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Cisco ACI with OpenStack at Redhat Summit – A perfect Pairing

Last week at Redhat Summit in San Francisco, Cisco Data center was well represented in speaking sessions, and solutions expo. I saw lots of traffic at our demo booth featuring Cisco ACI with OpenStack. Customers and Partners alike, showed great interest in how Cisco APIC integrates with OpenStack and enriches Data center operations. We showed the powerful capabilities of Cisco’s Neutron plug-in implementation and how workflow functions like, “create network”, “create subnets and vlan”, “create security groups”, etc. can be elegantly accomplished from the Open Stack console and aligned with the APIC object model via the APIC-Open Stack  API integration. View Demo here: http://youtu.be/pWMXTb237Vk

ACI with OpenStack demo

ACI with OpenStack demo

We also presented in two sessions one titled “Deploying OpenStack with Cisco networking, compute, & storage” and the other  “Automating Red Hat Enterprise Linux deployments with Cisco ACI & OpenStack”. We talked about plans to introduce the group policy model from ACI into OpenStack so that  DevOps teams and NetOps teams can streamline and automate their work while focusing on application and tenant needs at a policy level.

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The benefit will be that the Group Policy Plugin provides APIs to build Application Network Profiles including service chain requirements.  Both OVS and the ACI Fabric then implement the full policy including distributed L2, L3, and security.   ACI also allows customers to separate tenant polices from operation.  The Tenants manage their applications while the ACI admin manages network operations and infrastructure using policy and it’s all done with automation that speeds up your OpenStack operations.

There was also strong interest in the OpFlex protocol, which Cisco announced at Interop a few weeks ago and how it opens up the ACI policy framework to a broad eco-system. We had lots of other demos showing our Open Stack integration, from a UCS, Nexus 1k, UCS Director stand-point, to round off a 360 degree view of our commitment to broad industry initiatives.

I want to shift focus now to two cool videos recorded last week, by the dynamic team of Joe Onisick and Lilian Quan from the Insieme Business Unit, at Cisco. Joe emphasizes “traffic flows within the ACI Fabric, and application of policy”, while Lilian covers the magic behind how “traffic is handled within the ACI fabric” with emphasis on re-route, bounce, ARP flooding avoidance, etc.,

Stay tuned for more videos on the ACI Fabric mode in near future. We also have a slew of whitepapers coming up that will cover the APIC/ACI Fabric innovations. Check out the recently posted APIC Policy Model whitepaper  that walks you through the basics of the object oriented policy model, Spine-Leaf network architecture and its benefits, APIC policy enforcement, Unicast/Multi-cast policy enforcement, concept of end-point groups (EPG) and all related concepts that you would find extremely valuable as you consider a policy based network architecture for your Data center needs.

I will be covering more exciting news on the ACI front, as we approach Cisco Live San Francisco. Stay tuned

Reference Links

APIC Policy Model whitepaper http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/application-centric-infrastructure/white-paper-c11-731310.html

OpFlex -- An Open policy protocol http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/application-centric-infrastructure/white-paper-c11-731304.html

OpFlex -- An open source approach http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/collateral/data-center-virtualization/application-centric-infrastructure/white-paper-c11-731303.html

(ACI-OpenStack demo) http://youtu.be/fYQDvKVg-ag

(Opflex announcement) http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/introducing-opflex-a-new-standards-based-protocol-for-application-centric-infrastructure/

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Wearable to Aware-able: Contact, Connection, Context

This two-part blog series discusses the future of wearables and mobility in an #InternetOfEverything world.

Since the dawn of time, humans have been motivated by an innate desire to be connected to each other and to information. Today, we are seeing this need satisfied as the Internet of Everything (IoE) evolves to connect more people, process, data and things than ever before. An essential part of the growth of the Internet of Everything will depend on how mobile devices, connected things and wearable technology adapts and develops to become more aware and intelligent.

Today, the wearable device market is a nascent, but growing market. There are about 160 unique wearable devices on the market, and IDTechEx predicts wearables will grow to a $70 billion market in the next ten years. However, despite its growing market share, many still have limited views of what a wearable is and the innovation these devices will encourage in our mobile-led IoE world.

In this post, I’ll share some thoughts I presented at the recent Wearable Technology Conference that explores how we will soon see wearables move from being just wearable to becoming aware-able through increased contact, connections and context.

Let’s Start at the Beginning…What is a Wearable?

There is a lot of confusion in the industry about what a wearable is and the role it plays in our lives.  For example, advances in exoskeletons for military applications and sports define a wearable as more than just a device for your wrist.

