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Dealing with The Hype Around, and Transition To, Cloud

June 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST

Got to admit (don’t tell my manager!), when I first became involved in cloud computing, I was more of a skeptic than an advocate.  There was a lot of hype around (and still is), and proponents of the “cloud will solve all your IT challenges” approach perhaps don’t realize this mantra has been used all too often with technology innovation.  I’m also concerned by the often singular view of cloud computing implicit in the various marketing initiatives across the industry – you would think that cloud was only about moving applications to third party cloud/software as a service providers.

So what changed me from a skeptic?  First, does Cloud solve some real problems?  And secondly, what does the market data tell us, with respect to both cloud computing as an approach, and the perceived challenges that we will all face as we deploy, and transition to, cloud.

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Cloud Leadership Forum…Real Perspectives, Not Marketing

As we all know, most “conferences” are tradeshows or events for vendors to reach out to end users.  This week’s Cloud Leadership Forum was actually a pretty open, honest gathering of 400+ IT professionals (from CIOs to architects to other IT functions) and senior vendor executives from Microsoft, VMware, Cisco, Juniper, etc.  As well as several of IDC’s top analyst VPs.


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Cisco at Red Hat Summit:Together to Accelerate the Virtualization

June 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm PST


  On June 22-225, the open source community will travel to Boston, to attend the Red Hat Summit 2010- Cisco will be there as a platinum sponsor 


More importantly, one of the key note speakers will be  Cisco Ed Bugnion, Vice President and CTO, Server Access Virtualization!              

The participation of Ed Bugnion  demonstrates the commitment of the company to the open source community , and the strong partnership with Red Hat to deliver innovative solutions for virtualized data centers and the cloud computing journey .
Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) including the UCS Manager  and the Virtual Interface Card, provide an innovative approach to virtualization through increased network control, improved performance, and a consistent operational model.  Cisco’s unique management capabilities combined with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and KVM virtualization allow organizations to manage virtual machines and their virtual network resources as well as physical machines and physical network interfaces with a cohesive approach.

If you plan to be in Boston next week here some of  the speaking sessions that you don’t want to miss 

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Sometimes we can’t see the “Innovation” through the “Wars”

It’s very difficult these days to consume any type of IT-related media and not hear about “stack wars”. Podcasts, VMUGs, tweets, and industry conferences. Company A does it all under one logo. Companies B, C and D are collaborating to create lock-in. Company B also works with other partners, so where are their real loyalties and strategies. Blah, blah, blah…

All of this makes great fodders for the media and Wall Street, but surprisingly, it matters very little to most of the companies I speak with these days. Yes, they monitor it closely because they want strategic partners instead of just suppliers. But more than anything else, the C-level discussions today are about Innovation. Innovation in raw technology; innovation in technology delivery models; innovation in using technology to radically change business models; innovation in partnership models.

Many customers I speak with are in markets where the pace of change is incredibly fast. Fast in the sense of market-leaders being on top in Year 1 and out of the market in Year 4-5 because they fell behind in technology use or adopted a bad strategy. They have global competitors with cost models and operational efficiency that people couldn’t fathom several years ago. Rapid change is part of their lives, hence they don’t look at Innovation as a “nice-to-have” but rather a “must-have”. They expect their business/technology partners to constantly be reinventing themselves and their technologies to give them every possible advantage they can create.

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SAN Market Grows, and So Does Cisco

As the broad IT market and budgets appear to be coming back in 2010, the SAN market continued to maintain its roughly $2 billion annual size with $475M in shipments in CQ1’10.  Showing some growth, larger Director-class switches actually grew 8% sequentially. 

At the same time, Cisco’s ongoing commitment to Fibre Channel was validated by the market in Q1.  Cisco MDS (aka SAN switch) revenue grew 100% year over year in CQ1’10, and Cisco’s market share in Director-class switches grew to a virtual tie at 50%.

Has Cisco re-focused on storage/Fibre Channel? 

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