Recently I met the CIO of a large pharmaceutical company and had the opportunity to discuss virtualization and evolution of network protocols as related to his data center environments. Like most enterprise customers, this CIO is also looking for ways to improve efficiency and maximize asset utilization while gaining operational efficiency.
The evolution of virtualization now encompassing servers, storage and networks along with the need to support multiple protocols (FC, iSCSI, FCoE, 10G/100G) introduced new challenges in his DC environments, most notably, how to tie the new virtual environment into his legacy environment and how to manage end- to- end to get operational efficiency. His company is looking for ways to reduce ‘time to service’ for application deployment while keeping cost at a minimum.
The real question he has is: “how do I support a multiprotocol virtualized environment to improve efficiency, maximize utilization and increase operational cost?”
According to Rick Vilars, VP of Storage Strategy at IDC, “what enterprise is looking for is simpler networks to do more complex things with all their IT assets”. Your competitiveness in the market place depends on how well your DC scales and grows in this new world, and the first step to surmount these complex problems is to build a common hardware foundation with common OS across entire DC, i.e, LAN to SAN to WAN to DC Interconnect, all on a common platform.
Watch this video to hear IDC’s perspective of multiprotocol SAN evolution and how it can solve the problems faced by our pharmaceutical CIO and other customers in his situation.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation going with a fellow blogger Steve Duplessie about our prospects versus a certain vendor of IT gear and office supplies. Steve’s contention was that our competition’s ability to push the “commodity envelope” would give them a strategic advantage.
At the time, I argued that pushing the commodity envelope (i.e. making things cheaper) only gets you so far. You start running up against diminishing marginal utility–at some point customers stop looking for cheaper mousetraps and start looking for better mousetraps. At some point you need to innovate as a way to create competitive or operational advantage, or you better figure out how to run your business on commodity margins.
This week, our FabricPath announcement served as a great reinforcement of that point. Simply, new challenges require new thinking. The challenges put forth by broad scale virtualization and federated server application environments needed a fresh approach. In this case, FabricPath gives you new functional benefits that map quite nicely to the demands of these emerging DC environments, while still reducing both CapEx and OpEx. Simply taking existing technology and making it cheaper doesn’t buy you anything in his case. I don’t care if you can deliver 10GbE ports for $10 a pop, they are still not going to solve these emerging challenges–in the end, there is no substitute for vision, expertise and R&D follow-through.
If you’ve ever worked on a complicated crossword puzzle you know that there is often one word or phrase that connects many rows. It’s the answer that connects the dots for so many other answers, suddenly making the whole puzzle come together.
At Cisco Live 2010 this week, John Chambers unveiled the Cisco Cius. The beautiful 7” color touch screen of the Cisco Cius will be compared to other tablet devices in the market, but to see it as just a device would be akin to listening to an orchestra and just noticing the conductor. I will offer that you should look at the Cisco Cius as the culmination of years of strategic planning and the tipping point for a new way for the world to interact with computing.
Paul McNab, Cisco VP/CTO, Data Center Switching and Services , kick-offed the IT Management Program at Cisco Live 2010 with a discussion on aligning technology and architectures to business strategy. In highlighting the key ‘take-aways’ from the week’s IT Management sessions, Paul addressed ideas and approaches that can help you map technology initiatives to CIO organization objectives. He touched upon how to campaign for the right IT projects that can transform business processes for a competitive advantage in the new global economy.
As you can imagine the session was packed and I was very pleased to hear the interest and appreciation of the audience to the large experience shared by Paul
By now , you probably had a chance to check what happened at Cisco Live Las Vegas on Wednesday – Amongst the highlights of the day, CTO Padmasree Warrior keynotes speech (the videotaped session is available here), the Data Center 3.0 announcement , the VCE panel with Sungard and ADS CTOs.
Last night, Cisco Omar Sultan, Aneel Lakhani, Brian Gracely and VMware Ernesto Tey met for the last Daily Blogger Techminute of the show. Here is what they had to say about FabricPath, and of course hybrid cloud computing and it’s adoption by the market
For more information about Cisco strategy and offers for the cloud visit http://www.cisco.com/go/cloud and http://www.vcecoalition.com