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Dealing with The Hype Around, and Transition To, Cloud

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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Announcement :Red Hat RHEL 6.0, Cisco UCS and VN-Link

Cisco Ed Bugnion, VP and CTO of the Server Access Virtualization Business Unit , announced today in Boston at the Red Hat Summit a stronger collaboration between the two companies  , with the upcoming support in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.0 on top of the Unified Computing System (UCS) of Cisco VN-Link technology (virtualization Awareness)
“Virtualization has been a big trend in IT over the past years”  said Ed Bugnion  “ not only from a software perspective but also for the underlined  hardware infrastructure – Our strategy  at Cisco is to accelerate the transition to a more virtualized data center environment. In that context we have been working  very closely with Red Hat  to combine the innovation that Red Hat is providing with the open source hypervisor with the innovation we have in UCS . Today we deliver a solution which provides better manageability, visibility and better performance for deployment of virtual machines “

“In collaborating with Red Hat and the open source community, Cisco creates the ability to have  a virtual interface associated with the virtual machine. Now for the first time the UCS Manager can see into a virtual machine the traffic generated and see them as points of switching on the fabric “ added Shrijeet Mukherjee, Cisco Engineering manager   UCS Virtual Interface Card

“At Travelport, we have deployed the Cisco Unified Computing System to reduce our IT footprint and deploy both virtualized and non-virtualized applications more quickly, which is essential in the dynamic travel industry,” said Steven Senecal, manager, global server engineering at Travelport, a broad-based business services company and a leading provider of critical transaction processing solutions to companies operating in the global travel industry. “As the Linux market grows, the integration between Cisco’s VN-Link technology and Red Hat’s KVM hypervisor represents a high-performance virtualization offering for the open source market from two industry leaders, and expands the choices for deploying virtualization on Linux platforms while enabling the same level of security and policy for virtual machines that exists for physical servers.” 

That’s definitely  great news for the open source community , but more importantly this announcement demonstrates again the willingness of Cisco to deliver a platform ready to work in an heterogeneous  environment, and the strong commitment to keep leading the necessary transition of the data centers to a virtualized infrastructure  in providing integrated platforms for both physical and virtual environments.  

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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


  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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