Network Management is dull. No excuses. Monitoring and interacting with the devices that move data from one location to another is a thankless undertaking that most of us building networks leave to an afterthought. Part of that is the complexity associated with managing networks. There are at least a dozen common methods for interacting with devices in the network including SNMP, CLI, AAA, Syslog, Netflow, and fancy XML/HTTP interfaces. So much variety breeds complexity so we tend to set our goals pretty low for interactivity with the network.
What if we had one common mechanism for interacting with the network? Different devices running different software would all speak a common language to the applications managing and monitoring them. Now what if that language was something the programmers writing those applications understood implicitly like an API library they could compile directly into their program? That would make interacting with the network as simple as making a procedure call within the application. That’s exactly what onePK – or the “one Platform Kit” – accomplishes.
Early this week, there was much buzz and speculation about how Cisco and Citrix will be doing business differently. The news was finally unveiled at Mark Templeton’s keynote, when he introduced Cisco CTO, Padmasree Warrior, and they jointly announced the expansion to the two companies’ current partnership on three strategic areas: cloud networking, cloud orchestration and mobile workstyles. Details are outlined in this press release.
Say you were on an advisory board for a city where population growth, traffic congestion, and demand for services (ambulances, police, & firefighters) presented major challenges, what actions would you suggest the city to take? Similarly, say you were managing IT operations for your company, what actions would you put in place to respond to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend and the potential impact on your network as users flood it with tons of iPads, Ultrabooks and other personal devices?
Before you rush out of the door to take action, you may want to ask yourself two questions:
- Is my action plan going to deliver a consistent and high quality user experience?
- Is my action plan sustainable, given the demand, available IT headcount and budgetary resources?
Two of my favorite geeks are presenting a workshop today on Bringing the Cloud to your Remote Offices. Jimmy Ray is hosting his ‘brother from another mother’ (as we fondly refer to him) Matt Bolick. Matt first blew our doors off back in 2009 as we featured the then new ISR G2 in our ‘Routers are Dead…Long Live the Router show (now retired). Well, Matt was a featured guest recently on another big show we did, the Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network. You can see Matt’s segment on Application Visibility and Control from that show right now as a great pre-study for the workshop above. I also recommend our recent ‘Fundamentals of the Cloud Services Router’ as a secondary study resource. Matt was instrumental in our writing and creation of this tool as well and I think you will find it valuable.
Heres the thing -- The Cloud and the Network are very co-dependent. The network is poised for incredible leaps of intelligence now more than ever with this pressure from cloud implementations being quick to reveal weakness. I have even heard where the WAN has been re-defined as “Weak Area Network.” Why? Poor performance, inadequate security, lack of visibility and complex management, just to name a few An intelligent network endows the WAN with the efficiency of cloud and and the confidence of a private network.
A recently posted survey found that 8 in 10 businesses are using cloud in some capacity and more than half of businesses plan to increase their investment in cloud in 2012. As businesses are making the transition to rolling out their cloud deployments, they’re facing challenges of connecting branch offices and other remote locations.
If your organization has started rolling out cloud -- how have you handled it? Are you facing difficulties with connecting your remote offices to provide a seamless end-user experience? Does your company have deep visibility into application behavior and the right insights to enable accurate capacity planning?