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Power of Integration in the Internet of Everything Era – Smart Connected Cities

Digitization is in full swing in nearly every sector of the economy. In this atmosphere of universal disruption, every firm must be highly innovative and agile enough to respond to rapidly changing business demands. In short, the Internet has changed, companies are changing, and now IT needs to change. The Internet of Everything provides a superb opportunity — and an urgent imperative — for IT to accelerate innovation. This cannot be done without collecting and connecting data and running analysis, the backbone of IoE.

As John Chambers’ said in his latest blog, “The Marathon Sprint to go Digital: Are You Ready? “Every market and every industry is moving from the Information Age to the digital age, and the pace of change is happening faster than ever before. Every company, city and country is realizing they must transform to survive and thrive in this new era.”

IoE is creating a new tomorrow globally. The first step of IoE is to become a digital business, by simplifying IT to undertake digital transformation. Enhancing customer satisfaction and generating improved results requires good communication, shared responsibilities and clear objectives.

Cities stand to benefit the most from IoE, connecting people, process, data, and things. Working with Cisco, in partnership with global and local innovators, cities are developing IoE-related projects, platforms, and implementations. Importantly, the IoE ambitions and scope are designed to respond to the need for real-time, context-specific information intelligence and analytics to address specific local imperatives.

Recently at Cisco Live 2015 in the World of Solutions, I saw an interesting Powertoon that shows how Smart Connected Cities can use data and analytics at the edge to prepare for the digital transformation and the Internet of Everything.

The video shows a practical use case – everyone can relate to – on how all the connected data, people and processes seamlessly working together enable better experience, rapid responses and service. Orchestrating all the vendors, processes and data via a single integration platform in the cloud is a prerequisite to orchestrate an integrated experience.

Cities around the globe are beginning to build out new digital services such as smart lighting, traffic, waste management and data analytics to reduce costs, tap new sources of revenue, create new innovation business districts and improve the overall quality of urban life. With these new digital services come high expectations around management and availability of the integrated solutions combining technology from multiple vendors and partners. In order to ensure these expectations are met solution providers need to work in a seamless ecosystem. With the number of vendors, providers and partners needed to deliver such a solution, a scalable multi-party service & support ecosystem is imperative. In order to make the smart city initiatives a success all parties involved need to collaborate and operate very efficiently. Seamless multi-party collaboration enabled by a cloud integration platform is an essential piece at the center in delivering exceptional services to the people and run a successful smart city.

Interesting view from CNN on how the cities of tomorrow could look like

Barcelona Smart City Use Case



Discover how Cisco ACI – AVI Networks joint solution enables faster application rollouts and continuous performance monitoring

The Cisco ACI partner eco-system is growing rapidly. I was privileged to see prima-facie, at Cisco Live San Diego last month, the excitement surrounding AVI’s solution announcement with Cisco ACI and the growing customer interest. Though a late-comer to the ADC (Application delivery controller) market, AVI packs a punch to make customers and partners sit up and listen.  What’s impressive is that, more than 20 customer deployments are already under way, both in private clouds and on premise Data Centers. In this blog, I want so share some of the key value-props and architectural benefits Cisco ACI-AVI joint solution brings to Application deployment in Data Centers.

The highly complementary nature of the AVI CADP (Cloud Application delivery platform) and Cisco ACI solution is achieved through a common architecture featuring unified management and control planes, as well as the ability to scale data plane resources elastically, on-demand as application requirements dictate.

The AVI solution integrates into Cisco ACI environments through RESTful APIs, providing end-users with holistic application delivery, security and load balancing, in addition to real-time visibility, monitoring, and integrated (inline) analytics of their on premise and cloud-based applications.

A simple architectural depiction will help understand how Cisco ACI and AVI Networks solution works.


The collaboration between Cisco and AVI Networks has delivered a highly integrated, L2–L7 solution that automates and simplifies the insertion, provisioning and scaling of key network services into a Cisco ACI fabric. The solution also delivers end-to-end visibility and analytics that provide actionable insights into application performance and the end-user experience, which are critical in modern data centers.

The Cisco ACI – AVI Networks CADP joint solution provides customers key benefits such as:

  • Quick deployment with a high degree of automation
  • Quick app provisioning with zero-touch L4-L7 service lifecycle management
  • Full-stack L2-L7 visibility and closed-loop analytics

Stay tuned for more exciting news on the ACI-AVI solution front.

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How Many Servers Do You Have …. Comatose and Sitting Idle?! (Part 1)

In my role in Cisco Services, I’m more interested in the challenges of technology adoption and deployment than I am in speeds and feeds, statistics and technology fads.  I actively seek out case studies where technology goes wrong – admittedly most of these examples turn out to be issues around introducing and managing the technology, rather than the technology itself.  So I have to admit, I was fascinated by a recent  eWeek article (full details below) which discussed the huge proportion – the report uncovers evidence of up to 30%!! – of (physical) servers in enterprise data centers that are typically running doing nothing!!  Yes – up to 30% – even in these days of virtualization!


How Many Idle and Comatose Servers Do You Have?!

How Many Idle and Comatose Servers Do You Have?!

Yes, even in your data center, it’s probably a safe bet to say that you have some servers that are not doing that much information processing today!  In this part 1 of my blog, I’ll discuss the costs – obvious and hidden – of the idle server challenge.  And next week I’ll discuss why this happens and what you could and indeed should do about it!

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For Better Self-Service BI, Start with Data Virtualization and a Business Directory

Providing Business Intelligence (BI) reporting and analysis used to be a service that IT provided for their line-of-business counterparts. In recent years, however business users have increasingly taken the lead for their BI and analytic solutions.

What’s Driving the Self-Service BI Growth Trend?

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Your Data Center – White or not White-Box Switches

When I speak to customers across different market segments they want the ability to deploy services at speed, at scale, at the lowest cost possible. They care about openness to drive rapid innovations in their environment. They want the ability to automate and drive operations cost down and transform to cloud economics. They want to scale their architecture in an open multi-vendor environment that can be managed at velocity in a simplified agile manner without any compromise on security or compliance. They want to be able to provision and apply policies across the entire infrastructure without the cumbersome or possible errors that may jeopardize security and business uptime. And as they run physical and virtual workloads, they want an infrastructure that is transparent and enable these workloads to reside anywhere without restrictions on movements.

Does whitebox switch model help these customers in that journey? Cisco’s Frank D’Agostino sat down with Forrester Andre Kindness to discuss this topic.FrankD_AndreaK_Whitebox June2015

In addition, Forrester issued a report “Myth of White-Box Network Switches” that breaks down the math of whitebox and hidden costs associated with it.Forrester_BustsMythsOfWhitbox July 2015