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Delivering Business Outcomes: When Did You Last Reduce Time To Market?

June 18, 2014 at 5:48 am PST

Working in the Data Center and Cloud Professional Services team in Cisco on cloud and software defined networking, I am sometimes asked “What do you guys in Cisco Services really do?”  [especially by people in my office :-)]  I’ll use Cbeyond, one of our customers who offer differentiated cloud services enabled by Cisco Services, to illustrate.

I could tell you …..

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Application centric infrastructure takes to the stage at SAP SAPPHIRE

June 17, 2014 at 6:00 pm PST

During the exciting atmosphere at  logo

35,000 attendees, customers,  and partners were encouraged to accelerate customer engagement, “simplify everything and do anything”.  IoE and Big Data factored into many breakouts and vendor presentations to show how real time information and analytics can enable efficiency, effectiveness, and business transformation.

The need for fast IT was apparent given the strategic investments SAP HANA customers are making in software and infrastructure to obtain real time analytics, meet regulatory compliance, and run multiple Development, Test, and Productions streams.

I presented our solution on application centric converged infrastructure for SAP HANA  which accelerates application deployment and simplifies  operations through application centric policy.  

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This includes:

  • Ensuring secure application infrastructure with auditability for compliance with confidential data
  • Assuring application SLAs can be met when app infrastructure visibility and control are integrated across physical and virtual delivered through a central management and control point
  • Using a powerful application policy model to improve workflows across the IT operations teams.

WHAT IF THE ENTIRE PROCESS WERE AUTOMATED

Among the regulated industry SAP customers, data sovereignty and privacy concerns is a major factor leading to application requirements and changes.

Listen to Miguel Moreira, CEO Portugal Telecom Cloud & Data Centers, talk about working with SAP and Cisco to “deliver highly secure services that meet, exactly, governance requirements while lowering the costs dramatically” to his customers.  How?  With ACI.

PT_ACI

For more information see:

VCE Demo of Policy-Based Management on SAP

SAP and Cisco Automate Deployment with Application Centric Infrastructure

 

Decommissioning Ghost Servers

Uptime Institute recently celebrated the winners of their third annual Server Roundup contest. The contest was launched to spotlight the amount of resources that can be recovered and the amount of waste reduced by decommissioning outdated and underutilized servers. While the results are impressive, the process for identifying these servers was difficult and labor intensive.

2013 Winners:

  • Barclay’s decommissioned 9,124 servers, resulting in savings of 2.5 MWh of energy ($4.5M in power costs), roughly 5,000 Tons of carbon emissions, and $1.3M in legacy hardware maintenance costs, and reclamation of 588 server racks.
  • Sun Life Financial decommissioned 441 servers, resulting in savings of 115 kWh of energy ($100,000 in power costs), roughly 330 Tons of carbon emissions, and reclamation of valuable space in the data center.

All of the 2013 winners finalists shared that they decommissioned between 10% and 40% of their initial servers, and expressed the same sentiments: The cheapest data center is the one you never build. Decommissioning obsolete servers is “free Money”. Make the best use of your space by getting rid of stuff that isn’t being used.

When the 2013 winners were asked what software they used to identify the decommissioned servers, responses varied from tracking via excel spreadsheets and SMDB databases, to polling servers’ back end data with DCIM, to hiring college students to conduct a 3 to 4 month manual Book to Floor audit, then another several months to manually map the applications to the servers using them.

The pain of these outdated and expensive manual processes is what Cisco EnergyWise Suite alleviates for our customers. To anyone who has experienced Cisco EnergyWise Manager, it’s difficult to fathom going back to a system that takes months to implement and execute, and with such a high cost in man hours associated with it.

I applaud all of the hard work and great results these companies have achieved, but imagine how much more efficient they could be if they were leveraging Cisco EnergyWise Suite’s ability to deploy in a matter of hours and:

  • Automatically discover every device that it attached to the network in real time
  • Gain visibility into the energy consumption and utilization of 100% of the devices in the data center
  • Identify energy-inefficient devices
  • Monitor, measure, and manage the energy used by their network-connected devices, regardless of device type or manufacturer
  • Optimize virtualized and cloud computing environments
  • Create policies that automatically and remotely manage power for network-connected devices to cut energy costs

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The Pace of Change Demands Mobile Cloud

June 17, 2014 at 12:45 am PST

With organizations all over the world striving to make lasting connections with both their workforce and customers, mobile communications have fundamentally changed the way business works. And when you factor in the added influence of cloud computing, an exciting collision of technology -- known as the mobile cloud – has emerged as a major factor in significantly increasing the overall value of mobility.

Padmasree Warrior -  Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, Cisco.  Read her bio.

Padmasree Warrior -
Read her bio.

Mobile-Cloud Accelerates the Pace of Change: Blog by Padmasree Warrior

Do you find yourself wondering what are the possibilities that mobile cloud brings to the business world and how can we use what we already know to realize them?

In part one of a riveting new blog series, Cisco Chief Technology & Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior answers these questions and dives even deeper into the growth of mobile cloud and how businesses in any vertical stand to benefit.

The Growth of Mobile Cloud

The growth of mobile cloud will be a major force in shaping the business landscape and future tech decisions. Already, mobile cloud has been a huge factor in the momentum behind the progress of the Internet of Everything. The dissemination of “Big Data” across an exploding number of mobile devices (more than 10 billion mobile-ready devices in play by 2018) is just one example.