And it’s not just for humans.

Osaka University and the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) co-developed a fuel cell that is expected to be used for forming a wireless mesh networks with cyborg insects in emergency situations. In this case, insects can be used for wirelessly transmitting various sensor signals in areas that humans simply can’t go – such as disaster areas or for search and rescue efforts. It may seem a bit crazy now, but connecting these flying sensor insects to the network can create a very interesting, new capability that will challenge our definition of what a wearable is over time.

Why Now – and what’s all the Hype About?

Simply put, the size of technology is shrinking. Technology shrinks every decade about a 100-fold, so while in the mid-80’s we were carrying around a separate music player, telephone and calculator, today we carry all those capabilities into one device: our smartphone. Couple this trend with ongoing advances in microscopic sensors and computers the size of a grain of sand and it’s clear we are just beginning to understand what’s possible for new IoT connections and mobile innovations.

Wearable 2.0: From Wearable to Aware-able

While most wearables on the market today are built to capture WHAT we are doing, they don’t tell us HOW we are doing. We are seeing an evolution of wearables that will focus more on HOW we are doing, and capture insights that can change our lives. For example, while today’s wearable bracelet or watch can tell me my body is moving, it cannot tell me anything about my biological processes – such as my glucose levels or blood pressure.

For this evolution to occur, wearable devices – or aware-able devices – require three things:

Cisco_WearableAwareables - Dave Blog

  1. Contact with your body
  2. Connections with the world
  3. Context by providing relevant information

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these “Three Cs.”

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Cisco Announces Managed Threat Defense Service

While out talking to customers, I’ve continually heard about three fundamental security challenges they are wrestling to manage: changing business models, a dynamic threat landscape, and fragmentation of security solutions.  The 2014 Cisco Annual Security Report estimates there will be a global shortage of over one million security professionals this year alone.  The combination of these challenges has created security gaps, reduced visibility, and led to increased complexity.

We have designed our solution to allay these concerns. Business needs are quite fundamental, but often times you’re better served by having a team of experts work on your behalf. You do not have to worry about assessing the best technology options, retaining the right number of security experts, and constantly staying current with the changing threat landscape. Instead, you can partner with a trusted advisor in a simple cost-effective way. Today we are pleased to introduce Cisco Managed Threat Defense Service, which allows the power of a global operation to watch out for you.

Powered by proven Cisco Security solutions such as Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP), Sourcefire FirePOWER, and Cisco Cloud Web Security, our unique platform includes market leading technology.  Managed Threat Defense uses machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics to detect possible threats in real-time. This approach assumes the cyber-attacks today will not look like those yesterday, and employs heuristics designed to spot anomalous traffic patterns.  Suspected incidents get immediately escalated to a trained Cisco Security Investigator in one of our global Security Operations Centers, where they validate the fidelity of the incident before partnering with your team to remediate.

We know the challenges you face, from difficulty retaining the top security talent to keeping up with the changing nature of threats. So we’ve put together a technology platform designed to deliver the operational outcomes you want coupled with the 24 x 7 expertise required to help stay a step ahead of the adversaries.

Cisco’s Doing What on Earth Day?

Nature2webOh so much!

First of all, we don’t consider Earth Day as just one day in the year when we implement a few feel-good actions that temporarily improve our environment. We consider Earth Day a great opportunity to reach out to our 68,000+ global employees to highlight today’s most pressing environmental issues — to educate them about what Cisco is doing, and to guide them in what they can do every day of the year to reduce their impact on the environment.

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Ok, so now that I have that off of my chest, what exactly is Cisco doing this Earth Day, April 22, 2014?  Well, besides continuing to 1) develop technologies like Cisco TelePresence video conferencing and Cisco WebEx web conferencing, which have proven to reduce environmental impacts and 2) implement many energy efficiency and renewable energy projects (like this solar project) to meet our aggressive corporate sustainability goals, we are holding a number of Earth Day events for employees across the globe.

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Earth Day 2014: Time for Hope (and Frustration)

If you’re into sustainability, Earth Day can be a bit like New Year’s Day. A time to reflect. A time of hope. Maybe a bit of frustration with things not yet completed. But impatience can grease the wheels of change…

A time of hope. Today, sustainability isn’t just the province of non-profit advocacy groups. Unlike not too long ago, most large companies now have sustainability staff and are somewhere on a shared road of discovery, learning how to incorporate sustainability into the business model and culture of their own company and those of their customers. We’re making progress but the destination is still over the horizon.

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