Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:
Off the Top
Happy Halloween! No tricks this week, but we definitely have a few treats for you.
Be sure to let us know what you think of Pat’s latest update.
Overcoming Challenges for Today’s Sales Professionals
We also saw an interesting new post this week from Karin Surber about overcoming the challenges faced by today’s sales professionals. With a separate look at the pace of change, busy customers, increased competition, technology mastery and integrity, Karin does a fantastic job illustrating how sales pros can leverage all the resources available to them in 2014.
As always, let us know if we are covering the information you need via our comments section. It’s how we constantly refine what is included in the weekly rewind. Read More »
Cisco, in its quest to embrace programmability, has created what is called the ACI Toolkit, which is basically a combination of an NX-OS like CLI and some custom python scripts. Although this toolkit doesn’t allow you to do all configurations within ACI, it can be used to create and show the common configuration and administrative actions that may be used daily. It’s also great for someone who is just starting to migrate to a more programmatic way of doing things, as it’s easily understandable to folks used to common networking commands.
If you’re not familiar with ACI, check out this short video to get a brief understanding of some of the basic constructs used and for a deeper dive go to www.cisco.com/go/aci. These concepts will help you to understand some of the configuration options available with the ACI Toolkit.
The toolkit’s python libraries are all available on GitHub.com and it’s fairly simple to access. All you need to do is open a terminal window on your computer and enter the following command:
This will connect you to your APIC so you may run commands that will help you build your application network profiles as shown in the three tier application in the picture above. We can do things such as switching tenants, creating contexts, creating bridge domains, and creating end point groups (EPGs).
Here are some examples of the common commands we might use to create these logical objects.
Switch to a tenant configuration mode:
fabric# switchto tenant <tenant-name>
Create a Context and don’t enforce contracts on it:
fabric-tenant(config-bd)# [no] ip address <ip-address>/<masklength> [name <subnet-name>]
As you can see from these examples the syntax will be very familiar to network engineers. We can also use the ACI Toolkit combined with the Python SDK to actually script these things. It makes scripting a little easier because we’re again using simpler syntax. Below is an example of configuring a tenant using Python in conjunction with the toolkit:
from acitoolkit import *
from credentials import *
tenant = Tenant (‘Customer1’)
context = Context (‘customer1-router’, tenant)
bd = BridgeDomain(‘BD1’, tenant)
app = AppProfile(‘web-and-ordering’, tenant)
vlan10 = EPG(‘VLAN10’, app )
vlan20 = EPG(‘VLAN20’, app )
Currently the ACI Toolkit may not be used to create service graphs, VMM Domains, SPAN, Atomic Counters, and or to see most telemetry and health score information. However, the toolkit still gives us a lot to work with and automate as far as basic configurations go. For more information please see the guide found here (http://datacenter.github.io/acitoolkit/).
We had our first OpenStack Hangout, “OpenStack as a NFV Platform” on Tuesday Oct 21st. If you are excited about the potential of NFV, this hangout is for you. Our expert panel discussed NFV fundamentals, NFV momentum, the Neutron NFV subteam, and the new Linux Foundation OPNFV project. What I liked the most about this hangout is that we had influencers, from different companies with different backgrounds, joining us and sharing their use cases and views on future trends.
Network virtualization is poised to become a key enabler for technology and business. This innovation is driven by the OpenStack Community that has come together to solve customers’ business problems. For example, NFV promises to not only deliver high performance but also deterministic performance. This theme was highlighted throughout the discussion.
I want to take a moment and thank our moderator and panelists for doing an amazing job!
Mark Voelker, Technical Leader, Cisco
Russell Bryant, Senior Principal Software Engineer, Red Hat
Toby Ford, AVP of Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Architecture & Strategy, AT&T
Mark McLoughlin, Consulting Software Engineer, Red Hat
Mark McClain, Yahoo!
Ian Wells, Technical Leader, Cisco
Chris Wright, Technical Director of SDN and NFV, Red Hat
Working in sales has always been tough. No one will argue with that. However, today’s sales professionals face more challenges than ever before. Understanding the impact of these new challenges and developing the skills and resources to overcome them helps ensure long term success.
The pace of change is accelerating exponentially. Never before has the business landscape churned as quickly as it does now. Much of this acceleration is driven by the “access to anyone, anytime, anywhere” phenomena. Customers expect instant response times and information at their fingertips on demand. But constantly changing regulations pose additional challenges that require ongoing education and ever evolving business requirements. Customers are looking for experts who can help them steer through the myriad of challenges they are facing. This requires a concerted effort on behalf of the sales professional to invest the time to keep up with changing business conditions and offer solutions that meet the challenges faced by customers. Subscribe to online industry periodicals, blogs and feeds and plan time in your calendar to review them. Attend industry and solution based events. Not only do these offer great education but they are also excellent opportunities to network and identify prospects.
Customers are busy…often too busy to take the time to solve their own problems. With many companies operating with fewer resources amidst more complex working conditions, employers will more likely find short-term fixes to their issues because they simply don’t have the time to explore better options for longer term solutions. Master your approach so you address the specific challenges your customer may be facing and reel them in. Be persistent and assure your customer of the potential dollar and time savings they’ll experience with your proposed solution. Make it easy for them to work with you by doing as much of the leg work as possible on their behalf. Read More »
We recently wrapped up a spectacular Internet of Things World Forum 2014 (IoTWF) in Chicago. By reviewing the highlights, it’s clear that the Internet of Things is here, it’s now… it’s big, and it’s bold. And by all accounts, IoT is advancing multiple times faster than any other technology movement in history.
More than 1,500 thought and industry leaders shared visions and real-world use cases of IoT adoption and advancement, ranging from mining and oil and gas operations to caring for the elderly with remote- and self-controlled robots. Our second annual event featured 13 keynotes and 36 workshops laser focused on setting a strong foundation for IoT developments, encompassing security, standards, protocols, governance models and much more.
Participants learned that while IoT gets most of the current buzz from consumer-driven products, more rapid growth and value are shifting rapidly to enterprise-wide applications that already have improved operational performance and efficiency. Today, 37% of total device (things) connections to the Internet come from industrial applications, and industrial connections will surpass consumer-based connections in 2017.