For a visual perspective and numbers-rich look at why the Internet of Everything has the potential to grow corporate profits by more than 20% by 2022, take a look at the Pace of Change SlideShare.

Pace of Change from Cisco Business Insights

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The wearables industry which is estimated to grow into a $70 billion market over the next decade, is taking advantage of our need to connect on the go. An increase in wearables on the market is a direct result of mobile cloud technology. In a recent blog, Joseph Bradley discusses real-world examples of how mobile cloud is making for a healthier society.  You can also see wearable healthcare technology in action on Cisco’s healthcare and mobility SlideShare.

The collaborative economy is also another booming market built on mobile, cloud, and collaboration tools. Jeremy Owyang outlines in a SlideShare the fast growing numbers of solutions provided by start-ups and corporate organizations across multiple industry segments. Cisco is embracing this movement of crowd sourcing and sharing with inititiatives such as Cisco Customer Connection as noted recently by Forrester Charlie Dai’s blog.

Be sure to read Padmasree Warrior’s blog in the mobile-cloud  series:  Mobile-Cloud Accelerates the Pace of Change and share your feedback with the community. You can also follow @Padmasaree and join this conversation on Twitter: #futureOfMobility and #CiscoCloud.

Addition Resources:

Cloud World Forum

Cloud World Forum:  Nick Earle, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Services Sales and Channels at Cisco will be giving a keynote at Cloud World Forum (London, UK) on June 17th at 16:30.  His masterclass address will discuss how you can align your strategy and business for success using cloud.

[Podcast]  Hybrid Cloud – Different Clouds for Different Needs - Fabio Gori, Director of Worldwide Cloud Marketing at Cisco provides answers to big questions: As cloud gives an opportunity to businesses to buy services externally – how is cloud impacting your customers? Do you see hybrid cloud as where the world is going? What benefits does it bring? And how does Cisco connect all of these clouds? Fabio also tells us everything about Intercloud and Cisco investment on it.  Listen to the podcast.

 

 

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How Cisco Helped Solutionary Boost Security and Improve their Hadoop Performance

Every day, security threats continue to evolve, as cyber attackers continue to exploit gaps in basic security controls. In fact, the federal government alone has experienced a 680% increase in cyber security breaches in the past six years, and cybersecurity attacks against the US average 117 per day. Globally, the estimated annual cost of cybercrime is over $100 billion. Often, even when security breaches are identified, it can be extremely difficult to figure how they happened or who is responsible.

One company working hard to prevent these threats is Solutionary, a managed security services provider (MSSP) that actively monitors their customers’ technology systems in order to identify and thwart security events before any negative impacts occur.

In order to provide real-time analytics of client traffic and user activity, Solutionary, a wholly owned subsidiary of NTT Group, developed a patented Solutionary ActiveGuard® Security and Compliance Platform which correlates data across global threats and trends in order to quickly identify security alerts and provide clients with actionable alerts.

The patented, cloud-based ActiveGuard® Security and Compliance Platform is the technology behind Solutionary Managed Security Services

The patented, cloud-based ActiveGuard® Security and Compliance Platform is the technology behind Solutionary Managed Security Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to keep up with growing data volumes, the need for fast security analytics, and their expanding client base, Solutionary needed to find a way to quickly scale their infrastructure, as their traditional server infrastructure was not able to easily scale and support in-depth analysis. Their challenge was to figure out how to:

 

1)     Increase their data analytics capabilities and improve their clients’ security

 

2)   Cost-effectively scale as their clients/data volume grows

 

When a security threat occurred in the past, the legacy systems could only be used to analyze log data; they couldn’t see the big picture. Thus, when an event happened, it would sometimes take weeks of forensics work to figure out what had occurred. In order to meet these challenges, Solutionary turned to the MapR Distribution for Hadoop running on the Cisco Unified Computing System™.  By using Hadoop, Solutionary was able to smoothly analyze both structured and unstructured data on a single data infrastructure, instead of relying on a costly traditional database solution that couldn’t pull in both structured and unstructured data into a single platform for analysis.

Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture for Big Data

Cisco UCS Common Platform Architecture for Big Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specifically, the Cisco/MapR environment consists of two MapR clusters of 16 Cisco UCS C240 M3 Rack Servers. Solutionary uses the Cisco UCS Manager to provision and control their servers and network resources, while the Cisco UCS 6200 Series Fabric Interconnects provide high-bandwidth connections to servers, and act as centralized management points for the Cisco infrastructure, eliminating the need to manage each element in the environment separately. Because of the environment’s high scalability, it’s easy for the fabric interconnects to support the large number of nodes needed for MapR clusters. Scalability is improved even further by using the Cisco UCS 2200 Series Fabric Extenders to extend the network into each rack.

Cisco UCS Components

Cisco UCS Components

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With MapR and the Cisco UCS CPA for Big Data environment, Solutionary can now access a much greater amount of data analysis and contextual data, giving them a more informed picture of behavior patterns, anomalous activities, and attack indicators. By quickly identifying global patterns, Solutionary can identify new security threats and put them into context for their clients.

Let me know if you have any comments or questions, or via twitter at @CicconeScott.

 

 

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