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How Anyone in Any Industry Can Get Started in Cloud

In today’s business landscape, cloud adoption and deployment is more than just a technical discussion. It’s really a choice about how to operate your business, regardless of what industry or vertical your organization is affiliated with.

However, as a former CIO, I understand that many CIOs are more concerned with the challenges they face when moving to the cloud than the benefits they can achieve.

For example, in the past, all of your company information and applications were locked-up behind a firewall. As such, none of your customers or remote employees could gain access to your network. Now, through clouds, you can put your business out in the world – where your customers, employees, partners and more can gain access. It’s truly making business more accessible, in an incredibly flexible way – but it can be a daunting process.

Recently, I had the chance to participate in a new Cloud Insights Video Podcast and share how all verticals face similar challenges when it comes to cloud. It probably comes as no surprise that the key areas of concern are security and privacy.

So, how can CIOs address these challenges?  

Go find the right partner.

Security and privacy are very real challenges, and it’s the CIOs job to address them, but he/she doesn’t have to go at it alone. Businesses should look for a cloud service provider to become a trusted business partner. When a business is looking for a cloud service provider to host its application or data, the main questions that arise are:

    • How are we going to ensure security?
    • How will I maintain control over the data and applications that I put in the cloud?
    • How do I maintain visibility?

When these questions about control and visibility are answered, it inevitably leads to trust. And when a CIO feels there is a level of trust for information and application security within the cloud, it ripples down through the organization, ultimately empowering customer relationships.

It’s transformational when a CEO can say to customers, “We do have that level of control and visibility and you can look to us to take care of your information.”

As organizations in various verticals look to move past security concerns, CIOs need to find a partner they trust and start a conversation, they may be surprised at how quickly some of their concerns can be mitigated.

Visit Cloud Executive Perspectives to get additional cloud insights for IT leaders and subscribe to the Cisco Cloud Insights video podcast channel on iTunes or via RSS.  Additional Cisco Cloud Insights videos can also be found here.

Follow @CiscoCloud and use #CiscoCloud to join the conversation!

Cloud Insights: How Anyone in Any Vertical Can Get Started in Cloud from Cisco Business Insights

 

Additional Resources:

In the same video podcast series:  How Cisco IT Solved Its Internal Cloud Dilemma by Didier Rombaut via #CiscoBlog

Cisco Solutions for Open and Secure Intercloud Workload Migration.  Join our webcast to learn how the Cisco InterCloud solution helps ensure the same network security, quality of service (QoS), and access control policies previously enforced in the data center are implemented in the public cloud.  Wednesday, May 14, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time / 12:00 pm Eastern Time

Cisco Solutions for Open and Secure Intercloud Workload Migration. Join our webcast to learn how the Cisco InterCloud solution helps ensure the same network security, quality of service (QoS), and access control policies previously enforced in the data center are implemented in the public cloud. The webcast is available on demand.

Watch the Cisco Intercloud Workload Migration Webcast  (available on demand)

Register for @CiscoLive May 18-22 2014 — San Francisco #CLUS:

Register today for the Cisco Powered Cloud Day at Cisco Live on Monday, May 19. The insightful day will focus on opportunities and challenges that can be addressed with cloud.

Watch Cisco Live’s Technology Business Vision  keynote by Rob Lloyd on Tuesday, May 20 at 10:00 a.m. PDT.

Watch Cisco Live’s Cloud Technology Trend Keynote – Aligning Your Strategy and Business for Cloud Success by Dr. Gee Rittenhouse and Faiyaz Shahpurwala on Tuesday, May 20 – 1:30 p.m. PDT.

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Hortonworks Data Platform with Cisco UCS; and a note on incredible performance of Hive 13

Undoubtedly Big Data is becoming an integral part of enterprise IT ecosystem across major industry verticals, and Apache Hadoop is emerging almost synonymous with it as the as the foundation of the next generation data management platform. Sometimes referred to as Data Lake this platform serves as the primary landing zone for data from across a wide variety of data sources. Traditional and several new application software vendors have been building the plumbing -- in software terms data connectors and data movers -- to extract data from it for further processing. New to Apache Hadoop is YARN which is pretty much an operating system for Big Data enabling multiple workloads -- batch, interactive, streaming, and real-time -- all coexisting on a cluster.

The Hortonworks Data Platform combines the most useful and stable versions of Apache Hadoop and its related projects into a single tested and certified package. Cisco has been partnering with HortonWorks to provide an industry leading platform for enterprise Hadoop deployments. The Cisco UCS solution for Hortonworks Data Platform is based on the Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture Version 2 for Big Data – a popular platform for Data Lakes widely adopted across major industry verticals, featuring single connect, unified management, advanced monitoring capabilities, seamless management integration and data integration (plumbing) capabilities with other enterprise application systems based on Oracle, Microsoft, SAS, SAP and others.

We are excited to see several joint wins with Hortonworks in the service provider, insurance, retail, healthcare and other sectors. The joint solution is available in three reference architectures, Performance-Capacity Balanced, Capacity Optimized and Capacity Optimized with Flash – all support up to 10 racks at 16 servers each without additional switches. Scaling beyond 10 racks (160 servers) can be implemented by interconnecting domains using Cisco Nexus 6000/7000/9000 series switches, scalable to thousands of servers and to hundreds of petabytes storage, and managed from a single pane using the Cisco UCS Central.

