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.
Last week, here, I started my 2 part blog on some of the top SAN design and deployment challenges we see. As I mentioned, I put this together with help from my SAN expert colleagues, Barbara Ledda and Wolfgang Lang. We are all part of the Cisco Services professional services team, where we experience first-hand the challenges of adopting new technologies including SAN.
Last week, we discussed the following challenges:
#1 Don’t assume that your server multi-pathing software is installed or working, or even licensed, or installed but never used/tested by your server team!
#2 Tendency to significantly over-estimate utilization on the SAN network.
Lets’ now discuss our challenges #3 – #5, which will discuss interoperability, expertise and architectural details respectively. Architectural details as it turns out is a key concern of some of you reading Part 1 of this blog – a few questions came in and you can view the discussion here (and thanks to my colleagues Venkat Kirishnamurthyi and Jing Luo for contributing to this discussion). With this in mind, you may find the Cisco MDS architecture discussion video here also useful.
One of the aspects I really enjoy about my job is that I get to learn from some of the world’s top network and data center design engineers, and I get to hear about technology adoption challenges across the world. If there is a complex network or data center design being worked by our customers, if our customers are under time pressure, or if our customers are facing key business or technical challenges, Cisco Services’ consultants are often called in to help. Globally then, they experience first hand the challenges of deploying advanced technologies. In this blog, in the same spirit as my OpenStack Deployment Challenges blog, I’d like to share their experiences on some of the most common challenges and misconceptions faced by our customers when building Storage Area Networks (SAN). I’ll publish this in 2 parts – so look out for the concluding part next week.
Before continuing, I’d like to thank two of our SAN expert consultants, Barbara Ledda and Wolfgang Lang, for sharing their experiences and challenges.
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.
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.
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.
More Cloud Blogs:
- Cloud-based ITaaS: Transforming IT from Support to Service Brokerage by Fabio Gori
- Unleash the Promise of Cloud: A Strategic Perspective – The Landscape by Enrico Fuiano