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Cisco Connected World Report and DC Futures

December 7, 2010 at 9:34 am PST

So, what are customer trends in the next 3-5 years, how much are they really buying into virtualization and cloud, and what does all this change in the data center mean for their careers?

As part of our on-going series of Connected World Reports, we asked these and more questions to 2,600 folks from 13 counties across the globe and got some surprising responses back.  We are getting together some visionaries of our own to discuss the responses and add their own insights into where IT and the data center are going in the next few years:

  • John Manville, vice president of IT, Cisco
  • Jackie Ross, vice president, Server Access and Virtualization Group, Cisco
  • Brian Modoff, senior analyst, Deutsche Bank

Join our panel on December 8 at 8:00 a.m. PST, via a live Internet TV event to review the results and implications of the third and final Cisco Connected World Report, called  “Focus on the Data Center”.

  • To view the program, visit www.ustream.tv/ciscotv. Registration is not required, and the programs will also be available for re-play at the same link: www.ustream.tv/ciscotv.

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FCoE/8G FC Interop Results: Look who supports end users…and who doesn’t

The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) announced the completion of FCoE/8GFC Plugfest held recently at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL).   While it looks like many vendors are on top of FCOE/8G interop testing, several major vendors were conspicuously missing:

“Participating companies in the Plugfest included ATTO, Broadcom, Chelsio, Cisco, Emulex, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Ixia, JDSU, LSI, Mellanox Technologies, NetApp, QLogic and SANBlaze Technology”.

 Why is Multi-Vendor Interoperability Important?

As customers transition to virtualized and cloud environments and attempt to wring the most out of their existing technology, multi-protocol environments are inevitable. The single biggest hurdle to overcome in multi-protocol environments (FC, FCoE, iSCSI, etc) is intelligent scaling — and intelligent scaling requires interoperability between legacy and virtualized environments. 

 Standards-based architectures — The only way to ensure Interop!

Because most customer environments are heterogeneous in nature, a standards-based approach is paramount to enable intelligent scaling at reduced cost without forklift upgrades.  

  • Cisco participates in over 75+ standards bodies
  • Cisco has been issued several thousand patents in networking hardware and software innovations over the last 25 years
  • Cisco invests significant R&D effort in innovations, drives innovations into standards and invests in post-standards activity based on customer requirements  Read More »

Holiday Gift Ideas for Your CEO

December 6, 2010 at 2:45 pm PST

So, regardless of how demanding or finicky your CEO might be, I can guarantee three things he or she wants to find under the metaphorical tree this season:  faster growth, higher margins and lower risk.  Now, many IT are going to respond to this list by saying a) that someone else’s job and/or b) I can’t effect that stuff anyway.  To response “A” I would argue that its everyone’s job.  As far as response “B”, I would argue that you most definitely in a position to impact growth, margin and risk, but its a matter of connecting the dots.

One of the driving forces behind Data Center Business Advantage was to help the CIO and his/her organization link their IT investment to business impact.  From my own personal experiences, I find that IT folks tend have a great handle on technical benefits (32% brighter and shinier) and operational metrics (five-nines uptime) but often fail to establish how they have made life better for the company: what is the difference between four-nines and five-nines in terms of revenue impact, customer sat, or regulatory policy exposure--and is the return worth the investment.  Case in point:  a couple of years ago, I come home with a new AppleTV.  Now I am a geek at heart and my wife puts up with me showing up with a lot of new gear, so I have a pretty good idea of how this will play out with her:

  • Eye-roll
  • Question: “How much did THAT cost?”
  • Muttering about growing up and finding better things to spend the money on like new curtains or cat beds

However this time, things looked a little different… Read More »

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A UCS Management Roundup

We often tout our open management ecosystem, which is made possible by UCS Manager’s XML API. The goal is very simple: we want to help make your transition to UCS as seamless as possible, which means working within your existing management frameworks as much as possible.  We also want to enable more consistent, policy-based approaches to operational management with UCS, and allowing higher-level tools to consume--and in some cases create--UCS service profiles is an important step along that path.

Today we announced an extension to our partnership with BMC, bringing in their Cloud Lifecycle Manager (CLM) to the party. There’s been some interesting joint innovation done with a particular eye to the multi-tenancy needs of service providers—though larger enterprises with full-blown cloud implementations may find the “network container” approach useful as well.  You can read more about the announcement here.  If you’d like to learn more about how Cisco and BMC are partnering to address perennial enterprise pain points, be sure to attend our webinar on Wednesday, December  15th.

Read More »

Does Enterprise IT need a M&A Strategy?

In the past I’ve written about the classic challenge within Enterprise IT, and specifically within the Data Center, that 70-80% of the resources are allocated to “legacy” activities. This obviously leaves very little time to work on new technology-centric innovations to drive the business. Or to put a different way, “IT only does innovation on Friday”.

The McKinsey Quarterly recently had an interesting article about reshaping IT management, where they introduce the concepts “Factory IT” and “Enabling IT”. The premise being that the focus of the Factory IT (70% of the activities) groups should be about cost-reduction, scale, standardization and simplification. The Enabling IT (30%, hopefully growing) should be focused on innovative ways to enable the business to grow. And the management of those groups doesn’t necessarily have to the same, since they’d have different objectives. Read More »

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