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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Tail-f Systems

Every day our world becomes increasingly connected. And as the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to develop, service providers who provide us with video, voice, and data services are faced with managing explosive growth of demand on their network, including the number of applications and platforms needed to improve the way we live, learn, work and play.

All of this makes networks more complex and expensive to manage.  At the same time, increased competition is driving service providers to introduce new services more rapidly. While Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and network programmability both help improve scale and functionality of networks for service providers, they do not solve the bottleneck caused by operational complexity.

That is why today, I am pleased to announce our intent to acquire Tail-f Systems, a leading provider of multi-vendor network orchestration solutions for traditional and virtual networks. Tail-f will help achieve our goal of aiding customers in their quest to simplify and automate network management, enabling service innovation and deployment acceleration. The acquisition of Tail-f accelerates Cisco’s cloud virtualization strategy of delivering software that increases value to our customers’ applications and services, while supporting Cisco’s long-standing commitment to open standards, architectures, and multi-vendor environments.

Tail-f’s innovative and talented team is also the thought leader around the development and implementation of the NETCONF protocol and YANG data modeling language, which is the leading industry approach to simplifying and automating networks. Tail-f also has an amazing team of talented engineers. Tail-f’s talent and technology, when added to our existing offerings, will enhance how Cisco addresses network orchestration and will help simplify and automate how physical and virtual networks are both provisioned and managed.

We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to continue driving leadership in cloud virtualization and orchestration with the addition of Tail-f. Stay tuned for more details in the weeks and months to come.  And welcome Tail-f!

 

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire ThreatGRID

For cyber attackers, and those who defend against them, the stakes could not be higher than they are right now.  There’s no question that security is a top priority for organizations and the threat landscape is more dynamic than ever. Given the explosion in the amount of information being created and exchanged, driven by mobility, cloud computing, and the Internet of Everything (IoE), the number of cyber attacks will continue to increase—and with greater speed and complexity. Companies need threat-centric security solutions to address the full attack continuum – before, during, and after an attack.

Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire ThreatGRID, headquartered in New York, NY. ThreatGRID offers dynamic malware analysis and threat intelligence technology, both on-premise and in the cloud. This helps organizations and security teams defend proactively against and quickly respond to advanced cyber attacks and malware outbreaks.

The acquisition of ThreatGRID and its team of security innovators strengthen Cisco’s security strategy to deliver intelligent and comprehensive cybersecurity for the real world. ThreatGRID’s technology enhances Cisco’s Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) portfolio, originally developed by Sourcefire, acquired in 2013. ThreatGRID’s on-premise products also expand our ability to help protect customers with in-house data retention requirements. AMP addresses our customers’ security needs from network to endpoint and delivers comprehensive malware-defeating capabilities, including detection and blocking, continuous analysis and retrospective remediation of advanced threats. The combination of Cisco and ThreatGRID will enhance our already strong capabilities to aggregate and correlate data to identify advanced and evasive cyber threats and provide intelligent cybersecurity solutions for the real world.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and investments are a key part of our innovation strategy that includes build, buy, partner, and integrate. This acquisition further supports Cisco’s priority to deliver innovative security offerings and to be the number one IT company, and security partner, to our customers. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014. We are very excited to welcome ThreatGRID’s outstanding team and technology to Cisco.

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Cisco Announces Acquisition of Collaborate.com

As the rapidly developing mobility and cloud markets transform the technology landscape, the population of mobile workers looking to extend the boundaries of their offices continues to grow. They want to connect, communicate and collaborate seamlessly, and their organizations are seeking user-friendly, mobile-centric collaboration tools that enable teams to work faster while being as productive as possible.

Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s acquisition of Collaborate.com to help capture this market transition in mobility and cloud. Collaborate’s skilled team of cloud and mobile software developers has created a mobile collaboration application that provides unified document sharing, task management and team communication capabilities, enabling today’s mobile workforce to collaborate with team members on projects. Workers can instantly create virtual collaboration rooms where they can chat and share documents, notes, photos and videos.

Collaborate’s platform integrates with email and third party cloud services to make collaborating efficiently with others while on-the-go that much easier.  Collaborate’s flexibility also enables teams to integrate collaboration and communication into their enterprise workstreams, as the application helps keep teams aligned and accelerates decision-making.

Cisco’s acquisition of Collaborate supports our goal of driving market leadership in Collaboration. Together, Cisco and Collaborate plan to provide a comprehensive solution that enables the mobile workforce to work smarter and more efficiently from virtually anywhere. Collaborate’s cutting-edge technology and strong engineers as part of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group will help accelerate Cisco’s innovation in Collaboration.

With deep experience building innovative mobile-centric collaboration experiences, we are excited about the new opportunities the addition of Collaborate and its talented group of individuals will provide to Cisco. The Collaborate team will enhance our ability to deliver industry-leading solutions and unique value to our customers.

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SUMMARY – Martin Roesch on Sourcefire Becoming Part of Cisco

Cisco Security has announced the closing of the acquisition of Sourcefire.  Sourcefire founder and CTO (and creator of Snort®) Martin Roesch posted to Sourcefire’s blog this morning to share the news:

“I can tell you with certainty that this is a great match for Sourcefire, for Cisco and, ultimately, for our customers, partners and open source communities” said Roesch.  “From a technology perspective, after having dedicated 15 years to Snort and then to Sourcefire, it’s personally gratifying to be part of building this strong foundation.”

