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My take on the integrated infrastructure buzz

I recently created a playlist of my favorite 80’s, 90’s and current songs. Listening to the playlist in shuffle mode, I noticed the stark contrast and evolution of the recording quality from the old classics to the current stuff.

Thank you Pink Floyd and Apple

I have to admit that the quality does get progressively better overtime, but in some cases tunes just sounded over-engineered, especially on the digitally recorded tracks. As good as they may sound, they often lack the warmth of reel-to-reel tape deck recordings. I am sure someone is busy developing an app to fix that.

The Tres Virgo Recording Studio – 1980’s style with owner Robin Yeager

The Tres Virgo Recording Studio – 1980’s style with owner Robin Yeager

It actually makes me wonder how some artists are able to pull some of those over-engineered studio songs off on a live stage, and some do a great job. But these days, concerts are as much about the show, not just the music – thank you Pink Flyod for setting a trend.

Pink Flyod Live – Earls Court, London 1994

Awesomeness: Pink Flyod Live – Earls Court, London 1994

But I digress: what digital allows you to do is fix stuff in the mix with a simple mouse click, versus having to re-record part of, or all of the tracks. That is time and money saving stuff. It is streamlined sound engineering workflows at it’s best.

And it has opened up a whole world of possibilities for recording artists, including making mediocre ones sound pretty amazing. In fact, anyone with Garage Band installed on a MAC (and some talent) can sound pretty good these days. Thank you Apple.

Is your data center stuck in the tape-deck age?

Similar evolution has occurred in data centers around the globe. An IT environment of disparate servers, storage, and networking systems all managed in silos is a thing of the past. Or is it?

The unfortunate reality for many organizations is that their data centers are stuck in the tape deck age and associated laborious workflows. The result is that much of today’s IT budget is still being consumed by keeping the data centers humming along. That comes at the expense of real innovation.

It’s no surprise that in today’s connected-everything world, businesses and organizations off all sizes rely heavily on IT. And in that world, you need an infrastructure that is up to the task: an environment that is agile, secure and simple to manage with few resources.

Once you have that in place, your talented IT folks can turn their attention to focusing on real innovation that can lead to tangible business outcomes, rather than just keeping the lights on – just as talented musicians should focus on the music.

So what a novel idea to have an environment that combines compute, storage and networking into a pre-validated, fully integrated design that can be centrally managed? Enter the idea of integrated infrastructure. By no means is this a new concept. After all, many vendors now claim they deliver integrated infrastructure. Or can they?

I can’t speak for other vendors, but can say that Cisco has teamed up with the best in the industry to deliver pre-validated (so you know it will work together), integrated systems.

And they work just as advertised. I recently discovered this when I picked up my personal hardcopy of Unleashing IT.

I was delighted when my hardcopy of Unleashing IT arrived in the mail

I was delighted when my hardcopy of Unleashing IT arrived in the mail

This edition dedicated to discussing the various Integrated Infrastructure flavors available today from Cisco and it’s eco-system of partners. It profiles businesses and organizations much like yours that are reaping the business benefits.

I encourage you to take a moment to subscribe, download the pdf or get your personal hardcopy shipped to you, and let me know what you think.

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Cisco and Red Hat at the Center of IT Transformation

summit_logo_170The open hybrid-cloud and big data are at the center of the IT transformation that will enable every business, country, and city to become a digital and technology organization. Cisco and Red Hat share a common vision for the future of IT. That’s why Cisco is going big at the Red Hat Summit, which kicks off June 23rd in Boston. It’s going to be a great week of conversations with IT professionals who are harnessing open source innovation across their businesses and organizations to deliver new models of IT.

I’m especially looking forward to the opening general session with Red Hat CEO, Jim Whitehurst and Satinder Sethi Cisco VP of Data Center and Cloud Solutions. I’m sure these two industry luminaries will have keen insights into the market transitions and IT innovations that put the data center at the heart of digital transformation.

Of course, the Cisco team will be busy with an action packed agenda of sessions and demos. Plan to make the Cisco booth your hub in the Red Hat Summit Partner Pavilion. Our mini-theater will feature non-stop tech talks that span OpenStack, Group Based Policy, Big Data and Developer Programs. Every visitor to the Cisco booth will leave with an ultra-cool Cisco hat.

