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“A Day in the Clouds” – APIs for Cloud Infrastructure Automation

When we really try and boil down the appeal of Cloud Computing, the ability for a person or business to move from “great idea” to “implementing the concept” almost always moves to the top of the list. The true value of Cloud Computing is fundamentally about “now”. You want resources now. At times you’ll want to expand those resources now, as the business grows. You might also need to reduce those resources now, as projects end or priorities changes.

The concept of “now” was the focus of Cisco’s participation in the Intel “Day in the Clouds” event last week at their campus in Oregon. The event allowed all of the Intel Cloud Builder partners to come together and collaborate around the technologies evolving the Cloud Computing market. This was a follow-up to the initial Reference Architecture that we had submitted to the program, which focused on a modular implementation of Virtualized Multi-Tenant Data Centers.

ChipChat podcast with Intel’s Allyson Klein and Brian Gracely -- “Enabling the Unified Data Center with Cisco”

Cisco -- Intel Day in the Clouds -- March 2011

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The Year of the Hybrid Cloud

2010 saw a lot of attention, coverage, and interest building up around the private cloud.  IDC’s “IT Cloud Services Survey” conducted in the second quarter of 2010 showed that “those who find private clouds more (and much more) appealing than public clouds outnumbered those who find private clouds less (or much less) appealing by over 5 to 1.”

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Bringing IT and Control together

Although not a rule, IT and Control at many manufacturers have an arms-length, if not more distant, relationship.  They have different priorities, expertise and cultures.  But the reality is that the converged plant, based upon standard networking throughout the plant, requires them to work together to achieve the bucket of gold benefits awaiting their company.  Our partnership with Rockwell Automation in many ways is a result of this need at many of our customers.  They need us to work closer so that they can focus on a single technology and solution and rely on a “converged” support model as they bring their plants into the standard networking world interconnected to the rest of the enterprise.  To this end our companies have been working together for more than five years.

Gregory Wilcox, Rockwell Automation, on IT/Control cultural convergence

Listen to my colleague at Rockwell Automation, Gregory Wilcox -- Business Development Manager, describe the culture convergence that needs to occur -- critical to the overall convergence.  We have done a lot of the leg work to make this convergence happen.

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Evolving the Data Center to Private Cloud

All too often, vendors talk about products or features when customers really want solutions and “how do I get there?” models for evolving their business. Cloud Computing is a topic that definitely falls into the latter category because it isn’t a single piece of hardware or software, but rather it’s a new way to align business needs with technology capabilities.

For many companies, Cloud Computing represents both an opportunity and a challenge. From an opportunity perspective, it potentially represents a chance to leapfrog your competition by leveraging technology as a core driver of new business models. This would create a compelling business differentiation and it’s most likely what every CIO will be talking about in 2011. From a challenge perspective, it introduces some new types of change that your company will need to address, such as:

[WARNING] It’s very possible that this post could get slightly lengthy, so if you’d like the cliff-notes version, check out Cisco’s Enterprise Private Cloud homepage and click on the short video at the top. 3 minutes could save you months or years on your Cloud Computing strategy.
Evolving the Data Center to Private Cloud

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Why do I need a password in a factory?

So, I got locked out of my Cisco “everything” account recently. At first I thought it was just my home router acting up, but after a couple days I called IT for help, and they asked me to reset my router, and my modem, and then when that was done they informed me that maybe my password had expired.

Long way of getting to the story. I hate when my password expires. We have pretty stringent rules about passwords here at Cisco. I appreciate that. I just don’t want to change my password. You see I have (guessing) at least 20 sites that I use, all have different password requirements. Some have unique requirements for User Names too.

So I have figured out that from now on, the day that I change my company password I am changing all of my other account passwords too. At least within Cisco they synchronize all of the passwords. But I still have all my individual accounts, and I’m quite sure they sit there and watch, here comes that idiot, requesting a new password. Why can’t these people remember their password, they likely wonder while they smirk.

To some degree it is a matter of how often you go to the website, I suppose. Read More »

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