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Shadow IT and Breaking a Rule or Two

During my college years, I worked for a major US airline. It was a great job but could get a little rough when faced with cancellations, overbookings, missed connections, etc. However, when faced with challenging situations I was always very calm. I recognized the passengers emotions associated with the situation were mostly because they had somewhere to be: vacation, home, a graduation, a wedding, perhaps even a funeral.

I had to do my best to get them where they needed to be and a number of times I operated outside the box and broke a rule or two. I did not always know what to do and sometimes made mistakes. But my goal was to support the customer and my mantra was “it’s easier to ask forgiveness then to get permission.”

The Rise of Shadow IT – Blame the Navy

“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission”, is a quote attributed to Grace Hopper, Rear Admiral U.S Navy. Hopper developed the first programming language compiler as well as a number of other significant achievements during her Naval career. In a way I think her quote is very representative of my airline career and Shadow IT.

IT “Called” the Shots

There was a time when IT was the keeper of all things (compute, network, storage). Getting a resource was a process of paper, purchase, procure, process, plan, prepare, and on, and on, and on. Your project needed time built into it for those processes and procedures. These processes and procedures are important to corporate accounting, security and resource management. However with Cloud services you can get the resource you need whenever you want it – and not have to worry about any of the corporate guidelines. Pay with a credit card, submit an expense report, and you’re ready to go.

This ability has given rise to the dichotomy of “just get it done”, but “within the guidelines of corporate processes.” The former is the driver of Shadow IT and the latter can be solved with Cisco Cloud Consumption & Cisco Intercloud Fabric and turn dichotomy into harmony. Here’s how.  Read More »

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Cisco Intercloud Fabric Release 2.2.1 is Feature Packed!!!

I bought a used car this past weekend for my two teenagers to share, for school, work, getting around town, etc. It is a sensible car, four-wheel drive, high safety rating, decent gas mileage, few options and fewer distractions, a big difference from the ’72 TransAm I had as a teenager. Like the car I got for my children the TransAM was 10 years old when I bought it but that’s where the similarities ended.

The ’72 TransAm came in blue with white stripes or white with blue stripes. It was raw power, the new honeycomb grille airflow augmenting the rear facing hood scoop to feed the Rochester Quadrajet 4-bbl carburetor. Every month I scanned my Hot Rod magazine to see if there was some new speed or horsepower tip in one of the columns.

I miss that car; you could do so many things with it. Not only could you service it yourself, there were loads of aftermarket parts and services to take advantage of, I liked that I wasn’t locked into the manufacturer or even have to worry about a specific dealer, it was so easy. And it was my very first hybrid… when I added Nitrous! (I believe that counts as hybrid)

72 TransAm

My first car, a 1972 TransAm

Cisco’s Intercloud Fabric (ICF) reminds me of my TransAm (I’m sure you were wondering how I was going to make the transition to Hybrid Cloud). How so? Well ICF is not locked into a specific cloud provider or their virtual machine format. In the enterprise, ICF can run on Hyper-V, KVM + OpenStack and VMware vSphere. The cloud provider can be running VMware, Hyper-V, OpenStack, CloudStack, ICF works with all those cloud management systems. Plus with the current release 2.2.1, ICF packs in a bunch of new capabilities.

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Clouds, Things and Developers: The Next Wave of Intercloud Innovation

It’s been just over 15 months since Cisco set out to build the Intercloud, a globally connected network of clouds. This massive effort brings together partners from across the Cisco Partner Ecosystem to create the only true partner-led cloud effort in the industry. A strategy we believe will ultimately prove to be the winning cloud model.

  • Over the past number of months, the Intercloud Partner ecosystem has been steadily and strategically building momentum, and today we are proud to count an increasing number of Intercloud Providers as part of the ecosystem – 65 partners, 350 data centers, spanning 50 countries.
  • This past year, Cisco has also partnered with some the world’s leading service providers like Telstra and DT on our public cloud footprint, the Cisco Intercloud Service. The Intercloud Alliance partners deliver the foundation for how we will be delivering Cisco Cloud solutions like Cisco Spark and Energywise.
  • We’re delivering all of our Intercloud services with our channel partners—Cisco’s extended sales force that drives 80% of our corporate revenue— extending Cisco’s and our Intercloud Providers’ reach into the global enterprise. We’re working with our channel partners to build Intercloud-ready private clouds for our enterprise customers and resell cloud services from Cisco and our partners.  .

There is no other company on the planet that can take on the challenge of orchestrating such a robust partner ecosystem—bringing together the worlds largest providers, partners, and technologists to deliver on this vision of a globally connected, partner-led federation of enterprise cloud services

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50 Billion Things, Coming to a Cloud Near You

Today at Cisco Live we announced an expansion of our Intercloud strategy. We added new features and capabilities for our hybrid cloud software, Cisco Intercloud Fabric, along with the addition of 35 independent software vendors committed to developing Intercloud-enabled services for customers.  Together these developments will give customers more choice, compliance and control in the hybrid cloud world.

But there is a bigger opportunity that goes beyond hybrid cloud. We’re not just developing a new cloud platform and connecting the world of many clouds. We’re preparing for a much larger hybrid IT-enabled future where billions of digital services, applications and intelligent devices will need a control point. We believe that control point is our Intercloud platform.

The next wave of the Internet

Every hour 300,000 new things connect to the Internet; translating into more than 50 million things a week. And this rate of connectivity is increasing. We estimate that by 2020, 50 billion things and five billion people will be connected.


Each thing will be connected to the Internet. It isn’t necessary for everything to have onboard intelligence, or to be connected full time to the Internet. Intelligence and engagement can be abstracted away from the things themselves to the clouds. We can already see this today. Many of us have several cloud connected things already in our own home – the home thermostat, smoke detector, file backup and smart phone to name a few.  And it’s not just in the home – the explosion includes cloud connected cars like the Tesla and connected smart cities.

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Building a Private Cloud: Considerations to Maximize Success

Many enterprises today want to build a private cloud to gain efficiencies such as on-demand service delivery and pay-as-you-go use of IT infrastructure services, all while maintaining control, accountability, and data sovereignty. There are two ways an organization can realize the benefits of cloud. One is to build and maintain a private cloud. The other is to have a trusted service provider host and manage your private cloud. The first step in making the decision is to gain a full understanding of business and application requirements.

Start by asking yourself some basic questions:

1. Do you have the right in-house resources to build and maintain a private cloud?

2. Is your company in a position to spend the capex necessary to build your own cloud, or is a pay-as you go model more beneficial?

3. What (if any) regulatory compliance issues does your company need to address regarding security, privacy, and data sovereignty?

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