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Delivering Network Function Virtualization (NFV) on OpenStack Hangout

We had our first OpenStack Hangout, “OpenStack as a NFV Platform” on Tuesday Oct 21st. If you are excited about the potential of NFV, this hangout is for you. Our expert panel discussed NFV fundamentals, NFV momentum, the Neutron NFV subteam, and the new Linux Foundation OPNFV project. What I liked the most about this hangout is that we had influencers, from different companies with different backgrounds, joining us and sharing their use cases and views on future trends.

Network virtualization is poised to become a key enabler for technology and business. This innovation is driven by the OpenStack Community that has come together to solve customers’ business problems. For example, NFV promises to not only deliver high performance but also deterministic performance. This theme was highlighted throughout the discussion.

I want to take a moment and thank our moderator and panelists for doing an amazing job!

  • Mark Voelker, Technical Leader, Cisco
  • Russell Bryant, Senior Principal Software Engineer, Red Hat
  • Toby Ford, AVP of Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Architecture & Strategy, AT&T
  • Mark McLoughlin, Consulting Software Engineer, Red Hat
  • Mark McClain, Yahoo!
  • Ian Wells, Technical Leader, Cisco
  • Chris Wright, Technical Director of SDN and NFV, Red Hat

Thank you!

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Keeping Up With Demand for Big Data Analytics

In my recent blogs about building the right data strategy and analytics solutions, I discussed how Cisco is helping our customers to meet one of the toughest challenges brought on by the Internet of Everything (IoE) – cost-effectively managing massive amounts of distributed data. With solutions such as Cisco Data Virtualization and Cisco Big Data Warehouse Expansion (BDWE), our customers can bring all of this data together in ways that are meaningful to them. Utilizing the network to securely connect data throughout the IoE and providing advanced analytics, we help our customers predict outcomes so they can drive better decisions in real-time.

To keep up with growing demands for big data analytics, now is the time to look at workload automation end to end. In this blog, I would like to share the other aspect of big data analytics; building the right workload automation strategy to integrate data, analytics and operations.

In today’s big data analytics environments, IT staff is regularly managing increasingly complex processes that are co-dependent on one another and span applications and departments. Rather than implementing silos of automation, we are helping customers take advantage of workload automation from a unified perspective. Our enterprise-wide workload automation solution, Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler (TES), simplifies end-to-end data management and automates diverse business processes across a broad set of applications, systems and environments.

For example, many business intelligence and analytics applications operate 24 hours a day. To handle a high volume of these jobs – many with service-level agreements – customers need the tools to receive and respond to alerts from anywhere.  Using the Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler client on their iPhones and iPads, our customers can receive alerts, check logs and remediate errors from anywhere. As organizations continue to require fast and timely business services, we put the power directly in the users’ hands. By using TES’ self-service portal, business users can monitor the progress of relevant workloads through a web browser and perform basic job control.  In addition to reducing the downtime of a business user having to wait for IT to address their issue, this also takes some of the burden off IT.

TES is a key piece of any company’s big data and analytics software strategy and a priority for us at Cisco. Cisco IT uses TES internally and, due to successful deployment, is now encouraging further widespread internal adoption. Since Cisco TES is the first workload automation solution in the industry to have a suite of Hadoop adapters (as well as other data source and application adapters), Cisco IT is now additionally leveraging TES in Cisco’s own internal Big Data initiatives to deliver an end-to-end big data workload solution -- as detailed here and here. We are continuously working to develop ways to integrate TES further with other Cisco Big Data solutions, such as the recently launched BDWE solution, to provide more value through holistic data management solutions.

Taking full advantage of big data delivers a tremendous competitive advantage to our customers.  Cisco TES facilitates the end-to-end management of the entire process from data acquisition, to value extraction, to action. Stay tuned as we continue to deliver new capabilities to further bridge today’s gap between enterprise IT capabilities and business requirements.


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To learn more about Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler and the power of our integrated infrastructure for big data, check out our page.

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Integrated Virtual Services with RISE

Want to simplify and scale your virtual networks? Want to optimize performances of virtual applications? Want to improve your end user experience? Want to tap into full value of virtualization? Cisco Remote Integrated Service Engine(RISE) technology can fulfill these demands. Customers are using RISE-Enabled Citrix NetScaler 1000v to build their next generation networks. Cisco RISE is supported on Nexus Series of Switches like Nexus 7K,5K,6K etc.

As you may know, Citrix NetScaler 1000V is a virtualized application delivery controller solution. You can use RISE to simplify management, provisioning of network resources. Once RISE is enabled, Virtual ADC appliance will operate as a remote service module of the network switch it’s connected to.

Intelligent traffic redirection with RISE

Auto PBR is an innovative feature which enables services to be deployed easily and faster in the network. RISE enabled devices like Citrix NetScaler 1000v can create, delete or modify traffic steering policies on Nexus switches.