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ITD and RISE: New innovations at Cisco Live San Diego

ITD (Intelligent Traffic Director) and RISE (Remote Integrated Services Engine) have been helping Cisco partners and customers save massively on CAPEX and OPEX, while providing unprecedented scalability, high availability and ease and deployment. We had several events at Cisco Live San Diego 2015:

  • ITD and RISE Whisper suite meetings for Nexus 9k/7k/5k. For further discussions, please email to
  • A large number of people came to ITD Booth in the World of Solutions, to watch a demo.
  • Breakout sessions :
  • New innovation demo at the Hub:
    • ITD and Analytics Driven Green Networking : First prize winner in Hackathon 2015
  • ITD won the Best of Interop, 2015 in Data Center category. Read blog.
  • Nexus 7702 announcement : Nexus 7702 has a sweet spot in being a “services chassis” with RISE and ITD.
  • Nexus 5k/6k : RISE and ITD are now shipping: NX-OS 7.1.1N1(1)
  • Nexus 9k : ITD is now shipping: NX-OS 7.0(3)I1(2)

We hosted 1:1 customer meetings in whisper suites, during Cisco Live 2015 in San Diego. We had BU Executives, Product Managers, and Engineering Managers on  site to meet with customers. It was a unique opportunity for customers to engage directly with the Business Unit. For further discussions, please send email to

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An Application-Centric Gem from Cisco Live US 2015

At Cisco Live 2015 in San Diego last week, we had a great turnout in customers and Cisco evangelists engaging in hundreds of conversations about the cloud, the future and present of networking, making new friends and having a good time.

In our Cisco Live Data Center press release and during Soni Jiandani’s Innovation Talk, we introduced a new member of the ACI ecosystem, CLiQr.  I want to highlight CliQr here to illustrate the power of the open APIC for definition of application policy intent for scale, security, and enabling simple, fast, self-service deployment of an application on private or public cloud infrastructure. This new demo with CliQr’s CloudCenter and ACI integration captures the cloud admin’s experience to define and deploy a 3-tier application across compute, network, and storage shared resources.

CliQr and ACI demo CliQr and ACI demo2

Cisco ACI, when combined with CliQr’s CloudCenterTM Platform, delivers the promise of true end-to-end application-defined management of workloads in a secure and optimized ACI-powered cloud environment. The joint solution enables numerous advantages:

  • A highly automated, 1-click end-to-end provisioning of infrastructure (compute, storage and network) as per the application’s requirement, following the best-practices guidelines of the infrastructure.
  • Application-centric policy model that decouples policy (security, auditing, service-level agreements (SLAs), user experience, etc.) from network topology and supports application mobility
  • Application deployments are secured with CliQr CloudCenterTM’s governance policies and are enforced with ACI’s policy-based forwarding capabilities with strong isolation and automated insertion of Firewalls and security appliances into the application traffic flow.
  • End-to-end Visibility and Control: All of this delivered in a single graphical dashboard, providing true end-to-end visibility and control from the application down – all in one logical environment.

To learn more about Cisco ACI integration with CliQr CloudCenterTM register for the upcoming webinar June 18 here.

To Learn More:

Blog: CliQr Announces Support for Cisco ACI

White Paper: Cisco ACI and CliQr CloudCenterTM Integration and Solution Overview

Webcast: The Application-Defined Advantage – CliQr CloudCenterTM with Cisco ACI

Press Release: Cisco Extends SDN Leadership; Delivers Customer Choice for Data Center Programmability and Automation; Enhances Software and Expands Nexus Portfolio

Cisco Live Innovation Talk: INTGEN-1007 – Fast Track to Fast IT: Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure



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Cisco Enhances SDN Strategy and Offerings Across the Entire Nexus Portfolio with new VTS Automation Solution

Interest in Software Defined Networking (SDN) continues to grow through the ability to make networks more programmable, flexible and agile. This is accomplished by accelerating application deployment and management, simplifying automating network operations and creating a more responsive IT model.

Cisco is extending its leadership in SDN and Data Center Automation solutions with the announcement today of Cisco Virtual Topology System (VTS), which improves IT automation and optimizes cloud networks across the entire Nexus switching portfolio. Cisco VTS focuses on the management and automation of VXLAN-based overlay networks, a critical foundation for both enterprise private clouds and service providers. The announcement of the VTS overlay management system follows on Cisco’s announcement earlier this year supporting the EVPN VXLAN standard, which underlies the VTS solution.

Cisco VTS extends the Cisco SDN strategy and portfolio, which includes Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), as well Cisco’s programmable NX-OS platforms, to a broader market and for additional use cases, which includes our massive installed base of Nexus 2000-7000 products, and to customers whose primary SDN challenge is in the automation, management and ongoing optimization of their virtual overlay infrastructure. With support for the EVPN VXLAN standard, VTS furthers Cisco’s commitment to open SDN standards, and increases interoperability in heterogeneous switching environments, with third-party controllers, and with cloud automation tools that sit on top of the open northbound API’s of the VTS controller.

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