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Reflections on Leading in IT

The first time someone referred to me as a “woman leader in IT,” I was honestly caught by surprise.  I had never stopped and thought about the idea that I was any different than any other leader, any other woman or any other person in IT.  That single comment made me pause and reflect on where I was in my career, what had brought me to that point and if there was really anything that made me that unique or different from anyone else I worked with every day.  As I reflected, I began to think about some core experiences and traits that I believe have played a part in getting me where I am today.

First, I was never once talked to about what I could or couldn’t do because I was a girl.  I never thought twice about taking every math and science class I could in high school, going to college to get a degree in Engineering, and then starting my career in IT.  I really enjoyed science and math, and I was good at those subjects.  I wasn’t fazed by the fact that there were mostly Read More »

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Cisco’s Commitment to Openness and Interoperability will be on Display at Red Hat Summit 2014

April 7, 2014 at 5:00 am PST

Change is good. After a successful run of four years in Boston, Red Hat Summit moves to San Francisco this year from April 14-17. Red Hat Summit has become one of the premier open source events for the enterprise IT industry with tracks for both developers and business executives.

Red Hat Summit 2014

 

 

 

Cisco is again a Platinum Sponsor and our presence at the event continues to grow. We have a keynote, six breakout speaking sessions and five demos.  We’ll have product and solution experts available to share our latest developments with Cisco UCS, OpenStack, virtual networking, and Big Data. Read More »

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What it Takes to Build a Platform Robust Enough for Your Big Data with UCS CPA.

Everybody has been talking about big data over the past years . Your data continues to grow, both in mass and importance. And you know that your company is in need of better analytics to use the influx of data as a point of improvement for business. As the Internet expands and connects all things previously unconnected (a concept referred to as the Internet of Everything, or IoE), consumers have access to more personalized information that keeps them engaged and delivers efficient services. This means data is pouring in from—well, everywhere. To sort and utilize it for better user experiences, it’s first necessary to ensure your data center is capable of gathering and housing all this data. And that starts at the foundation.

raghunathnambiarOur distinguished engineer and Chief Architect of Big Data Solutions at Cisco, Raghunath Nambiar, talks about “A Unified Platform for Big Data” in our last edition of Unleashing IT . Recently elected by the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) to lead the development of the industry’s first big data benchmark standard, Nambiar states  “To get the most out of big data, companies need an infrastructure that is tuned for big data workloads, with better performance and scalability than traditional environments.” Read more here .

In fact, the Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco® Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®) Common Platform Architecture (CPA) for Big Data is a robust platform built on a unified fabric, and based on Cisco Nexus® switches for exceptional availability and scalability. Built specifically with Big Data in mind, this certified and validated architecture has been utilized by businesses in a variety of industries.

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The IT Organization Relay Race

“Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport… the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat… the human drama of athletic competition,” voiced Jim McKay in the Wide World of Sports introduction. In two years, the world will tune in to Rio de Janeiro as the Brazil hosts the human drama of the next Summer Olympics.

The IT Organization Relay RaceI enjoy both the Winter and Summer games, but I’m particularly drawn to the Summer’s 4x100-meter relay race. My connection to the sport harkens back to summers at Fordham University in Bronx, NY. While my dad coached a summer league basketball team, I took to the track and the 4x100. It was the irony of the sport that intrigued me. In 100-meter sprints the fastest runners always lead the pack across the finish line. However, winning the 100-meter relay requires four sprinters to collectively run the fastest 400-meters, 100 meters at a time. Easy enough, one might think, just pick the four fastest sprinters and go, go, go! Of course, it’s not that simple.

The 4x100-meter relay requires acceleration, speed and coordination. A pair of sprinters must exchange a baton within a 20-meter changeover box. Both sprinters are running during the exchange. The sprinter receiving the baton races forward with his hand extended behind him. Upon feeling the baton in hand, he must quickly accelerate to full speed towards another sprinter or the finish line.

Fumble the baton exchange and the race is over. Breach the changeover box before receiving the baton and the race is over. Run out of the lane and the race is over. Having the four fastest individual sprinters does not guarantee victory.

Victory goes to the team with the fastest end-to-end performance: fast out of the blocks, quick hand off, accelerate to the next sprinter, quick hand off, accelerate to the next sprinter, quick hand off, and finally, accelerate to the finish line. Every step matters and every hand off matters. No slips, no stumbles, no drops, no falls, and most of all, no excuses.

While fundamentals of the 4x100-meter relay have remained the same for a hundred years, training and the technology beneath the sprinters have evolved. Track surfaces advanced while performance footwear adopted lighter flexible materials. As a result, today’s fastest relay teams complete the 400-meter race in under 37 seconds!

This relay shares striking similarities to IT organizations. Such organizations are involved in a relay beginning with adding assets to data centers, followed by provisioning the resources for applications and then those applications consume the resources and run as quickly as they can towards the business goal. If any leg in the relay trips, stumbles or falls, the race to transact, analyze or process data takes longer or fails. Too often the initial legs of the IT-organization-relay complete only to pass the baton to an application running too slowly to win or even finish.

IT runs a relay for businesses all day, everyday. The winners are those who are able to quickly pass the baton with agility and accuracy (Tweet This). Similar to the advancements in training and technology supporting 4X100-meter sprinters, the technology around IT must advance in order to increase overall performance.

Let applications bolt as swiftly as Usain

UCS Is the new surface and the lighter flexible material. From the start, computing fabric enables the fast deployment of resources while flash memory lets applications bolt as swiftly as Usain (Tweet This). Today’s fastest sprinters don’t win in yesterday’s rubber soled sneakers. The real-time business must run applications on the fastest, easiest to manger infrastructure. Runners, take your mark!

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Steria Group : 5 Years of Cloud Business Expansion with Cisco UCS

April 1, 2014 at 5:30 pm PST

As we have been celebrating over the past weeks the Cisco UCS 5 year anniversary, here is another great example of an enthusiastic customer and partner .

Steria has been amongst the early adopters of Cisco UCS in 2009, as the IT organization was looking for innovative solutions.

5 years after the inception,  Eric Fradet , CTO on Infrastructure Management, reflected on the achievements and shared at Cisco Live Milan how transformative for his IT organization this “bold” move was .
Thanks to the UCS deployment, Steria has been able to develop quickly cloud services, starting with the IaaS and PaaS offers, and moving now into the desktop-as-a-service with an offer called Workplace on Command.
Amongst the qualities brought to the market by the UCS concept,  Eric Fradet was prompt to highlight the performances, the ease of deployment and the security .
And it was with great delight that a very satisfied customer  wished a warm “bon anniversaire” to UCS!

Actually the story of Steria is quite remarkable as the offer evolved recently to embrace the desktop with the deployement of Cisco Prime Service Catalog [ Spoiler alert : Stay tuned for more good news around Cisco Prime Service Catalog -- Check Phillip Han’s blog on this topic in the following days ]

Already one of the largest providers of IT-enabled business services in Europe, Steria is also becoming a global player with a growing presence in India, North  Africa, and South East Asia. With proven consulting skills, and expertise in IT and business process outsourcing, the company decided that the time was right to extend its offer to the cloud with offers targeting enterprise users .
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