Many publications listing the top technology trends in 2009 have cloud computing on their list. It’s not something new, but as buzzwords go, this one is gathering more momentum. The reasons aren’t hard to seek -services in the cloud are becoming more mature, and bandwidth is becoming ubiquitous and inexpensive. Google, IBM, Cisco, Sun, Microsoft Salesforce.com have all done their bit. Many fledgling startups have thrown their hat in the ring. Grid computing aficionados are adding cloud computing to their interests. The acronym industry is in fifth gear with SaaS, PaaS, ITaaS, NaaS and all the other”aaS”es, though I find some definitions to be confusing at times. Our resident ‘stir-the-pot’ blogger Doug Gourlay has chipped in with his thoughts and it seems that even some of the industry bigwigs agree to disagree on the definition.The thing is, cloud services by whatever name are becoming popular, but they aren’t there yet, except in a few instances. And even it’s there 100% -- ready -there will always be people, especially in branch offices, who’ll look for complementary offerings. Here are three reasons I think why:- Trust - how much do you trust services in the cloud? And if you have the perception of security and trust, do you belong to an industry that mandates you NOT to trust? Regulations perhaps?- Performance -When compared to the LAN, anything coming over a WAN link will have performance issues. Either because of the WAN link, or inspite of it- Availability -Your cloud services may be available and always-on. But your access and connectivity to it may suffer, a corollary for the WAN link statement above. In that case, how survivable would your applications be? I met up with my good friend Mike Wood, who’s the Director of Unified Communications and discussed a few of these ideas. He spent concentrated bursts late last year exploring business fundamentals of cloud computing, was brimming with new ideas, and as always, willing to share them. Read More »
During the 2008 year-end post Christmas shutdown, as we checked out the Great Mall of the Bay Area, I wasn’t really expecting a lot of shoppers given the state of the economy. I was pleasantly surprised and a bit annoyed at finding the parking lots full, and having to circle the mall quite a few times before I could finally park, complimenting my quicker set of reflexes as another middle-aged man was trying to get the same spot from the opposite direction. Walking in, I saw that most of the shops did have fairly lengthy lines, especially those that were offering huge discounts. On closer look, some of these long lines were at the returns counters, where customers were either exchanging gifts they’d received for the holiday season, or in some cases, returning them back. Whether the lines are for purchasing products, or for returning them, the efficiency with which the store is able to service these people is what leads to customer satisfaction, and eventually customer loyalty. Nobody loves standing in long lines. So, given that customer satisfaction is inverserly proportional to lengthy lines, how do you use technology to “keep the lines moving”. That essentially forms the problem statement here. Barcode scanners, point of sale terminals, RFIDs, loyalty cards -- all these have helped in bringing technology to the retail environment to help keep lines moving quickly. What is the role of the network here, and how can embedded network-aware application help?In this demonstration, Ed Collins, one of our Enterprise Architects explains how integrating the conceptual”Credit card floor limit” application into the network is one cool way of bringing the network and application convergence through Embedded Event Management API.. This was one of the demos we shared on tradeshow booths, much before we launched the Cisco ‘Think Inside the Box’ Developer contest, and needless to say, it resonated very well with our customers.And do you know what’s cool? Read More »
You are invited to attend the free and virtual Cisco Workshop For Developing Applications on the AXP Please join Cisco’s TechWise TV host, Jimmy Ray Purser, and other Cisco experts, in the free virtual workshop as they discuss information for developing applications on the Cisco’s Application Extension Platform (AXP), Cisco’s new application development and hosting platform, and answer your questions in a live Q & A session. The virtual workshop is designed for application developers, network and IT solutions architects, and Cisco customers and partners interested in exploring application development and hosting solutions on the Cisco Integrated Services Router via Cisco AXP.Event Details: Cisco Workshop For Developing Applications on the AXP
What could be a better way to start the new year than with a brand new award? Check out this issue of Linux Magazine, which names Cisco to the ‘Top 20 companies to watch in 2009′ award, debuting at #5. According to Linux magazine, they’ve chosen these companies (with a little help from their crystal ball) because “these firms have a high probability of helping their customers to save some funds in 2009. Chosen because they could help enterprises survive and even thrive..”. I thought that was beautifully put, almost John Chambers like. Among other things, Linux magazine specifically mentions the work done by the Integrated Services Router and the Cisco ‘Think Inside the Box Developer’ contest. I thought that was pretty cool. This is certainly a new direction for Cisco, but it also builds upon a lot of efforts that different groups of people have put in the direction of adopting Linux, Open Source and collaboration in general. Special thanks to Linux Magazine, their editorial team and a big shout-out to their readers from our side. We are excited…Go 2009!
The best of innovations are the ones that solve real-world problems. If they can mask complexity in the process, they are doubly beneficial. From the simple paper clip to the complex Enterprise IT software, ease of use and applicability are key to adoption.Take fax for instance. It is a vital piece of the Unified Communications strategy that is often overlooked. Traditional analog faxing has been around for ages, but it has its share of problems. It is difficult to enforce an audit trail, multiple incoming faxes means dealing with busy signals. What compounds this is the paper consumption, toner cartridges that are hard to re-cycle.Enter fax-over-IP. For those of you who are looking for sample ideas that solve customer problems for the Cisco developer contest, or otherwise, I recommend a study of the elegant solution from SAGEM-Interstar. Recently, Teresa Newell (who is a product manager for Unified Communication solutions on the Cisco Integrated Services Router) and I got a chance to host”faxperts” John Nikolopoulos, SAGEM’s Director of Marketing and Matthew Miller, XMediusFAX product manager who were visiting us at the Cisco San Jose Campus from Montreal, Canada. Against the scenic background of another Cisco building (yeah, I know) I quizzed John on the business value of SAGEM’s solution and why despite being Number one in their industry they still found it beneficial to host the application on the Cisco ISR.Not to be outdone, Teresa put her engineering hat on and probed Matthew on what developers need to consider while porting applications onto the Application Extension Platform. Mattew also shared some of their experiences in bringing applications onboard which may be useful to others. Read More »