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Get Started on SDN and Cisco ONE: Learn from Our New Technical White Paper

February 14, 2014 at 11:26 am PST

If you were to believe the industry press, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that many companies across the world were rolling software defined networking (SDN) technologies into their networks today.  I’m part of Cisco’s Services team and my colleagues across the world are the experts in helping you all design and deploy networks.  If there is a large or complex leading (or bleeding!) edge network out there being designed, you can place a safe bet that someone from the Cisco Services team is involved helping our customers achieve their targets.  If you’re involved in deploying any type of high technology equipment, you’ll appreciate that there is a world of difference between selling, demoing, and actually making it all work in your environment when it comes to new technology. Our team are in the latter camp.

So what are our consultants telling me about SDN in the real world?  Excluding a few notable high profile cases (usually involving hyper-scale data centers) they are not seeing -- as yet, to be honest -- many early deployments.  However they are seeing a growing number of customers interest in learning about and evaluating SDN related technologies -- including Cisco ONE, NFV and in particular Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).  And they are providing some early feedback on the use cases of SDN that customers are most interested in.  They are all clear, however, on this point: this is the time to learn what SDN and Cisco ONE can do for your network in the future.

So how do you get started in SDN?  Let me outline 5 key steps to help you get started.  I’ll also point you to a technical white paper written by Mitch Mitchiner and Reema Prasad, two of our Customer Solutions Architects in Cisco Services, two of our experts responsible for making all of this work for you, your team and your business.  I also recommend you check out the video link I’ve provided, for an excellent live demo of Cisco ONE technology, first presented at Cisco Live last year.  This video gives a live demo of latency-based routing, one of the use cases described in Mitch and Reema’s paper.

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IT Leaders can be Brokers of Cloud Technology

We live in a world of many clouds, clouds that are as unique as we are. Today’s IT leaders are helping organizations manage the new demands of rapidly changing business requirements and the delivery of innovative services, all due to the rise in cloud adoption.

“How the Cloud is Changing the Role of Technology Leaders” by Michael Beckley via WIRED Innovation Insights

“How the Cloud is Changing the Role of Technology Leaders” by Michael Beckley via WIRED Innovation Insights

Yet, according to a recent Wired article, the advancement of cloud computing is also redefining the roles of the CIO and the CTO. An IT leader’s job is becoming more complex as they work to navigate the influx of user-provided devices and ensure consistent performance, security and control across the infrastructure. How can IT leaders continue to offer value to their organizations through a strategic approach to cloud technologies?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to cloud deployment.  IT leaders need to become a broker of change for cloud. They must be empowered to create the right cloud strategy for business needs, support line of business requirements and meet IT demands across disparate clouds without sacrificing security or performance.

Learn more about Cisco’s multiple cloud deployment models at Cisco Cloud Perspectives. Be sure to follow @CiscoCloud on Twitter and join the conversation, #CiscoCloud.

 

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SDN Adoption Challenges: My Wrap Up For 2013

December 23, 2013 at 11:34 am PST

2013 was the year I started working on SDN -- specifically in the area of devising professional services for Cisco ONE and Application Centric Infrastructure, ACI.  A few months ago, I used a compendium to summarize my Cisco Domain TenSM blogs.  This was well received, so  I thought it would be a good idea to wrap up the year with a summary of my 2013 journey into the SDN world, and in particular the adoption challenges I learned about along the way, some of which are illustrated in the diagram below.

SDN Adoption Challenges

SDN Adoption Challenges

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Use SDN Strategically – and NOT as a “Band Aid”

December 17, 2013 at 10:55 am PST

hammer nut

The other week I attended the “Software Defined Networking 2013” conference in London.  This is a UK-based event for the discussion of SDN, OpenFlow and Network Virtualisation Solutions from a strategic perspective.  There were quite a few interesting perspective s I picked up at this conference.  In particular, the conference for me reinforced the potential of SDN – but if you apply it to the wrong problem, you may not get the return you hope for!

Top of mind for me, then, coming out of this conference was a demo of “What SDN Can Do For You” from one of our competitors.  At best, the phrase “using a sledge hammer to crack a nut” comes to mind.

The demo came from our friends in Palo Alto, who once (boldly but incorrectly!) predicted  that “Cisco UCS would be dead a year after launch”. They gave a SDN-focused demo that, when I “peeled back the onion”, didn’t demonstrate a compelling SDN use case.  Rather, it convinced me that if you have this particular problem as illustrated in their demo, you don’t need SDN: you need a new vendor!

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SDN Reflections on the London Gartner Data Center Conference – Part 2

December 11, 2013 at 11:06 am PST
The London Eye

The London Eye

Last week I started my SDN reflections on the London Gartner Data Center Conference, and I found I had quite a lot to discuss.

Last week I covered:

  • Do we need SDN?
  • SDN and the Gartner Hype Cycle
  • SDN Deployment Models

So here is the concluding part. This week I’ll cover:

  • Overlay-Based SDN — and the questionable assumptions being made by others in this area (good for Gartner for calling these out!)
  • The SDN Vendor Explosion Challenge,
  • The “Unspoken Costs” of SDN Deployment, and
  • The “How” of SDN is still missing.

I hope you find this useful and informative and as always, feel free to debate with me around my observations!

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