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#SmartConnectedCity Series: Tackling City Challenges and Creating Opportunity with IoE and Smart+Connected Communities

What If…

…You have access to unlimited computing power at a reasonable price…

…You have access to unlimited storage and bandwidth at a reasonable price…

…Everything is connected to everything else…

Then…

Would you still provide healthcare and education in the same ways?

Would you run cities the same way?

Would you live your life the same way?

I think you’ll agree that the answer is no.

The Internet has already radically changed the way most of us live our lives. If we take a look at the challenges facing cities today--overcrowding, traffic, areas of poverty, crime, limited access to healthcare, education, citizen services—we recognize the opportunity for the Internet—as it evolves—to radically change the way we address these challenges as well.

New Answers to Big Problems

But to do so, we need to ask some simple, yet profound questions: Why is there traffic? How do we dispense medical information and healthcare more efficiently when 70% of the time a doctor doesn’t need to actually be in the room to help you? Can we provide more efficient street lighting and still keep our streets safe? How do we continue to provide adequate citizen services as cities grow by 10,000 people per hour?

The growth and convergence of things and data as well as people and processes on the Internet–which Cisco calls The Internet of Everything (IoE)--is allowing us to look at the challenges our cities are facing in new ways. At the same time technology is evolving, the price for computing, storage and bandwidth has dropped to nearly free.

Everything is Being Connected

By 2020–only a few years from now--upwards of 50 billion devices--video cameras, home security systems, refrigerators, your car, your medication, maybe even your baby’s diaper--will be connected to the Internet, each one requesting and generating more and more data. And that data will need to be analyzed and packaged to make it useful.

Cisco has estimated that the value of all of these connections in terms of the opportunities and the savings they represent to be a startling $19 trillion over the next decade…and the portion of that dedicated just to public-sector activities to be $4.6 trillion.

Big Opportunities for Cities that Get Smart

Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities (S+CC) initiative applies the power of IoE to the problems faced by cities. We’ve crafted a set of architectures and a growing portfolio of solutions to allow cities to gather relevant data, analyze it, process it, share it and deliver it to the right people, places, and things to make things happen. Whether it’s to change the stop lights to green as an ambulance is making its way to a hospital or automatically alert the public when the water supply has been compromised, a smart, connected city has more tools in its arsenal to address its most pressing challenges – and leverage new economic opportunities.

Barcelona is a prime example of a city – along with dozens more including Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Songdo--that has already embraced the smart vision and is making radical architectural, technological and process investments for their future by engaging in a variety of smart, connected city projects.

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Fast IT Workshop #3 – What Fast IT Means for Service Providers

As business leaders navigate an increasingly complex world of connections, they need IT to provide a programmable infrastructure that can dynamically respond to their needs. This four-part blog series explores how responsive infrastructure helps IT leaders succeed. Today’s post discusses how service providers specifically stand to benefit from a Fast IT strategy specific to their needs.

To read the first post in this series by Colin Kincaid which introduces Fast IT, a new model for IT, click here. To read the second post in this series by Jim Grubb which discusses a roadmap to adopt a Fast IT model, click here. To read the fourth and final post in this series by Jeff Reed which explores how a Fast IT model can mitigate infrastructure challenges, click here.

Over the course of this blog series, we’ve discussed how the Fast IT model can empower businesses to take advantage of new connections and prepare for the future. Along with businesses, service providers (SPs) can embrace innovation in IT models as a key driver to business agility and transformation.

To thrive in a constantly changing environment, SPs need to embrace an architecture that enables them to transform their business… essentially to bring the best of their network capabilities and blend them with those from a web company to effectively become a Fast SP.  To achieve this, architecture is built from both physical and virtual infrastructure designed to be faster and more flexible.   Ultimately, an architecture that can move quickly and respond to real-time demands will give providers the ability to acquire, analyze, and act on the influx of data and connections created by the growing Internet of Everything (IoE) – and ultimately offer improved services for their end-customers. With Cisco’s announcement earlier this year around the Evolved Services Platform, Service Providers now have advanced means to enable providers to deploy new services to businesses and consumers alike.

