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Does your Cloud have “Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus” Inside?

When I meet with customers and analysts, I’m often asked about Cisco’s Cloud Computing strategy. Many of us have written about it before, including Lew Tucker (Cisco Cloud CTO) and other executive leaders. While we talk about technology innovation, an open ecosystem of partners and driving new ways for customers to solve business problems, there is a key element that is sometimes overlooked. That element is Cisco’s stated direction NOT to compete with our customers (service providers or systems integrators), instead focusing on delivering the critical infrastructure (hardware and software) for building private, public, hybrid and community clouds.

While many of our partners agree with this approach [1][2], some of our competitors do not. Fair enough, everyone needs to figure out their own business models. One of the byproducts of our strategy is that we’re able to take the learnings from certain market segments and quickly apply them to other market segments. We’re not restricted in trying to put together the best possible solutions for our customers. In fact, we’ve created Cloud Builder programs to encourage our Channel Partners and Services Providers to work more closely together to solve customer needs. Read More »

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Manufacturing Automation: “Who’s Keeping the ‘Real Time’?”

Last week there were some people in the world who had to get their “stuff” in order, and there was no TIME to waste.    I imagine for some the daunting task of  contacting relatives and friends of years gone by, completing the last items on their bucket list, selling the house of 27 years, and putting out the last meal for Sparky was not a trivial task.   Why the state of urgency?  Well, for those of you not aware a man by the name of Harold Camping, Christian radio host, predicted the end of the world would occur on May 21, 2011 at 6 p.m. As a result, followers had to exhibit keen organizational skills, and the ability to synchronize and collaborate with various organizations, entities and persons.  They had to accomplish things in REAL TIME, in order to be “Ready.”

Well the rapture did not come, but it did prompt me to ponder the questions, “Who’s keeping the ‘Real Time?” and “What’s the ramifications as a result of capturing events in  real time, if any?

The term “real time” is the new paradigm of the 21st century.  Nations all over the world today are looking for ways to not only access and capture real time data and events, but leverage the information to build advance economies and increase value for its citizens. Every industry and field uses the term to identify opportunities for efficiencies and value.  For example, the financial industry provides us with ‘real time’ quotes, the news media supplies us with up to the minute ‘real time’ news, traffic and weather, and our government provides us with real time polling information.  The industry that has been most effected by this real time paradigm is manufacturing.  (Please Read More) Read More »

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Looking back on 2009 – The Future of Cisco UCS

With all the news over the last few days regarding the continuing growth of Cisco UCS, sometimes it worth taking a step back to look at how we got here. For me, I took a look at a blog post I wrote in March 2009 (pre-FCS), and it’s interesting to see how much mindset shifting has happened in such a short period of time.

A couple of important things should jump out at you:

  • Cisco UCS is a simpler, more powerful way of building Data Center (or Cloud) infrastructure.
  • While change can be hard, a change to Cisco UCS doesn’t have to be difficult for your organization or your IT staff.
  • The short, medium and long-term vision for Cisco UCS (even from an outsider’s point of view) was clear back in 2009, well before we laid out Cisco’s strategy to evolve the Data Center of the future.
  • Even as server technology has evolved over the past two years, the core UCS architecture focus on automation has continued to differentiate the product.
  • No company has greater experience in helping customers transition through technology and business shifts, as is evident by the diagram above. In today’s confusing IT environment, businesses look to technology partners they can trust to help them through transitions and deliver solutions that are ahead of the curve.

Read More »

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Maintain or Replace – be Energy Efficient or not – continuing the debate

So the other day my wife told me the water in the shower didn’t seem as hot as it normally does. “Maybe something wrong with the water heater?” she said. I did all the normal checks: no water on the basement floor, pilot is lit, check, check. All seems ok.

We happened to go to Home Depot to buy some other stuff, but we ran into the water heater guy.  His diagnosis: water heater going bad. (Full admission, it is 11 years old)

I kind of buy his story, it makes sense. Here is an appliance that is 11 years old that I never maintained. Expected life is 10 years, so I am already plus one, right? And maybe a new one would be more efficient, right?

But isn’t that the sort of internal argument manufacturers go through every day? Sunk cost (what they already paid for) vs. Maintenance vs. Replacement? How efficient are the machines you bought 10 or 15 years ago? How do you know? How much does it cost you for a shutdown for two to three days while you secure a replacement machine and install it? Wouldn’t that information be valuable to you if it was visible? How do you know?

Energy management/awareness is certainly a big part of this sustainability issue. Check out this video from Chet:

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Cisco Live! Industrial Intelligence Day, 12th July 2011, Las Vegas

Let me tell you about a great opportunity if you’re an executive or professional in the Manufacturing or Industrial sector. Cisco is hosting a special ‘Industrial Intelligence Day’ on the 12th July 2011 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas held in conjunction with Cisco Live.

The event is especially tailored to bring together manufacturing, controls, operations and IT executives and professionals. The theme of the day is ‘Industrial Intelligence’, and will cover the subject  of converging industrial automation systems based upon standard IP networks with business applications including voice and video to more responsively and cost-effectively manage industrial operations globally.

The day is packed with information, training, and industry best practices and is sure to be one of the smartest investments you can make in your career—and one of the smartest investments your employer can make in you.

By attending Cisco Industrial Intelligence at Cisco Live, you can:

  • Learn how Industrial Intelligence brings production closer to IT and converges industrial automation networks with business systems to improve the efficiency, safety, agility, and utilization of your production assets.
  • Receive training in architectures specific to industrial automation from Cisco and alliance partner Rockwell Automation including wireless and wired technology advancements, availability, security, sustainability and energy management.
  • Engage Industrial Intelligence and IT Networking thought leaders from our partners and the industrial analyst community via a live panel discussion plus join a community of manufacturing executives and IT and Control professionals deploying and operating Industrial applications and networks.
  • Experience and see “hands-on” demonstrations of Industrial Intelligence solutions and technology and interact with experts at the World of Solutions Expo at the largest Cisco user conference, Cisco Live.

Register by June 12th to receive the $100 off Early Bird offer. Click here to register.

Read More »

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