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Innovate on the Cheap

Innovation is inextricably linked with the old adage “If at first you don’t succeed, try, and try again!”  Great entrepreneurs concur that in order to drive real innovation, corporations must cultivate originality by giving employees the freedom and resources to introduce new ideas, methods and processes.

So I began to wonder, what are some great ways that an enterprise can balance the hard costs and the opportunity costs of fostering innovation with the more practical demands of the balance sheet?

A few weeks ago, I heard James Urquhart talking to a customer about their cloud strategy and he said some things that I thought were very powerful.  He was talking about the flexibility of Cisco UCS and how it allowed for inexpensive do-overs.  You can buy the hardware and try something on it at small scale.  If it shows promise, you can scale it up to meet the full market need.  If it doesn’t work, the hardware can quickly be recaptured and repurposed for the next innovation.  Repeat, redo, retry, redesign—cost effectively “try, and try again.”

As the conversation went on with the customer, we came to recognize the same benefit of a well-engineered orchestrator as the common point of interaction of all the pieces of IT.

New services in the cloud are more than just building a new VM template or vApp and then cloning it on demand.  The move toward ITaaS means bringing in new purpose-built technologies (such as IT chargeback, application configuration management, network flow management, industry-specific compliance reporting, etc.), and integrating them with existing OSS/BSS products you already have (ticketing systems, network monitoring, email, etc.).

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Cisco FabricPath – Scaling your data center network

Recently, I was having a discussion with some customers about how data center networks are being redefined by convergence and virtualization, and how Cisco FabricPath is helping IT staff scale their data center networks to make them more agile for virtualization deployments. If you’re not familiar with Cisco FabricPath technology,  it’s a superset  of the IETF TRILL standard with added features. Cisco FabricPath allows you to build out highly scalable, multi-path layer 2 networks without Spanning-Tree.

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Building “Business Ready” Cloud Computing Networks

Over the last few months, the big trend in Cloud Computing has been a dramatic shift from “talking” to “building”. Companies in every industry are taking the next steps to deploy their strategies to deliver more efficient IT services for their business, with the goal of delivering the services in the best possible manner regardless of the source (Private Cloud, Public Cloud service, Hybrid capabilities).

But companies looking to deploy Cloud Computing or expand their existing footprint face several challenges:

  • How to deal with on-going support for legacy applications (such as this or this) while beginning to deploy new virtualized or cloud-based applications?
  • How to ensure consistent levels of Security, Auditing, Compliance, and Quality of Service across the range of applications (old and new)?
  • How to build out Cloud Computing infrastructure in a way that is consistent and able to easily grow as demand grows?
  • How to deal with potential migration from one source of services (internal or external) to another without having to completely re-architecture the underlying infrastructure?
  • How to deal with concerns about stability of external Cloud Computing services that are outside of their control?

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Cisco Live Las Vegas 2011 – Data Center Activities and Bloggers Meet-Up

June 27, 2011 at 9:20 am PST

Cisco Live Las Vegas is again around the corner – So back to Mandalay Bay , like it or not :)
This year will be a very special one with a 2 years celebration of the UCS launch!
In case you missed the comments on this incredible journey, check some of our recent  blogs on the subject.

Cisco UCS : There is a movement

They Were Wrong About UCS…What Else Are They Wrong About?

Cisco UCS: Customers Win

Cisco servers? They said UCS would never succeed…

Looking back on 2009 – The Future of Cisco UCS

Keep Rocking that Blade Server Boat


At this point, I  am pretty sure that you have already made your plan for this conference (Flying in or not)
Whether you’re coming or not, first thing you want to do is to follow and use our special hash tag  #cldc11 in addition of the general #cl11 hash tag

So if you registered to the physical event, here a website to visit to know  the data center activities
Please check to make sure that you don’t miss an opportunity to educate yourself, and to meet great people

If you are a data center blogger , please let us know  using the following spreadsheet.
I will send you an invitation for a special meet up /happy hours on Monday July 11th -5:00 to 6:30 pm
It will be an additional opportunity to meet our team of bloggers , as well as other bloggers – The virtual world as certainly a lot of  virtues, but sometimes it’s great to have face to face conversations .
To thank you for coming , I am organizing also a little raffle with the opportunity to win an iPad

I want also to bring your attention on the presence of numerous Data Center partners who are instrumental in creating with us very compelling solutions : Vblock, Flexpod , Desktop Virtualization, Cloud computing, UCS, Mission Critical applications.

If you are not coming to Cisco Live in Las Vegas , you still can attend some of the sessions on Cisco Live Virtual. So I invite you to register on the website, as the key notes and a significant numbers of sessions  will be streamed .

I hope to see you in Las vegas

Didier (Dda)

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Spotlight on Nexus 1000V: Great Podcast and Learning Lab for Your Enjoyment

June 24, 2011 at 11:54 am PST

Today, I wanted to point out a couple of great resources to develop a deeper understanding of Cisco’s virtual switch, the Nexus 1000V.

First, we were excited to have Prashant Gandhi, our Sr. Director of Product Management for the Nexus 1000V, be invited onto the latest Packet Pushers Podcast, hosted by Greg Ferro. If you aren’t yet familiar with the PP Podcasts, they are an entertaining technical dive into a wide range of networking concepts with guests from vendors as well as large IT organizations. Greg’s expertise lies in the data center and with all things networking, including virtualization and L4-7 application services. In this podcast, all about the Nexus 1000V, Greg, Prashant and the other co-hosts talk about the architecture and deployment issues. There’s an extensive comparison of Cisco’s 802.1Qbh virtual Ethernet bridge protocol with the 802.1Qbg proposal from HP, VEPA.  Listen to the full podcast here.

Greg had made an earlier plea on his blog that he wasn’t getting enough Cisco guests. We were happy to help out and enjoyed the interaction. We talked about having Prashant back on a future show to talk about vPath and the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the virtual firewall running on the Nexus 1000V. We look forward to that as well.

For a deeper, hand-on dive into the Nexus 1000V, nothing beats the Cisco CloudLab (http://cloudlab.cisco.com). We’ve set up an online workbench configured with all the tools and software to play around with the virtual switch yourself. Cisco Cloudlab is available to folks outside Cisco, but you will have enter the name of a Cisco employee sponsor to approve access. There are a number of lab exercises you can walk through to get a general overview, install or upgrade the Nexus 1000V, as well as VSG.

Cisco Cloud Lab

Of course, if you are really ready to test it out on your own, you can always download a trial version for your own system at the Nexus 1000V page (http://www.cisco.com/go/nexus1000v).

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