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Connecting Manufacturers for Productivity, Growth and Time to Value with the Internet of Everything

As 2014 kicks off and gets rolling, the economic supply-and-demand landscape is starting to look much different than recent years.  Many manufacturing companies are rethinking strategies, investments and competitive approaches to take advantage of an emerging industrial renaissance globally. Savvy manufacturers are utilizing the Internet of Everything (IoE) to converge and secure real-time visibility between business networks (information technology, IT) and control and automation systems (operational technology, OT) and to reduce costs, improve uptime, increase asset utilization, and lock-down on end-to-end security.

In fact, as part of our overall industry presence, we will be discussing this very topic at an upcoming session at Cisco Live Milan. At the “Connecting Manufacturers for Productivity, Growth and Time to Value with the Internet of Everything” (session # BRKIND-1229), held on Wednesday 29 January at 4:30 pm, we will discuss how IoE solution architecture provisions immediate, secure access to plant performance and production automation systems for management and expert teams worldwide, providing open-standard, IP-based communication and control infrastructure for production operations.

Many of our customers tell us that because Cisco’s solutions for manufacturing have proven, validated architectures, we reduce the risk for operations and control engineers.  In addition, we provide them with access to networking knowledge, design guidance and expertise and more, so they can rapidly deploy smart and connected factories.  If you are coming to Cisco Live Milan, please join our Cisco Manufacturing Industry and IT/OT Business Group executives and subject matter experts to learn more about best practices for this growing segment.  Similarly, for the Oil and Gas industry, we have a session called “IoE in Action: Solutions and Case Studies in Oil and Gas” (BRKIND-1230) which will offer guidance and strategies to companies in this segment.

Cisco Live Milan is a chance for you to learn more about networking issues for industrial environments and figure out how to leverage IoE to meet your goals – whether it’s reducing costs, speeding time to market or improving operational effectiveness.

If you are already registered to attend Cisco Live Milan, you can register to attend this session on your Cisco Live Schedule Builder today.  For more general information on Cisco Live, please visit the main event website here.  See you in Milan!

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to onePK

Cisco Live Milan is around the corner and I’m getting my session, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to onePK, ready for it’s European debut.  While it’s lovely to be in the CiscoLive Distinguished Speaker Hall of Fame, putting a good presentation together hasn’t gotten any easier.  The hard questions still need to be asked:  Do I have too many slides?  Have I crossed the line between technical and boring?  Will the demos work?  Will anyone laugh at my jokes?

And perhaps most importantly for this session: does anyone read Douglas Adams any more?

Here’s why.  I borrowed the title of Douglas Adam’s iconic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for good reason.  The original Hitchhiker’s Guide follows an ordinary guy, Arthur Dent, as he is unwillingly dragged into an intra-galactic adventure, with little more than the Guide, a pint of beer and a packet of peanuts to see him through.  Faced with the vast and confusing world of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and programmability, network engineers are in a position to know exactly how Arthur Dent felt.  New buzzwords, emerging standards, an abundance of marketing slides with vague but brightly colored blobs, and a lot of talk about programming languages can be disorienting to the best of us.

Enter the Hitchhiker’s Guide to onePK.

Notice that I did not call my session the Hitchhiker’s Guide to SDN.  SDN calls for more of an Encyclopedia Galactica than a Hitchhiker’s Guide, if you know what I mean.  Instead, my aim is to take a deep dive into one aspect of network programmability that network engineers can really relate to: onePK. Read More »

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Behind the Scenes of Cisco Live Orlando

Cisco Live is Cisco’s single largest education and training event. It’s held in four locations around the world on an annual basis. The last US event in Orlando had a record 20,000 attendees.

But what goes in to the making of an event of this size? How is the keynote hall set up to give a great experience to all who attend in person? What exactly happens at the Customer Appreciation event? How is social media utilized during the week? What is the Cisco Empowered Women’s Network? Read More »

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Cisco OpenStack Installer for Grizzly

The OpenStack community recently reached a major milestone and celebrated its third birthday! The flagship open-source compute, storage and networking cloud platform has come a long way since the initial draft. Cisco is proud to be part of this community including participating as Vice Chair of the OpenStack Foundation and as Core Developer for Networking (Neutron).

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Back in July, we celebrated OpenStack’s birthday with cake and the release of the Cisco OpenStack Installer for Grizzly.  The Cisco OpenStack Installer makes it easy for customers to install, deploy and monitor OpenStack on Cisco UCS servers with networking plugins to the Nexus product line including the Nexus 3k, Nexus 5k, Nexus 6k and Nexus 7k.  Watch this demo of how the Cisco Nexus plugin for Grizzly automates the upstream Cisco Nexus Top-of-Rack (ToR) switch:

More information on the Cisco OpenStack Installer for Grizzly can be found here.

We also celebrated OpenStack’s birthday by releasing the Cisco Reference Architecture for RedHat RDO OpenStack with UCS and Nexus. The Cisco OpenStack RDO Reference Architecture can be downloaded here.

Puppet is a key component of the Cisco OpenStack Installer. Cisco will be presenting an overview of Puppet and the Cisco OpenStack Installer at PuppetConf. Cisco will also be presenting details on how Puppet and OpenStack are key components of WebEx. PuppetConf will be held at the San Francisco Fairmont on August 22-23. Check out Cisco sessions at Puppet Conf here.

We would also like to thank everyone for the great interest and support in OpenStack at Cisco Live.  David Yen’s keynote featured a demo of the new Dynamic Fabric Automation spine-and-leaf integration with OpenStack. Watch for the Dynamic Fabric Automation mention starting at 30:19 on this video.

The next OpenStack Summit is just around the corner! The OpenStack Summit will be held in Hong Kong on 11/5-11/9. Registration for the OpenStack Summit here.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone at PuppetConf and the OpenStack Summit.

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: Smart Licensing Gets a Great Reception at Cisco Live

In our most recent post, Steve Morrisey from the Ease of Doing Business team highlighted his key takeaways from Cisco Live US back in June, including the Cisco Software Simplification team’s exciting presentation of the new Smart Software Licensing solution.

Smart Software Licensing is a major change to Cisco’s software strategy – we’re moving away from a Product Activation Key (PAK)-based model to a new approach based on advanced consumer-based models. This new approach removes today’s entitlement barriers and provides information about a customer’s or partner’s software install base, thus enabling greater flexibility and making it easier for customers to buy, deploy, track and renew Cisco’s software.

Ben Strickland, Manager of Product Management in Cisco’s Engineering License office, led the presentation at Cisco Live, and I’ve invited him here to share his first-hand experience and what you can expect for your software experience in the coming months. Read More »

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