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Your New Year’s Resolution for 2016: Start with a Cisco Domain Ten Workshop

A few years ago, I wrote a series of blogs on Cisco’s Domain Ten(SM)  framework.  Since then, we’ve used this simple yet powerful analysis tool to help guide many customers on data center and IT transformation projects.  I personally found it quite notable that leading market analyst firm IDC, recognizing Cisco as the worldwide leader in the Networking Consulting Services arena in their August 2015 IDC MarketScape Worldwide Network Consulting Services 2015 Vendor Assessment (IDC Document #258131), called out Cisco Domain Ten in their assessment of Cisco.

Over the years, as we’ve used this framework to analyse customer IT, data center and cloud challenges, we’ve evolved and tuned the framework.  You can learn more about Cisco Domain Ten, in the video below as well as my original blogs, which are still very relevant.

How then, do you know if a Cisco Domain Ten would help you in your data center, cloud and broader IT initiatives? How do you know if you should be making a Cisco Domain Ten workshop one of your new year’s resolutions for 2016?

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Ten Learnings and Observations from the 2015 London Gartner Data Center Conference (Part 1)

London Eye

London Eye

This past week I attended the 2015 Gartner Data Center Conference in London.  This is always a great conference to learn from, although it always pays to look out for some of the hype too. There were key note presentations from the sprinter Michael Johnson and from previous UK government Vince Cable, which presented a rather concerning potential scenario of how the economies of the UK and Europe could evolve over the next few years.  The IT topics covered ranges from Bi-modal IT to DevOps to Software Asset Management (SAM) to SDN to Cloud and IT Operations Management (ITOM).  Here are some of my key learnings, in this “part 1”, comprising a few observations, and a sceptical view of some of the hype that I came across.

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Bringing Context-Aware Security to Applications

Are you really who you say you are? This has long been the key question and the key challenge in managing user access to corporate networks and IT systems. In recent years, capabilities for context-aware security have expanded this WHO question to identify the WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and HOW details for each login attempt at the network level. Now, a planned deployment of application connector software for the Cisco Identity Services Engine (Cisco ISE) will extend our context-aware security down to the application level.

How Context Awareness Supports More Control

Network security has traditionally operated on trust that the person behind a login name and password is indeed the right one. The problem is when hackers capture usernames and passwords. They can simply login and access anything authorized for that user, even the most sensitive data and most critical systems. Context-aware security limits that open access by evaluating more factors in the login and detecting variations from the user’s norms.

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Part 2: How Many Servers Do You Have …. Comatose and Sitting Idle?!?!

Last week I introduced this topic, the pervasive problem of “comatose” servers in data centers, based upon an interesting recent eWeek article entitled “30 Percent of Servers Worldwide Sit Idle”, which in turn was based upon the research report by Stanford University in conjunction with the Anthesis Group.  In my blog, I described the costs of this problem, ranging from the obvious (e.g. power and facilities) to the hidden (e.g. un-used software licenses).  This week I’ll discuss why this happens and what you can do about this problem.

The Problem of Idle Servers - What Can You Do About It

The Problem of Idle Servers – What Can You Do About It

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How Many Servers Do You Have …. Comatose and Sitting Idle?! (Part 1)

In my role in Cisco Services, I’m more interested in the challenges of technology adoption and deployment than I am in speeds and feeds, statistics and technology fads.  I actively seek out case studies where technology goes wrong – admittedly most of these examples turn out to be issues around introducing and managing the technology, rather than the technology itself.  So I have to admit, I was fascinated by a recent  eWeek article (full details below) which discussed the huge proportion – the report uncovers evidence of up to 30%!! – of (physical) servers in enterprise data centers that are typically running doing nothing!!  Yes – up to 30% – even in these days of virtualization!

 

How Many Idle and Comatose Servers Do You Have?!

How Many Idle and Comatose Servers Do You Have?!

Yes, even in your data center, it’s probably a safe bet to say that you have some servers that are not doing that much information processing today!  In this part 1 of my blog, I’ll discuss the costs – obvious and hidden – of the idle server challenge.  And next week I’ll discuss why this happens and what you could and indeed should do about it!

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