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Why Connections (not Things) Will Change the World

Much has been made of the “Internet of Things” and a growing array of “smart” things that will soon change nearly every aspect of our lives — from Google’s driverless car and iRobot’s Ava 500 video collaboration robot to “smart” pill bottles that will automatically renew a prescription and remind you when to take it.

While we often think that it’s all about the things, it’s not actually the “things” that create the value, it’s the connections among people, process, data, and things — or the Internet of Everything—that creates value.

You can see the power of connections by adding a sensor and an Internet connection to any “dumb” thing. Consider, for example, your front door lock. It has no “intelligence” of its own — it’s simply a mechanical device that allows you to open and close the front door of your house. But if you add a sensor with a connection to the cloud, that “dumb” device can take an image of your face, send it to the cloud for analysis, and determine whether or not to let you into the house, based on facial-recognition technology. The lock itself doesn’t have the intelligence or compute power to make this decision, but the cloud does. It’s the connection that makes this “dumb” thing “intelligent.”

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“Network as a Service” Brings the Benefits of Virtualization to Network Operators

carlos-corderoBy Carlos Cordero, Cisco Consulting Services, Service Provider

Cloud consumption models are gaining traction across all company sizes and industries.  Whether software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), or platform as a service (PaaS), the value propositions of virtualization are being sought by IT decision makers.

Cisco Consulting Services sees an opportunity for network service providers (SPs) to deliver a similar experience through a new solution architecture that we call network as a service (NaaS). NaaS does for the network what SaaS and IaaS have done for the data center —  offering many of the same value proposition components, such as lower OpEx and increased agility, as well as new business model levers and distribution benefits.

A Simple NaaS Architecture Delivers Broad Benefits

To illustrate the value, this paper focuses on NaaS for mobile operators, although similar value could be articulated across all SP segments. Today, the various engineering and operational functions required to enable new customers, new services, and repairs are buried behind monolithic and independent network elements. The goal of NaaS is to simplify the architecture through virtualization, bringing disparate software solutions onto common hardware.

At the heart of mobile NaaS is an intelligent core with the service elements needed to deploy mobile data services (Figure 1). Traditionally, each software element runs on dedicated hardware, but under NaaS, these elements are separated so the software can run on shared virtual machines. The model also includes a common storage and compute infrastructure that can be delivered to the intelligent core as needed through a virtual machine approach. The intelligent core should work across a variety of licensed and unlicensed access technologies, shown at right. The active service catalog represents the SP’s ability to create unique service environments by combining service elements in an automated and simplified way. Finally, the secure portal enables consumers and business customers to access and manage their own network instances.

Figure 1.                  Mobile NaaS Is Anchored in a Flexible and Extensible Set of Service Elements. Read More »

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Collaboration, Video and Mobility Drive Value in the Internet of Everything Economy

In the Internet of Everything (IoE) economy, there will be leaders and laggards, winners and losers. And collaboration, video, and mobility technologies will play a crucial role in determining who captures their share of the value at stake, which Cisco projects as a staggering $14.4 trillion. That’s equivalent to a 21 percent increase in corporate profits over the next ten years.

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The Internet of Everything (IoE) is already changing our lives in unimaginable ways as everything from clothing, cars, jet engine parts, and roads, to name a few, become “lit up” with data-generating sensors. The resulting explosion in connectivity among people, processes, data, and things —

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Cisco Catalyst Instant Access Dramatically Simplifies Your Network

There are a lot of great technologies that have outstanding business benefits but are not widely deployed. For example, 802.1X for wired networks can determine appropriate network access based on user identity and additional contextual information. The technology is already built into the network to help customers improve their network security. If you ask your peers in the industry, however, you may hear that many of them have not turned on 802.1X on their switching network.  Why? Depending on who you ask, you might get different answers from different people. But one common response is that IT staff is too busy with so many burning issues on their network so they don’t have time for something like 802.1X. It’s not just about this technology. They never have enough time to do testing, troubleshooting and configuration changes. That’s why any solutions that can help simplify and streamline networks and IT operations will go a long way. Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – August 23, 2013

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2

Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, 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

The annual XChange event was held this week in Washington, DC. Each year, industry experts and solution provider executives across the US and Canada, come together to discuss industry trends and strategies. Our very own Edison Peres was there, too! Read about his thoughts from the event, the partners we chatted with, and the awards Cisco won in his latest blog post.   Read More »

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