technical presentations. If you missed the Summit, check out these links to video recordings of the Cisco sessions:

Hot Topics. Four years in, OpenStack has growing global support, a strong ecosystem of vendors, end-users running in production, and leading-edge companies willing to talk about their experience scaling OpenStack in their organizations. The number of new OpenStack core projects being initiated has tapered off and the Foundation reports that ten times as many bug fixes were contributed as new features in this most recent cycle, producing a stronger focus on stability.

Other topics trending up at the Paris Summit were:

  • Software defined ‘X’ (with X equaling a wide variety of technologies and services)
  • Federated clouds
  • Docker/ Linux containers

Juno Release Highlights

  • Formation of the new Sahara data processing project, which allows users to run Hadoop big data clusters in an OpenStack cloud
  • Full integration of Swift cloud storage project, which allows users to define and apply different cloud storage policies
  • Key improvements to the Neutron networking project to support Distributed Virtual Routing and IPv6 protocols, increasingly important in large scale deployments
  • Enhancement to the Nova compute project to simplify recovery after a server failure
  • Extension of the Keystone access and identity project to accommodate federated multi-cloud environments.

Keynote Speakers. Matt Haines, VP Cloud Engineering and Operations for Time Warner Cable (TWC), reviewed the work he oversaw in 2014 to deploy OpenStack infrastructure at scale to support the company’s strategy of delivering “any content, on any device, anywhere.” At TWC, an OpenStack cloud provides self-service IT infrastructure for devops activity. Haines consulted with Cisco in the planning phase when he was determining which IT services would be offered, the number of data centers that would be involved, how to design the provider networks, and how to stabilize the environment. His infrastructure is currently operating with what Matt called “enterprise stability at service provider scale.”

Other keynotes included Dr. Stefan Lenz, Manager of Data Center IT Infrastructure for BMW, who spoke about how BMW’s internally built private cloud had failed to provide the stability required across all of the projects that OpenStack covers, and Jose Maria San Jose Juarez, Chief of Innovation in Technology for BBVA Bank, who shared how a programmatic (software driven) approach to delivering IT infrastructure was critical for achieving the agility, speed, and reliability required to deliver industry-leading customer applications.

In addition to the customer keynotes, technical leaders from CERN, Comcast, Ericsson, Expedia, Intel, and Tapjoy delivered presentations on their OpenStack deployments.

Cisco Contributions. Cisco continues to lead contributions to the OpenStack Neutron networking project, summarized in the blog Cisco and OpenStack Juno Release, Part 1. Enhancements included improvements to Neutron plugin and driver integration and metering of key network services through OpenStack Ceilometer in order to support service level agreements and monitor performance. Cisco also contributed to other core OpenStack projects, summarized in the blog Cisco and OpenStack Juno Release, Part 2, which includes enabling configuration of IPv6 through OpenStack Horizon and increasing flexibility and security of SAN access through OpenStack Cinder. In addition to core work, Cisco also contributes code to incubation projects via GitHub/Stackforge. A high visibility project this cycle has been the effort to enable programmability of network infrastructure and services through group based policy. This approach is the basis of Cisco’s implementation of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), which delivers new levels of agility, speed and control for IT.

In addition to direct code contributions, Cisco provides plugins that ensure OpenStack distributions run smoothly on Cisco UCS servers and Cisco Nexus physical and virtual switches. The recent acquisition of Metacloud also allows Cisco to deliver OpenStack clouds-as-a-service, onsite at the customer, providing customers an alternative to building and managing private clouds themselves. In another step forward, Cisco is also building a global Intercloud ecosystem, in which clouds built on diverse hardware platforms can be easily connected to form highly-secure and efficient hybrid clouds.

For more information on OpenStack at Cisco, visit www.cisco.com/go/openstack and mark your calendars for the next OpenStack Summit May 18-20 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Cisco Keynote – End-to-End Optimization for Today’s Modern Datacenters

December 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm PST

Have a bit of free time this Wednesday morning? If so please feel free to sit in on a Cisco keynote delivered by Mark Balch, Director of Cisco UCS Product Management, as he outlines the challenges faced and the discoveries made with the UCS family and how it has driven revolutionary change and business benefits for today’s modern datacenter.

The Cisco keynote starts WindowsITPro’s “virtual trade show” on Optimizing Your Virtual Infrastructure.  The event brings top industry Microsoft experts together in an online forum affording attendees the opportunity to learn about key datacenter optimization topics and trends.

Our UCS family has been a leader in Data Center optimization since it’s initial release to market five years ago.  Having been designed for virtualization from the beginning, UCS is an integrated system that is configured through unified, model-based management to simplify deployment of enterprise-class applications and services running in bare-metal, virtualized, and cloud-computing environments.

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Children’s National Health System Improves Medical Services With the Internet of Everything

Most parents share a common fear – that something might happen to their child, and they won’t be able to help or make them better. No parent wants to jump in the car with a sick child for a trip to the emergency room. But if that fever just won’t break or the cough is only getting worse, most parents know the hospital is often the best bet. But what happens if the local hospital isn’t local at all, and is instead hours away? Or, if the one specialist in the area isn’t due to visit until next week? For remote areas both in the U.S. and globally, this can be an everyday reality.

Thanks to technology advancements in the past few decades – of which the Internet of Everything has powered most – distance doesn’t have to play a factor anymore. Doctors and hospitals can be on call for all parents whenever needed, not just for parents in the local neighborhood. Read More »

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Roaming Data Plans: Culture Shock, maybe, but Bill Shock no more!

There is immense parental pride in seeing your child receive her University diploma. As I watched my daughter walk across the stage on the campus quad last year, bittersweet thoughts floated by – she’ll be leaving the family nest, striking out on her own, facing the challenges of finding a job, moving into her own apartment, paying bills. It was sad to think of innocence lost, and the real world barking at her door. With these thoughts I embraced her, and then she said “Dad, guess what, I’ve decided that I’m gonna do a gap year in New Zealand and Australia!”

A “gap year” is a way to defer all those serious milestones I was imagining for my daughter by taking a year off to travel and do fun things. Oh, and could I also take care of her cat, her car, and start making her college loan payments while she was gone? Oh well, I was actually very happy – and envious – about her quest for self-discovery.

So we shifted focus to new challenges, like getting travel medical insurance, selecting the right backpack, managing money needs, where to find jobs along the way, getting temporary work visas. And what about keeping in touch? I looked at my mobile operator’s roaming rates, and saw that Read More »

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The Journey to Becoming an Enterprise Cloud Service Brokerage: From Shadow IT to Hybrid IT

As enterprise cloud use extends to public, private, and hybrid clouds, CIOs and IT leaders are realizing the need to evolve their IT business model to become enterprise cloud service brokerage (CSBs).

Cisco’s Scott Clark recently discussed the value of this new business approach for IT and highlighted that by adopting this approach IT can “provide the right private, hybrid or public cloud service, at the right time, and at the right cost.”

Most organizations are lagging behind in overhaul their business model and evolve into a CSB. Ovum came out with a report citing that only 50% of organizations participating had a cloud strategy in place and “only one-third or less of respondents said they have [cloud] governance, integration, or compliance strategies.” Read More »

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