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Industrial Grade SDN

September 9, 2013 at 6:55 am PST

The software defined network has become all the rage lately for reasons that seem to vary and are caught up in interesting perceptions.  One view was that it allowed a single network to be controlled centrally and divided up logically to prevent different groups from interfering with one another, well that’s true.  Another view is that it provides a central place of management that configures and monitors the network for performance and faults, well that is true.

The basis is really the separation of the control plane (configuration and management) onto a server that centrally controls many network nodes.  From the data plane which are the switches and routers that pass the data for the application from one end device to another, or many.  The SDN controller communicates over a secure communications path using an API supported by the network device.

Yet what may be the most significant possibility of SDN is the ability to use programmatic control from the very applications that use the network for transport to stipulate any number of services that application needs from the network.  We are seeing this in data centers that will allow end user departments to define a complete network for say ERP from within the ERP application and no help from IT.  Why not for controls?  And since SDN is based on open source initiatives the ability for anyone to create and market applications for say a controls system is very real. Read More »

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Cisco Manufacturing Honored by Frost & Sullivan

September 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm PST

Frost & SullivanI am happy to share the great news that the Cisco team received industry accolades last week when it was recognized by Frost & Sullivan for delivering a seamlessly connected enterprise collaboration solution across industry verticals.  The award, based on Frost & Sullivan’s Vision of the Future of Manufacturing Production 2.0 (Visi-MAP 2.0), identified the top 50 game changers in manufacturing hardware and software. The Visi-MAP 2.0 initiative uses this platform to identify companies that refuse to take a ringside spectator view of industry developments and instead, lead in the visionary innovation process.

I know I speak for the entire Cisco Manufacturing team when I say that we are honored to be recognized for our integrated, vertically relevant solutions for business and operations networks as well as our strong ecosystem of partners.  We have advanced our solutions greatly over the past few years and are excited for our future and continued growth. Our industry-leading solutions continue to set us apart from our competitors and we are excited that the industry is recognizing us as a leader.

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Welcome Dave Cronberger to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

September 6, 2013 at 11:12 am PST

Welcome Dave Cronberger to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

Dave Cronberger

Dave Cronberger

It is with great pleasure that I introduce a key member of the Cisco Customer Global Enterprise Solutions Group. Dave is a customer solutions architect, working with and supporting key global customers, especially in the automotive industry. As an Infrastructure architect he is focused on physical and logical networks and network based services in industrial automation in discreet and process control environments.

He is a 14-year Cisco veteran with a background in IT networks, network security, IT and OT infrastructure, networks and security, with additional focus on collaboration technologies that use voice, video, and web to improve manufacturing process.

Dave is no stranger to the cutting edge of the automotive industry. He has initiated fleet connected vehicle solutions for Cisco, associated with an IP enabled vehicle using a variety of wireless connections, and today he is focused on Industrial Automation Networks and supporting systems along with network architecture and design for control systems in discreet and process manufacturing systems. This also includes systems supporting the plant floor such as communications, remote expert solutions, wireless networks and security. Read More »

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Krones AG – Connected Manufacturing for Data Center and Operations

August 30, 2013 at 1:44 pm PST

Krones boosts production efficiency in data center and executes safe migration from RISC platforms for mission-critical applications

Krones bottling2Here’s a great story about the Machinery and Engineering company Krones Group, out of Neutraubling, Germany. The company manufactures machinery and complete plants for process, bottling, and packaging technology.

Millions of bottles, cans, and specially shaped containers are processed daily on behalf of breweries, the soft-drink sector, and manufacturers of wine, sparkling wine, and spirits as well as for the chemical, pharmaceutical, and cosmetics industry.

Krones Group quoteThe company’s data centers are a key enabler for business growth. Consisting of 200 physical servers and 700 virtual machines spread across three locations, this critical infrastructure previously used a mix of technologies from different vendors. During a typical day, the three facilities handle around 1.3 petabytes of data and, in the case of the largest SAP database with more than 6TB, serve 5500 users concurrently. This data center environment relied on reduced instruction set computer (RISC) processor architectures for business critical applications such as SAP and databases, mostly running Solaris operating systems.

Krones selected a Cisco Smart+Connected™ Manufacturing solution, based on the Cisco® Unified Data Center. This pre-validated architectural approach combines server respective computing performance, network, and management into a platform designed to automate IT as a service across physical and virtual environments. The end result is increased budget efficiency, more agile business responsiveness, and simplified IT operations.

Krones Group quote #2At the heart of the solution are Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS®) B-Series Blade Servers, which run numerous standard server software along with a host of Oracle databases, SAP systems, and Microsoft applications including SQL server, Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint, and Citrix.

Migration from RISC/Solaris to Cisco UCS/Linux has begun and is already improving agility. IT infrastructure can now respond quicker to changes andrequirements in the development of application and business processes. Read More »

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Internet of Things – What is Cisco doing for Business with IoT?

August 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm PST

 I recently had the pleasure of talking to Tony Shakib and Navdeep Johar at a recent Cisco Live event, and asked both to talk about The Internet of Things and what it means for business, particularly industrial businesses.

" here's... Tony Shakib, Vice President, Business Solutions

Tony Shakib, Vice President, Business Solutions, Cisco

After a great session presented by Tony Shakib at Cisco Live, I talked to Tony and Navdeep , Cisco Johar and gained insight into what the Internet of Things (IoT) actually is, and how the technology is being applied in a variety of industry sectors including manufacturing, (process and discrete), oil and gas, and transportation, and how customers can monetize this for their organization’s benefit. IoT is real and it’s happening now!

“Internet of things is the foundation; how do you make the sensors a lot smarter; how do you generate a lot more data from it; and how do you monetize and control the data so that you could put it into interesting applications….the next step is we’re trying to put all these technologies in the context of vertical [industry] applications”

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