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Services in a Cloud Computing Environment

December 3, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

Quite a few years ago, when we we positioning the concept of the intelligent network, we had a slide that showed how features moved from servers or dedicated hardware to the the network over time. The trigger was usually when a service, say name resolution, became broadly used. At that point, it was seldom workable to have that service delivered by a place in the network--it needed to be ubiquitous…and highly available…and scaleable…and manageable…and usually ended up as a network service.Reading a recent post by the ever fearless Christofer Hoff and the related Twitter exchange got me thinking about this again. Once we cut through the cloud-hype and start looking at the practicalities of implementing things like workload portability, I think the lessons of the past will re-assert themselves, this time with things like security and L4-7 services. There was a time when security=firewall, in essence, security was associated with a specific place in your network. Now, to be effective, security needs to be pervasively deployed and deliver security services that ubiquitous and consistent--no matter where a workload runs (my desktop, my data center, someone else’s data center) the security policy must be consistently implemented. Read More »

Data Center 3.0 and Tightening Budgets

November 26, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

We had Robert Scoble swing by the Cisco DNA lab yesterday to learn a little bit more about data center 3.0 and talk about what we can do in the near term to help customers deal with the repercussions of this economy--declining budgets, M&A activity, reduced headcount and the like.You can find the interview here or if you have a FaceBook account, better quality video here.Having been in this industry for a decade or two, the usual response to a down economy is fairly predictable: stop spending and lower headcount. The cool thing this time around is that companies have a much wider array of tools at their disposal to provide a much more calibrated response. For example, in the video, we talk a bit about how virtualization can help reduce costs, how automation can improve staff productivity, and how cloud-based infrastructure can provide a whole different approach to supporting apps.The other difference I am seeing this time around--and we talked about this off-camera--is that companies are not automatically going into hermit mode until the economy settles down. Many folks see opportunity in the turmoil and the tools mentioned above (virtualization, automation, clouds, etc) let them cut costs and still strategically invest in the business. This is something Cisco did after the fallout from the tech bubble and I wold expect us to do the same thing this time around.

Energy Efficiency Can Be Fun Too

November 21, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

imageMy gift to you is a bit of entertainment to get your weekend started off with a smile. Apparently, energy efficiency is still a hot issue (yes, that was a pun) and I am still surprised I get hits on my Power, Pickups and Polar Bears post from a few months ago. Sadly, there is still a fair amount of, um, mis-information out there about energy calculators and the like. Now, we could put out more whitepapers and brochures, but some of our more creative types tried a slightly different--and way more entertaining--approach:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1EquRqanSghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNcnIO75xUIhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cyo9G5qV32ohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phKgyZonGh0http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO-vKBribuI

Another Way to Faster Apps: Managed WAN Optimization Services

While WAN optimization has long been available to purchase and deploy from network equipment vendors like Cisco, Riverbed and others, the time has come when leading service providers around the world are now offering their customers the strong benefits of WAN optimization technology as a managed service.The growth of managed services overall has been strong over the last few years. Nemertes Research has data showing in 2006 only 27% of their surveyed organizations used/planned to use branch managed services. Today, 63% of Nemertes’ surveyed organizations use or plan to use branch managed services in some locations. Another interesting data point: managed services are out pacing IT industry growth -- 18% for MS vs. 8% for IT industry (source: Ovum). While WAN optimization is relatively early in this cycle, expect to see adoption of this managed service grow, especially among small to mid-size businesses…though some analysts such as NetForecast also see global enterprises . Read More »

FCoE: Live and Drama-Free

November 17, 2008 at 12:00 pm PST

imageWe recently turned up FCoE (on the Nexus 5000) in one of our production data centers. Here is an interview with Sidney discussing the results and what we learned during the process.