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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – October 31, 2014

October 31, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

Happy Halloween! No tricks this week, but we definitely have a few treats for you.

Pat Sampson was here on the Partner Blog this week to provide a great rundown of what’s available to partners that are part of the Cisco Solution Partner Program. With the Solution Partner Program representing such a vital part of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem you’ll definitely want to check out Pat’s blog post.

Be sure to let us know what you think of Pat’s latest update.

Overcoming Challenges for Today’s Sales Professionals

We also saw an interesting new post this week from Karin Surber about overcoming the challenges faced by today’s sales professionals. With a separate look at the pace of change, busy customers, increased competition, technology mastery and integrity, Karin does a fantastic job illustrating how sales pros can leverage all the resources available to them in 2014.

As always, let us know if we are covering the information you need via our comments section. It’s how we constantly refine what is included in the weekly rewind. Read More »

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Enterprise Cloud Service Brokerage—A New Identity for IT, CIOs

As enterprise cloud use expands rapidly to include public, private, and hybrid clouds, CIOs need to evolve their IT business model and become enterprise cloud service brokerage (CSBs).

A cloud service brokerage, as defined by Gartner Group, is “an IT role and business model in which a company or other entity adds value to one or more (public or private) cloud services on behalf of one or more consumers of that service.” Gartner recently challenged CIOs to explore how they should position themselves as CSBs within the enterprise by “establishing a purchasing process that accommodates cloud adoption, and encourages business units to come to the IT organization for advice and support.”

Why not just bring in an outside organization to manage cloud vendors? Indeed, many new companies have sprung up recently to help IT departments procure their cloud services. However, as a recent CIO Magazine article points, “it remains IT’s responsibility to make sure that cloud-based services used by the enterprise comply with enterprise governance, security, and compliance policies while minimizing enterprise risks, and efficiently brokering the right cloud services is increasingly essential in multi-cloud environments.”

Read More »

Is your WAN Stressed Out? Take the Intelligent WAN Workout

If you have been following Cisco Blogs, attending CiscoLive, or reading industry publications like Network World,  you’ve probably heard about Cisco’s Intelligent WAN or IWAN solution. For those of you that haven’t been in the loop, have more questions, or are just plain curious about the Intelligent WAN, we have a short webinar series kicking off on the 6th of November at 10am PST.  We will cover the important building blocks for architecting your hybrid WAN infrastructure including:

  • Defining the Hybrid WAN
  • In-depth technical analysis of Cisco’s Hybrid WAN Solution: IWAN
  • How IWAN can help to lower your IT costs

If you belong to an IT organization that is centralizing applications in the public or private cloud to gain efficiencies or are migrating the Internet edge in your branch offices to take advantage of software as a service (SaaS) applications, then make sure you attend this live 60-minute webcast, the first of a  four-part series.  We will show you how a hybrid WAN architecture can help you deliver a consistently high-quality end-user experience while actually reducing your WAN operating costs.

Still not sure if IWAN is for you? Consider these other trends that might be happening in your enterprise network today that could end up causing many sleepless nights in the future:

  • Mobile devices continue to proliferate, and high-bandwidth applications such as video are becoming more and more commonplace, putting pressure on the WAN.
  • According to Nemertes, most organizations’ WAN budgets will remain flat or decline in 2015, meaning that adding bandwidth is often not an option.

Join our Cisco experts and bring your questions with you!

WANwebcast

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Introducing the ACI Toolkit

Cisco, in its quest to embrace programmability, has created what is called the ACI Toolkit, which is basically a combination of an NX-OS like CLI and some custom python scripts. Although this toolkit doesn’t allow you to do all configurations within ACI, it can be used to create and show the common configuration and administrative actions that may be used daily. It’s also great for someone who is just starting to migrate to a more programmatic way of doing things, as it’s easily understandable to folks used to common networking commands.

If you’re not familiar with ACI, check out this short video to get a brief understanding of some of the basic constructs used and for a deeper dive go to www.cisco.com/go/aci. These concepts will help you to understand some of the configuration options available with the ACI Toolkit.

ACI - Toolkit

The toolkit’s python libraries are all available on GitHub.com and it’s fairly simple to access. All you need to do is open a terminal window on your computer and enter the following command:

git clone https://github.com/datacenter/Simple-ACI-Toolkit

This command will download the necessary libraries to use the ACI Toolkit syntax. Then to run CLI commands from your APIC type:

python acitoolkitcli.py -l admin -p password -u https://APIC_IP

This will connect you to your APIC so you may run commands that will help you build your application network profiles as shown in the three tier application in the picture above. We can do things such as switching tenants, creating contexts, creating bridge domains, and creating end point groups (EPGs).

Here are some examples of the common commands we might use to create these logical objects.

Switch to a tenant configuration mode:

  • fabric# switchto tenant <tenant-name>
  • fabric-tenant# switchback

Create a Context and don’t enforce contracts on it:

  • fabric-tenant(config)# [no] context <context-name>
  • fabric-tenant(config-ctx)# [no] allow-all

Create a bridge domain and assign it to a context:

  • fabric-tenant(config)# [no] bridgedomain <bd-name>
  • fabric-tenant(config-bd)# [no] context <context-name>

Create a subnet under the bridge domain:

  • fabric-tenant(config-bd)# [no] ip address <ip-address>/<masklength> [name <subnet-name>]

 

As you can see from these examples the syntax will be very familiar to network engineers. We can also use the ACI Toolkit combined with the Python SDK to actually script these things. It makes scripting a little easier because we’re again using simpler syntax. Below is an example of configuring a tenant using Python in conjunction with the toolkit:

from acitoolkit import *

from credentials import *

tenant = Tenant (‘Customer1’)

context = Context (‘customer1-router’, tenant)

bd = BridgeDomain(‘BD1’, tenant)

bd.add_context(context)

bd.add_subnet(‘10.0.0.1/24’)

app = AppProfile(‘web-and-ordering’, tenant)

vlan10 = EPG(‘VLAN10’, app )

vlan10.add_bd(bd)

vlan20 = EPG(‘VLAN20’, app )

vlan20.add_bd(bd)

Currently the ACI Toolkit may not be used to create service graphs, VMM Domains, SPAN, Atomic Counters, and or to see most telemetry and health score information. However, the toolkit still gives us a lot to work with and automate as far as basic configurations go. For more information please see the guide found here (http://datacenter.github.io/acitoolkit/).

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Explore Cisco TAC

October 30, 2014 at 10:11 am PST
Jimmy Ray never reads directions

Jimmy Ray never reads directions

Just another Call Center?

Initially, I was not too excited about doing a show on TAC, Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center.  This topic has been requested in various forms throughout the years and for whatever reason, we just never took the time to do it right.  Until now. 

 - Watch the entire Show Right Now-

Cool thing about TAC as a subject for us? It is TECH Reality.  This really can’t be a marketing show as they deal with deployments.  As much as I could now make an argument for why they should be a part of any pre-sale process -- I get it. They truly live at that golden moment…when someone has a problem and they are either going to become a customer for life…or be lost forever.  

‘Service after the sale’ is something we all enjoy complaining about.  While often the last thing we consider when making a purchase…it’s the FIRST thing we call out when it fails us.

Sure TAC does a great job, they have also developed some great models for managing high volume, high complexity change…a worthy goal for any  customer service environment.   I honestly did not realize just how much they do until we really dug into our research for this.

- Watch the entire Show Right Now-

Read more in our extended shownotes.

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