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2014 Cisco VNI Forecast: It’s not just about big numbers

Today, Cisco released the updated VNI Global IP Traffic and Service Adoption Forecasts, 2013 – 2018 (see media release). The key drivers of global IP traffic growth (network users, devices/connections, broadband speeds, and video consumption) continue to show increases that will create a greater global demand for IP network resources:

  • By 2018, there will be nearly four billion global Internet users (about 52% of the world’s population), up from 2.5 billion in 2013
  • By 2018, there will be 21 billion networked devices and connections globally, up from 12 billion in 2013
  • Globally, the average fixed broadband connection speed will increase 2.6-fold, from 16 Mbps in 2013 to 42 Mbps by 2018
  • Globally, IP video will represent 79% of all traffic by 2018, up from 66% in 2013

As a result of these fundamentals, we are projecting that global IP traffic will grow three-fold from 2013 to 2018 --reaching 1.6 Zettabytes annually by 2018 (a 21% CAGR over the forecast period).

While quantifying the projected growth Read More »

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It’s all about you: thanks for making Cisco’s Unified Computing System #1

When we talk about Cisco UCS success, we could boast about how, in just five short years, Cisco has earned the #1 position for x86 blade server sales in the Americas. Or, brag on how we achieved 39% revenue growth in a period where the other top five vendors saw flat or declining numbers, according to IDC. We could mention how some in the industry questioned our strategy to enter this market in the first place, in the middle of a worldwide economic slowdown no less. Also, we might remind everyone that others predicted that we wouldn’t last a year.

We could do that, but we won’t. Because we know without a doubt, that the success of Cisco UCS is not all about us. It is about our customers, who continue to choose innovation. Like our customers, we are acutely aware that the data center, including the role of IT, is changing rapidly. Cost pressures, technology changes, and game-changers like cloud computing require a new approach. With our unified data center architecture, products, solutions, and services, we are helping you achieve the business outcomes you need for your organization to grow. We are working with you, over 33,000 strong and growing, to help evolve your data centers using the Cisco Unified Data Center platform and redefine the economics of your IT operations. So you can spend more of your resources on delivering innovation to your business, all while increasing business agility, reducing CapEx and OpEx, and simplifying your operations.

thankyouIt’s also about Cisco data center partners, because we know that it takes an ecosystem to be successful. Driving 80% of all Cisco UCS sales, channel partners are fueling this rapid growth and capturing emerging opportunities including cloud, big data, enterprise applications, and desktop virtualization. Early on, our partners recognized the value of UCS and embraced it. Their training, infrastructure, and other investments have been a huge contributor to UCS traction in the marketplace. The results are an expanded data center practice and value delivered to customers. Cisco data center partners, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Not long ago, Paul Perez predicted this day would come. His bold “sooner than you think” statement has come to pass, well, sooner than we thought. Frankly, we’re not too surprised. But we are pleased, and humbled, and determined to keep pushing forward with data center innovation such as Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure.

But most of all, we thank you.

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Fast IT Workshop #2 – Roadmap to Fast IT

As business leaders navigate an increasingly complex world of connections, they need IT to provide a programmable infrastructure that can dynamically respond to their needs. This four-part blog series explores how responsive infrastructure helps IT leaders succeed. This post will discuss what IT leaders can do now to adopt a roadmap to Fast IT.

To read the first post in this series by Colin Kincaid which introduces Fast IT, a new model for IT, click here. To read the third post in this series by Doug Webster which highlights how service providers specifically stand to benefit from Fast IT, click here. To read the fourth and final post in this series by Jeff Reed which explores how a Fast IT model can mitigate infrastructure challenges, click here.

The old way of doing things won’t work anymore for us IT professionals. The “application economy” and explosion of connected devices have increased the complexity of IT to such levels that throwing bodies at the problems won’t solve them anymore. The new Fast IT model we discussed in previous blogs enables IT departments to shift focus from spending too much time keeping the lights on to capturing the value of today’s connections and preparing for the future.

Here is an example of the CapEx and OpEx savings our own Cisco IT has achieved by following a Fast IT model.

ACI Delivers Business Outcomes | CiscoLive

Like any strategic initiative, the transition to a Fast IT model requires careful planning and change management.  In particular, organizations need to develop a plan that encompasses people, organizational processes and technologies. Once this foundational plan is in place, CIOs are then ready to begin the steps of preparing their business for Fast IT and building an organization focused on service delivery.

To assist with this process, we’ve created a four-step roadmap. Here’s a closer look at each step:

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