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Open Standards, Open Source, Open Loop

As the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) meets in Hawaii (IETF 91), the unavoidable question for both participants and observers is whether a Standards Development Organization (SDO) like the IETF is relevant in a rapidly expanding environment of Open Source Software (OSS) projects.

For those new to the conversation, the open question is NOT whether SDOs should exist.  They are a political reality inexorably tied to trade policies and international relationships.  The fundamental reason behind their existence is to avoid a communications Tower of Babel (with the resulting economic consequences) and establish governance over the use of global commercial and information infrastructure (not just acceptable behavior, but the management of resources like addressing as well).  Rather, the question is about their role going forward in enabling innovation. 

SDO Challenges

SDOs (like the IETF) have to evolve their processes Read More »

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IoT Tipping Point Propels Digital Experience Era

Call me an optimist.

We are fortunate today to watch the dawn of the Digital Experience era as the world becomes digitally more and more connected.

Consider that there are already 3 billion of us connected to the Internet. Imagine what the next 4 billion can help us do as they connect.

Even greater change could result as the everyday “things” around us – bus stops, parking spaces, and street lights – get connected. I’ve seen predictions that 20, 50, even over 200 billion more things will be connected in the next couple years. Just think of the tremendous possibilities that could result from that amount of connectivity and collaboration happening around this planet.

What’s rapidly unfolding before us is the Internet of Everything – the intelligent connection of people, process, data, and things. Studies show that the Internet of Everything can drive $19 trillion worth of economic benefit for this planet. To put that into perspective, that’s almost as large as the U.S. and China economies combined. What is your country’s, community’s, or business’ portion of that?

But what fuels my optimism are the social, cultural, and environmental benefits waiting on the horizon — if we accelerate and if we change. With more efficiency and less waste, we human beings can benefit, as can our planet.

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Fighting the Tragedy of Hunger

In Silicon Valley – home to one of the greatest economic engines in the world – there is a silent tragedy that affects more than 250,000 people every month – and that’s hunger. Hunger doesn’t discriminate. It affects the young and the old, families of every size, shape and background.  The challenge, sadly, knows no bounds. Ten thousands miles away – in India – the problem is acute. Here, some students who go to government schools often don’t have enough to eat.  Mothers sometimes don’t have enough to feed their children.

A similar story can be told in Brasilia, Bucharest, Boston, and beyond. The faces of hunger are different, but the challenge of making sure that all have enough to eat is just the same.

In every community, in every part of the world, hunger afflicts far too many– 805 million people according to the United Nations. It is the single-most addressable health problem that we face. No scientific breakthroughs are needed to solve hunger. We have the knowledge, tools, and resources at our disposal to solve this problem.

That’s why Cisco has made a major commitment to stopping hunger in our communities. Over the course of 11 years, our annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign has raised $39.9 million dollars for hunger relief, which translates into 159 million meals provided to those who need it most.

Donations from our 2013 campaign alone provided 23 million meals. These meals were provided through 162 agencies worldwide working to end hunger.

This year will be no different. Beginning on October 27, we launched a two and a half month campaign to raise $1.8 million in employee donations for hunger relief, which will be matched by the Cisco Foundation.

And the impact is incredible.

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“Brick by Brick”

Undoubtedly you heard the news last week of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s open letter in which he publicly acknowledges his sexuality and expresses deep pride in being gay.  While the headline alone is remarkable – the real treasure can be mined from exploring the letter in its entirety and inquiring how we as individuals and as an enterprise can manifest the true intention of this extraordinary message.

Tim Cook’s announcement was an act of service and contribution.  In sharing a personal truth, he illuminates a universal one -- our greatest challenges often bear the greatest gifts.  For Tim, being gay has given him a deeper understanding of those in the minority, greater empathy, the confidence to be himself, to follow his own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry.  And as a result –  a richer life.

His message reminds us all that not everyone has “the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences.” In doing what he feels is his part to help others, he inspires us to re-evaluate ours.

Like Apple, Cisco has a long held commitment to embracing people’s differences and welcoming a full spectrum of different backgrounds, experiences, cultures, affiliations, work styles, and points-of-view.

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OPEN: A Fundamental Part of the Network of the Future

Over the past several years, I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of two important trends in the networking industry -- the evolution of open standards and open APIs, and the definition of policy as the key interface to the network.

Open is an extremely important word to the future of networking. The simple dictionary definition for open means not closed or locked, allowing access to inside, and freely accessible.

The ultimate networking environment will allow a user the freedom to connect anything together in the cloud and to an existing environment. In order for this vision to happen, companies must work together to create a common language.

OpenStack has garnered a lot of interest in the development community and among our customers.  We at Cisco have been actively helping to shape the discussion around policy.  Working collaboratively with our partners and competitors, we helped create Group-Based Policy (GBP), an intent-driven policy API for OpenStack.

The Group-Based Policy initiative represents a significant innovation in how users conceive, manage, deploy, and scale their applications in OpenStack clouds.  And its now available as a 100% open source solution available to any vendor.  When coupled with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, we are able to offer our customers a completely policy-driven network.

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