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Mad Scientist Alert

Looking back, the market was probably caught off guard a bit by an acquisition of an automation software company by the worldwide leader in networking. Looking around, the market may still be wondering:  why was the acquisition made?    Did all that cash the financial analysts keep talking about finally burn a hole in Cisco’s proverbial head as well as pockets?

Infrastructure Alchemy

Neither conjecture is true, of course. As usual, Cisco mined the market for the next catalyst (pun fully intended) to transform its infrastructure, starting with the data center. The result was a formula for data center transformation that solves some of the most pressing problems in data center management both today and well into the future. Here’s the formula: take one compute platform highly tuned for on-demand cloud environments, add third-party application deliver, then perform a little fusion with support solutions that support the Day 2 operations requirements for automating manual tasks. The result is an automation of the many repetitive tasks that are now being done manually, allowing data center administrators to invest the majority of their resources in aligning IT operations with business goals and creating new ways to generate revenue rather than in just maintaining the infrastructure. Read More »

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Intel Cloud Builder: Cisco and Intel deliver Virtualized Multi-Tenant Cloud infrastructure

Making it Easier to Deploy and Enhance Cloud Infrastructure

Open standards. Open ecosystem. Needs for higher bandwidth. Needs for greater levels of security. Faster application response times. Demand for new levels of flexibility in moving from legacy Data Center architectures to Cloud Computing models. At Cisco, we hear these demands from our customers and partners every day as we deliver solutions to help them drive greater productivity into their business.

But we realize that we can’t deliver innovative solutions to the market alone. Not only do we need to work with partners that create world-class technology, but we need partners that are committed to creating intelligent environments that drive participation from every part of the market.

Today Intel launched the Intel Cloud Builder program, part of it’s broader Cloud 2015 initiative. This multi-vendor initiative is committed to helping customers as they migrate to various forms of Cloud Computing. Intel Cloud Builder brings together industry leaders to drive new innovations, to educate customers about technology and trends, and to deliver solutions (via Reference Architectures) that can be deployed today.

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Understanding the Truth Behind Batch Processing in the Modern World

There is a myth that all data processing occurs in real time.  But the reality is that batch and event based processing are still very much alive and the majority of data processing is still done through batch processing.  Our average customer uses Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler to execute ~50K jobs on a daily basis, but we also have large financial services companies automating the execution of over 100K jobs daily, not bad right?

So, with over 50 percent of all business processes leveraging batch operations, it is essential to keep your batch production running smoothly in order to keep your business running smoothly.  You cannot afford to have failed jobs.  Failure is not acceptable as it directly impacts the business and can impact revenue – such as the inability to process orders or to generate invoices.  What are we getting at here?

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Cisco & BMC enable breakthrough efficiency yields at Monsanto

Having just returned from VMWorld in Copenhagen, I stopped for a few minutes over a cup of hot tea to reflect on how dramatically the issues and priorities have changed from just a few years ago.  From just a few years ago, the focus has changed from “getting to virtualization” to “managing virtualization”.

With each Data Center event I’ve participated in this year, I’ve heard the cry from CIOs and IT Leaders everywhere for help in simplifying the management of their increasingly complex, virtualized environments.    IT systems management has emerged as the foremost area of concern (and top spending priority) among enterprise and mid-market businesses.

Increasingly, customers are asking for a single unified and integrated systems management solutions, that would simplify operations and provide agility. This is not surprising given that IT spend on server operations management (OpEx) now exceeds that of server purchases (CapEx). To compound the situation, rapid growth in virtual servers, has made this scenario even more complex.

My conversations with several impacted customers at VMWorld, Europe, yielded a consistent response; The solutions proffered by most incumbent server vendors were not meeting their needs.   Most incumbent vendors add software management layers for every piece of component added to the server infrastructure. This has led to a house of cards situation, difficult to scale, sustain and make changes. Many customers have benefited from the Unified Management capability offered by the UCS platform and are looking for a similar unified management solution that would extend to full stack server provisioning and configuration automation

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Consumerization of Enterprise IT Drives Demand for Unified Virtualization Architecture, New Security Standards

The global enterprise is being subjected to an explosion of consumer Internet applications, web services, smartphones, mobile applications and other consumer on-line services, based on the principle that the corporate IT experience should be as cool and easy to work or play with as the home entertainment and consumer device experience.  PC desktop browser access to web-based data is increasingly less significant in terms of resource demands and connectivity stress being forced on the corporate network.

The computing cycles required to support these consumer on-line services, however, will take network demand way beyond the PC desktop browser standard and require enterprises and service providers to allocate up to 10 times the conventional compute power, according to research by Morgan Stanley.  Internet application and web access devices like smartphones will potentially reach 10 billion units worldwide in the next few years, but it’s important to understand the new standards for network availability resource demand, and usability attitudes, will come from more than smartphones alone.[1]

Additionally, in terms of mobile computing, growth projections in 3G/4G networks will create new, rigorous demands on enterprise wireless network infrastructures (devices enabled with GPS, WiFi/WiMax, Bluetooth, and/or 3G/4G).

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