On demand provisioning

Policies can be automatically applied in a virtualization-aware manner. Depending on workloads policies can be sent to Nexus Switches to expand capacity and increase scale.

Routing Capability Offload for Improved ADC efficiency

Offload routing capability to the Nexus 7k/5k or 6k. RISE Route Health Injection is used to advertise the Virtual IP’s and other routes to the network. Service appliances no more need to implement and maintain routing protocols.

Significant CapEx and OpEx savings: 

RISE provides enhanced data path optimizations and simplified provisioning that allows customers to witness significant CapEx and OpEx savings thereby providing business continuity and cost reduction.

 Reduced Total cost of Ownership (TCO): 

Fully integrated with Nexus 7000 switches, RISE fosters simplified manageability, automated operation and increased utilization of application delivery resources.

Access to Nexus Control Plane

RISE enabled Citrix NetScaler has access to the Switch control plane makes networks simpler, faster and easier to provision and debug.

Reduced Overall Cost :
Multiple NetScaler 1000v instances can be deployed to scale and optimize without dependence on the specific server hardware.

Flexible Virtual Form Factor:
With NetScaler 1000V, customers can have consistency across their physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructures, along with Citrix NetScaler physical appliances. Since RISE is supported on all NetScaler platform consistency can be maintained

For more information, schedule an EFT or POC Contact us at


Perspective on Talent

A perspective on talent

In today’s economy, available jobs, career opportunities, education background, and finding the right  talent appear to be close to the front, if not the very top, of many discussions.  Companies of all sizes are working to maintain a sufficient talent resource pool, while many of the talented are trying to maximize their value to their current employer or potential employer.  There was an article in Forbes Magazine about LARGE companies failing to keep their top talent.  The author pointed out ten (10) potential reasons why, including Corporate bureaucracy, shifting project priorities/whims, lack of accountability, etc.  All of the reasons given are valid, but I don’t believe they get down to the real reason why resource retention is a problem in today’s climate.

Even with the current employment rate in the US, there is an alarming statistic that 49% of US companies seeking to hire technically skilled employees are having a difficult time finding qualified talent to fill openings in their organizations, openings that range from IT support staff, engineers, and mission critical skilled trades.  Research has shown the bulk of US companies in search of top talent look to schools/colleges (where CompSci and technology degree majors are starting to grow), veterans from the US military (in-depth training and hands-on skills from years on the job), other competitors (let the other guy pay for the resource’s training then a competing company throws money and incentives at them later), and various other talent pools. However, in addition to seeking to hire resources with necessary skill set, companies also need to be more diligent in searching for candidates with an ability of adaptability, where inevitable change is met with professionalism and mature attitude.

Putting all of this in perspective, the lack of balance between management and the top talent is what brings about turnover.  An effective employer will keep their top resources by creating an environment where they are able to be managed successfully and where management is aware of the needs of their top resources.  At the same time, the skilled resource also has to be willing to participate with the management team in growth that is mutually beneficial to both.  If your company’s talent is top notch but their maturity level is low to the point they become high maintenance then it’s no longer cost-effective to retain their skills, and balance is lost.  Management has to be able to manage well, but the skilled resources also have to be mature enough for both to be successful.

Opinions expressed in this blog are my own and not those of Cisco!  Remember that!

Marc Buraczynski, Solutions Architect, Cloud IT Transformations, Cisco Advanced Services, Boston, MA

Semper Fi!  marinecrest_500

Introducing Nexus 5624Q Switch: Seamlessly Migration from 1G to 10G/40G

Recent trends like Big Data, Video, and Collaboration are shaping the Enterprise IT environments.  At first glance, these trends might not seem like anything new.  But what is different is that technologies are now available that lets organizations deal with these trends in a better way ( for example 10/40/100G availability ,  Multicore processors driving higher I/O,  BiDi Optics,  New gen multi-protocol Fabric Extender (FEX), etc).  New innovations from Cisco help organizations face these challenges posed by the next gen dynamic data centers in a seamless manner.  And, of course, everyone is being tasked to do more with less.

To enable seamless transition to 10GE, 40GE and 100GE, today Cisco is announcing the following new additions to the Nexus 5600 Series Switches

  1.  New Nexus 5624Q – One RU, Wire rate 12-Port 40GE or 48-port 10GE switch and supports higher density with expansion modules
  2. 100 GE LEM  – 4 port 100 GE LEM for Nexus 5696Q and Nexus 6004EF

The Cisco 5624Q, the new addition to the popular and widely adopted 5600 Series (Nexus 5672UP, Nexus 56128P, and Nexus 5696Q), provides seamless transition to 10/40G and makes IT resources and staff more efficient through consolidating workloads and  delivering a truly converged solution.

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