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Cisco’s Microsoft Momentum Continues…

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The Microsoft ecosystem continues to be an important area of focus with our Cisco Datacenter product and solution teams. UCS, Nexus, UCS Management, and ACI teams have continued to innovate and launch new offerings during the past few months. Let’s take a look at our recent happenings and launches that can help enable your organization to deliver an optimal datacenter environment for your Microsoft platforms:

1. PASS, Microsoft SQL Server, and Cisco’s Unified Datacenter…

SQLPASS

We’ve ramped up our focus on Microsoft’s SQL Server platform! Investments in PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server), Pass Summit 2013, and the PASS Virtualization Chapter afford us the opportunity to educate this world-wide BI and Data Management audience on UCS, Nexus, FlexPod, and VSPEX. Stay tuned for more from us, too as Microsoft gets closer to shipping their SQL Server 2014 platform.

2. Cisco and the Microsoft Cloud OS Launch…

CloudOSOccurring around the world during the November 2013 to January 2014 timeframe is Microsoft’s Cloud OS launch – the coming out party for Windows Server 2012 R2 as well as System Center 2012 R2. Cisco will be a local sponsor at many of these events – in fact as of this writing we have wrapped up our participation at multiple events in Canada, Germany, and South Africa. Please stop by your local Microsoft Cloud OS event and visit the Cisco booth to learn more as well as listen to Cisco’s Chief Technology & Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior on our Microsoft alliance and datacenter solutions.

3. Cisco, Microsoft, and the Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)…

SatyaJohnMicrosoft was a key strategic partner at our recent New York City ACI launch with strong support from key Microsoft leaders such as Satya Nadella, Executive Vice President of their Cloud and Enterprise business unit. Satya shared the stage with Cisco CEO John Chambers in announcing ACI to the public.  In addition, Microsoft’s Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President, System Center blogged on the event and created a video on his ACI thoughts.  Microsoft – with their key platforms of Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint – sees ACI as a way to deliver ‘…datacenter without boundaries for our customers…

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Configuring Cisco Small Business Wireless Access Points using Single Point Setup

 

As we head towards Thanksgiving, it amazes me how fast time flies. 4th of July was a few weeks ago, right? I have yet to start holiday shopping, although the conversation at least came up this week. Wait! There is so much to get done before Christmas, so much to do with the Cisco Small Business Team! But yes, I digress.

This week, my colleague Product Manager, Nasser Tarazi, who manages the Cisco Small Business Wireless Access Points, created a short video covering how Cisco’s Single Point Setup makes the configuration, deployment and management of multiple access points a snap. In less than 5 minutes, he had a secure wireless network with two access points. All of configuration was done through a setup wizard that guides you step-by-step how to configure the access points.  They automatically optimize the key radio settings so that is one thing less for you to do.  I could go on and on about how easy and fast it was, but it would be easier for you just to watch the video.

The bottom line is that Single Point Setup saves you time and money and you don’t need to be or have an expert to configure these products.  In fact, this is a consistent trait for all of Cisco Small Business Wireless, Switching and Routing Portfolios. We believe that making our Small Business portfolios are among the easiest to deploy, configure and setup as we have made it one of the top priorities.

Please take a look when you have a moment. If you have a little more time, remember to take a look at our list of Cisco Small Business online emulators. These emulators do just that, it provides a simulation of how the router, access point and of course switches can be set-up, configured and managed, all in an intuitive way.

Nasser would also like to note that the AP541N is now End-of-Life. The replacement products are the WAP551 and the WAP561.

Thanks for taking a look.

Marc

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Cisco Virtual Router Debuts at AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas

Let’s talk about one of the biggest IT trends out there: THE CLOUD. And, let’s talk about why it should matter to you as you’re poking around and researching Cisco products. As you probably know, “the cloud” is more than just one of the hottest buzzwords out there – it’s where the market is shifting towards, and quickly. But you might be wondering…why is Cisco, the market leader in networking hardware, talking about cloud?

One word: CSR1000V.

If you need a primer on the CSR, check out this quick video below. The Cliff Notes version is that Cisco basically took its IOS XE operating system from the ASR1000 and created a virtual router, and voila – behold the CSR1000V, providing virtualized routing and security capabilities in the cloud.

As you might’ve heard through the grapevine, the CSR can now be deployed in Amazon Web Services (AWS). Now that we’re one of the cool kids in the AWS ecosystem, it was a great time to launch the CSR1000V (AMI version) at the 2nd annual AWS re:Invent conference held on November 12-15. re:Invent is AWS’s global community (customer and partner) conference targeted at the developer crowd. This year’s attendance was 9,000 strong, evenly split amongst startups, midsize companies, and large enterprises. Read More »

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Why the “Social Employee” is Inevitable

I’m always astounded by two facts:  first, how few employees feel engaged with their organizations; and second, the number one reason people leave a job is their manager.   Ok, I’m astounded by one more fact:  75% of the companies on the Fortune 500 from 25 years ago aren’t on the list any more.

Said another way, a smaller percentage of managers are inspiring their employees to achieve greatness than those who aren’t – by a long shot.  It’s the tough reality.   That’s what makes The Social Employee by Cheryl Burgess and Mark Burgess such an interesting book to read.  (In open disclosure, my colleague Jeremy Hartman and I were asked to contribute a chapter on Cisco to the book.)

When I read how companies like Southwest Airlines, IBM and DOMO invest in social media to drive their employees to the priorities of the business, a light bulb when off in my head:  there is a galactic difference between alignment and engagement,

  • Alignment is driven by “what” you need to do;
  • Engagement is based more on understanding “why” something is important to do.

Unless you satisfy the “why” you won’t get to the “what” as fast or as effectively.  This is a mindset for Read More »

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Embracing IoT? Security Must Be at the Core

Last month I attended a summit of subject matter experts on securing the Internet of Things (IoT). At first, I thought I had the wrong room, because it seemed that everybody other than me was an architect or engineer working for a device manufacturer, and as a result the conversation was dominated by placing security controls into the devices, themselves. In contrast, I tend to approach the issue from the perspective of protecting the core of the network. But just when I was beginning to think I had wasted an hour-long drive and was going to be bored out of my skull all day, a few of us started debating the issue and the conversation began to evolve.  Before long, we had found common ground in the fact that security controls are all about trust relationships – ‘I trust you, therefore I will allow you to do that’.

Now trust is a funny thing, because by its very nature it can neither be one-sided nor one-dimensional. Instead, it must be built into every aspect of the transaction; a sort of “digital handshake” to ensure all is well before doing business. In other words, each of our pre-conceived perspectives was correct, yet we were all being stubborn and short-sighted! Read More »

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