Roesch, now vice president and chief architect of Cisco’s Security Business Group, is excited for the new opportunities presented.  “It’s the new model of security I’ve been talking about for some time.  Now working as part of the Cisco team, led by Chris Young, we can accelerate execution of this vision and make this even more impactful.”

This is just the first exciting news about the acquisition.  As Roesch states in his post, “expect more great things as we continue down this path as ONE team.”

Read the full post: http://blog.sourcefire.com/Post/2013/10/08/1381233600-one-team–sourcefire-is-now-part-of-cisco/

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Evolving Cisco’s Unified Computing System for Big Data and the Internet of Everything

Evolving Cisco UCS for Big Data and the Internet of Everything

Image credit: imediaconnection.com

In an earlier blog, I discussed the incredible success behind the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) in Darwinian evolutionary terms.  Since I wrote that blog three months ago, we’ve continued to grow rapidly and have strengthened our position as the #2 blade server player worldwide from 19.3% to 21.5% revenue share (per IDC 2CQ2013 server market tracker, September 2013), with 33.9% revenue share in the US.

Prediction – The #1 spot is well within our reach sooner than you may think.

As we grow our installed base with roughly 1,000 new customers every month, our conversations about the future of UCS have taken an interesting turn. Until now in what I’ll call the “UCS 1.0” phase, Cisco focused on virtualization and private cloud as the dominant use cases that were top-of-mind for industry CIOs and we struck a resonant chord based on our growth – just look at our numbers.

We were market makers with expanded-memory 2-socket Intel EX blades (remember the B230’s?), which were gobbled up like candy into large-scale VDI deployments much to the surprise of the industry. We also jump-started a very attractive RISC-to-x86 migration practice, including Cisco IT’s own production environment: a 40TB mission-critical database that ran on HP Superdomes – a “circle of life” moment for me since Superdome was my program from 1999-2003.

We’ll continue leading in customer value for our original design centers, but we are now focusing on market expansion with what we call “UCS 2.0”, expanding into data-intensive, mission critical, analytics and service provider cloud environments with an increased level of R&D funding and strong corporate support from our top executives.

Prediction – You’ll see us more focused on architectural solutions for key industry vertical markets with tuned solution environments that leverage Cisco’s wide portfolio and that of our partners.

One such act of support is the announcement today of our intent to acquire WHIPTAIL, a leading solid-state systems company that boasts the highest scalability in performance and capacity of any scale-out flash vendor on the market today.  WHIPTAIL systems span from single-node entry products to 30-node behemoths that drive almost 400TB’s of flash, 40GB/sec of bandwidth and 4 million random R/W IOPS – for starters.

Prediction: Cisco will unseat Infiniband with low-latency Ethernet fabrics. Check out our USNIC technology for starters…

In our customer interactions it became very clear they view application acceleration using persistent solid-state memory as a use case that belongs in the server tier, not the storage tier.

In an application-centric world, we started thinking not about server vs. storage infrastructure, but how applications viewed data – hot “important right now” data, warm “may be of interest data” and cold “let’s keep it around for background mining or compliance” data.

We arrived at the conclusion that UCS needed to be best-in-class at accelerating hot data layers. Hot data is closest to applications and therefore has high affinity for the server tier.  Hence WHIPTAIL.

Assertion: Flash is a “boundary technology” that can be viewed as part of the memory or storage hierarchy. With respect to storage it’s faster and more expensive per GB. With respect to DRAM memory it’s slower but cheaper per GB. It therefore allows cost/performance arbitrage for applications by applying an accelerated persistent data model that can save on DRAM and de-complicate underlying permanent backing stores.

WHIPTAIL is a great fit with the fabric computing UCS architecture and also complementary to our C-Series rack mount servers and our SingleConnect capability in our UCS Manager that allows mixed-density blade/rack deployments to be managed from a common pane of glass.

Our intent is to fully integrate UCS computing and WHIPTAIL solid-state technologies over a Nexus fabric to create scalable persistent memory systems. That’s our vision.

Why? Because customers will be able to do things they could not before. Such as loading vast amounts of data in seconds and minutes, not hours or days – or – shrinking their performance footprint to a rack vs. 30 racks – or – accelerating Hadoop on all solid-state infrastructure – or – extending in-memory analytics to a scale previously not thought possible. That’s why.

As converged infrastructure advances as an ensemble computing architecture, boundary technologies like solid-state memory can be viewed as part of the memory or the storage hierarchy. Cisco’s point of view is to make it part of the memory hierarchy in the compute tier. That allows customers the best of both worlds – performance acceleration for applications while retaining their investment in permanent backing stores and simplifying their overall data center total cost of ownership (TCO).

To close on a Darwinian note, if UCS existed in the Cretaceous Period it would have been a Velociraptor  (meaning ‘swift seizer’)– sleek, fast and ferocious – eating everything in its path.  Velociraptors are believed to have hunted in packs, which is great considering the strong partner ecosystem that Cisco and UCS have built with industry leaders like EMC, NetApp and VCE as shining examples. We are committed to maintaining and expanding our hunting pack – more on that later!

if Cisco UCS existed in the Cretaceous Period it would have been a Velociraptor

if Cisco UCS existed in the Cretaceous Period it would have been a Velociraptor. Image credit: dark.pozadia.org

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