Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Perspectives

#CiscoChampion Radio S2|Ep 34: The Wonderful World of Collaboration System Release 11

CiscoChampion2015200PX#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’re talking about Collaboration System Release 11 with Cisco Technical Marketing Engineer Dan Keller.

Get the Podcast
Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right-click on the episode’s download button)
View this episode in iTunes

Cisco SME
Dan Keller, Technical Marketing Engineer, Collaboration Technology Group

Cisco Champion Guest Hosts
Dennis Heim, @collabsensei, Emerging Technology Architect (Collaboration)
Josh Warcop, @Warcop, Senior Consultant
Bill Carter, @ccie5022, Senior Business Communications Analyst

Moderator
Kim Austin, @ciscokima, Collaboration Solutions Marketing Read More »

Amplify the Internet of Things in Smart and Connected Cities with Fog

When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), cities have enormous potential. A city needs to manage many different processes and priorities ranging from trash collection to traffic management, for hundreds of thousands to millions of people distributed over a large area. Many of these processes can be enhanced through the use of IoT.

During the past several years we have seen more and more technology solutions being deployed to help cities optimize these processes and provide additional value to its citizens. Smart parking is perhaps one of the best known and perhaps the most visible for city inhabitants.

Typically an IoT solution stack for these processes is build on several layers: (1) sensors to measure, (2) for each type of sensor there is typically a compute infrastructure at the edge of the network near the sensors, to perform simple aggregation, protocol/access technology conversion and local processing/analytics, (3) connectivity (wireless, backbone) to transfer data to the cloud, (4) cloud for deeper analytics, business processes and long term data access.

No two cities however are the same and each city has its own unique challenges. Backbone network infrastructures are managed in different ways, and local views on privacy and security can differ substantially. Light poles form a natural infrastructure to connect sensors with the edge of the network as it provides power and physical security. However cities upgrade their physical infrastructures with different time tables, and upgrades take time (and money), which leads to different alternative IoT infrastructure deployments at the network edge. Each city is organized differently which means budgets are managed differently. The latter can be especially challenging if new services touch multiple departments.

But cities also face common IoT challenges. Different types of sensors typically come with their own edge hardware and service management software. If a city deploys multiple sensor platforms this leads to so-called box proliferation and service management siloes (what some people call the vertical approach to IoT). This is not only undesirable from an aesthetics point of view, but makes it harder (more costly) to manage the whole city IoT infrastructure.

Challenges edge services

Challenges edge services

More sensors also means an increased security risk. Certain sensors have little processing power (to save money and battery life) which can make them targets for security attacks. While network security can filter out a lot of attacks there is still an increased risk of infecting the whole city infrastructure, specifically on an application level through data obfuscation. Sensor platforms do offer a certain level of security, but it is not always the primary focus within the solution and dealing with multiple platforms leads to multiple different security solutions.

The above challenges make it harder to scale up IoT in cities. Therefore a paradigm shift is needed towards a hyper distributed architecture of smart nodes: The heterogeneous edge hardware and software platforms should be replaced by a platform on which the virtualized services of the providers can be deployed. This so-called fog platform has hardened security as well as common libraries, features and hardware that can be used by the service providers to deploy their virtualized edge services. The fog platform also provides uniform edge service life-cycle management, policy based data and service access, as well as multi tenancy, reducing the cost for a city to manage such an infrastructure.

Fog: a platform to reduce cost, increase security and amplify IoT

Fog: a platform to reduce cost, increase security and amplify IoT

The fog platform is a win-win for the city and its edge service providers. Service  providers can focus on their core competence of sensors, data aggregation/processing and business logic while leveraging standard security and processing features from the fog platform as well as the possibility to easier share and combine data (sometimes referred to as the horizontal approach to IoT) between different services.

For the city, the fog platform will make it easier to manage and deploy new edge services, without adding new boxes on the network edge for each new service, thereby reducing the capital and operational cost for managing the city IoT infrastructure.

The value of the fog platform for a city is not only the direct operational and capital cost savings as well as hardened security,  but equally important is the shorter deployment cycle of new edge services, and easier data sharing between the traditional service siloes. With such an approach the city can become a large distributed test-bed to incubate new innovative ideas on data fusion and processing and develop new services that contribute to the overall quality of life for its citizens.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

#CiscoChampion Radio S2|Ep 33: does this rack server make my data look big?

CiscoChampion200PXbadge#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’re talking about UCS and Big Data with Cisco Technical Solutions Architect Sean McKeown.

Get the Podcast
Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right-click on the episode’s download button)
View this episode in iTunes

Cisco SME
Sean McKeown, Cisco Technical Solutions Architect

Cisco Champion Guest Hosts
Brad Haynes, @GK_bradhaynes, Client Solutions Specialist
Chris Nickl, @ck_nic, Cloud Infrastructure Architect
Stewart Goumans, @WirelessStew, Mobility Consultant Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Certification exams – learning from failure

Some people like to say that you can’t ever fail an exam. I understand why someone would say that but I don’t agree. If you don’t make the cut, you have officially failed the exam. That does not mean you’re a failure or that you’re not a smart person.

Certifications test the minimally qualified candidate, those who make the cut score pass the test. The value of certifications and the methods of testing can certainly be argued but this post is not about that.

I took the CCDE written at Cisco Live and barely missed it. This came as a surprise to me. I felt well prepared and confident when entering the testing area. After the test I felt like many candidates that have just failed an exam. “I can’t believe I got that much of topic X”, “This question is way too subjective” and so on. This post describes how to handle that negative energy and how to work on passing it the next time. Read More »

Tags:

#CiscoChampion Radio S2|Ep 32: What Is Tropo? What Can You Do with Tropo APIs?

CiscoChampion200PXbadge#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists. Today we’re talking about Tropo with Jose de Castro, CTO, Tropo Business Unit, and Kevin Chatow, Director of Product Management, Tropo Business Unit.

Tropo APIs let you automate communications, connecting your code to the phone network with both voice and messaging. Use the web technologies you already know and Tropo’s cloud API to intergrate new capabilities and real-time communications to your applications.

Get the Podcast
Listen to this episode
Download this episode (right-click on the episode’s download button)
View this episode in iTunes

Today’s Guests from Cisco
Jose de Castro, CTO, Tropo Business Unit
Kevin Chatow, Director of Product Management, Tropo Business Unit

Moderator
Kim Austin @ciscokima

Highlights
Overview of Tropo and its benefits
What you can do with Tropo APIs
How companies are using Tropo today
Where Tropo and Cisco come together
Tropo transcriptions and Voicebase
Advantages of Tropo
Quote of the day: “APIs are the way the web opens itself up to innovation.” Jose de Santos
Read More »

Tags: ,