New to this partnership is Hortonworks Data Platform 2.1 which includes Apache Hive 13  which significantly faster than previous generation Hive 12. We have jointly conducted extensive performance benchmarking using 20 queries derived from TPC-DS Benchmark  – an industry standard benchmark for Decision Support Systems from the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC). The tests were conducted on a 16 node Cisco UCS CPA v2 Performance-Capacity Balanced cluster using a 30TB dataset. We have observed about 300% performance acceleration for some queries with Hive 13 compared to Hive 12. See Figure 1.

Additional performance are improvements expected with the GA release. What does this mean? (i) First of all, Hive brings SQL like abilities – SQL being the most common and expressive language for analytics -- to petabyte scale datasets – in an economical manner  (ii) Hadoop becomes friendlier for SQL developers and SQL based business analytics platforms (iii) Such performance improvements (from Hive 12 to 13) makes migrations from proprietary systems to Hadoop even more compelling. More coming. Stay tuned !

Figure 1:Hive 13 vs. Hive 12

hdpHDP hive13

Disclaimer: The queries listed here is derived from the TPC-DS Benchmark. These results cannot be compared with TPC-DS Benchmark results. For more information visit www.tpc.org.

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Mobile Retail Evolution and Location Based Services

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This is part of a series of how location services is a core part of the mobile evolution in various industries. In a previous post I looked at the growth of mobile  location, data and context based advertising, and there is no doubt from the evidence that this market space is already big, and predicted to grow exponentially over the next 4 or 5 years.

While this is very interesting at a macro level, for most of us what does that really mean, what can it be used for, how can we get some value or benefits from it….

Let’s look at this from the point of view of various industries, both looking at the uses of the consumer and of the business in a practical manner.

Today we look at the Retail Industry, and ask a few questions to understand the landscape.

  • How are consumers habits changing
  • What are retailers doing about this
  • What can we expect to see in the coming year(s)?

How are consumer habits changing?

We already know that today over two-thirds of all U.S. consumers have a smartphone (expected to be >90% in about 3 years) and the capabilities that this brings is changing the face of retail business as we know it. Specifically looking at mobile retail and advertising the patterns are undeniable, we as mobile retail consumers are doing things differently and happy to engage and be engaged in new ways.

◦    Remember the coupon cutting days…well mobile coupons are starting to become the norm…recent research among mobile users shows significant numbers redeemed mobile coupons… 41% at grocery stores, 41% at department stores, and 39% @ clothing stores (source: Business Insider 2014) Read More »

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Yvette Kanouff Joins Cisco to lead Service Provider Video Software and Solutions Organization

I am extremely pleased to announce Yvette Kanouff is joining Cisco to become leader of our service provider Video Software and Solutions (SPVSS) organization, the home of Cisco’s Videoscape software and solutions for pay-TV service providers and media and entertainment companies.

Yvette is joining Cisco from Cablevision Systems where she was most recently executive vice president of corporate engineering and technology, responsible for the implementation of strategic technology and critical engineering priorities; identifying emerging technology opportunities and driving the development and integration of new products.

Yvette is a terrific leader and I’m thrilled she’s joining our team. As many of you in the industry will know, she was recently recognized with an auspicious 2014 Vanguard Award for Leadership in Science and Technology by the National Cable Telecommunications Association

Prior to joining Cablevision, Yvette served as President of SeaChange where she led their transition from a hardware company to a software company, helping to move the industry towards web centric, open standards-based solutions and architectures. While with SeaChange, she won an Emmy for the company’s work on video-on-demand. Previously, Yvette also served as Time Warner Cable’s Director of Interactive Technologies. She holds several patents on VOD-related digital technologies.

I’m sure you, our customers and business partners, will be looking forward to meeting Yvette once she joins us June 16th. In the interim, she asked me to pass on this message from her:

“I’m thrilled to be joining Cisco at such an exciting time for our industry. Cisco is playing the most crucial role it ever has in helping service providers deliver new experiences, new consumption models, and to compete with myriad new entertainment and service options. During my time at Cablevision we made tremendous progress on key technological advancements that enabled us to provide significant value to our customers and move the industry forward. I believe Cisco also has the people, the technology and culture to help our customers win. I’m looking forward to joining the team!”

As the leader of SPVSS, Yvette will have responsibility for a business that spans end-to-end Videoscape software and solutions, including content protection, cloud video services and delivery, and end-user multiscreen experiences.

Welcome to Cisco, Yvette!

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Mining Copper Ore — and Digital Insights — in the Internet of Everything Economy

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is a juggernaut of change, transforming organizations in profound ways. It sows disruption, and it grants enormous opportunities. But this sweeping wave of change is not reserved for what we normally think of as “technology companies.” In the IoE economy, even seemingly “analog” endeavors must be bestowed with network connectivity, no matter how venerable a company’s roots or old its traditions.

In a world where Everyone Is a Tech Company, there are some great examples of older companies that are heeding this new reality. Retail, manufacturing, transportation, and education are just a few of the places where people, process, data, and things are being connected in startling new ways. Companies that are ahead of the IoE transformation curve will ensure their competiveness in marketplaces that are ever more vulnerable to disruption.

Dundee Precious Metals provides a great example of a company that is embracing change. A far-flung global organization, the company, for example, runs Europe’s largest mine in Chelopech, Bulgaria, from which it ships gold-rich copper ore to a smelter in Namibia. Yet through IoE-related technologies, executives at the company’s headquarters in Toronto, Canada, have gained unprecedented visibility into all aspects of their operations.

The end result? A boon in safety, efficiency, and productivity.

Read More »

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