I have been with Cisco for more than 20 years and have seen incredible growth and change over these two decades – including hundreds of acquisitions that resulted in varying degrees of success for our business. With this recent Cloupia acquisition being strategic to data center management, I thought this would be an opportune time to lend my voice, create a blog, and join the conversation. The increasingly rapid rate of change for data center technology makes this ripe for many interesting blogs, and I hope will spur some commentary from readers. I may have to occasionally throw in some mention of the New York Yankees from time to time – which may also insight some colorful feedback as well.
As we have seen over the past decade, virtualization has transformed the data center as much as any other single technology. Virtualization has brought flexibility and agility to the data center, while reducing the capital expenses required to stand up and maintain the physical environments. This evolution has transformed the value associated with being able to manage complex data center environments through software.
Virtualization is not a free lunch
However, as is the case with many evolutions, these changes have introduced new challenges for IT. The single largest operational cost of managing data centers today is the cost of management and administration of virtual servers. So in many respects the benefits and capital cost savings of virtualization have placed even greater pressure on the ever shrinking IT operational budget.
Why is this happening if virtualization allows users to manage through flexible software? The cause is that virtual environments and assets need to be connected to the underlying physical devices. Often times as dynamic virtualization environments change rapidly, IT staffs are strained to update and reconfigure the underlying connections to the physical devices.
A single pane of glass to manage both worlds
A differentiated approach to help IT organizations more effectively manage the data center is essential to addressing their challenges, and key to that is how physical and virtual environments must be managed together while always aware of each other’s state.
Just as software controls the virtual environment, it should also be connected to the underlying physical devices and the connectivity to virtual environments. Cisco has transformed the way IT manages the relationship between virtual assets and their underlying physical devices. With software such as UCS Manager and Cloupia, IT can dynamically manage physical and virtual assets from a single pane of glass.
Cloupia is the most recent acquisition for Cisco’s Data Center business and is truly a game changer. As our customers look to migrate from standalone infrastructure to a virtual world, to private cloud and hybrid cloud , as well as public cloud, this easy-to-deploy infrastructure management provides provisioning for the physical AND the virtual, across the server, the network, and storage.
Listen to my recent conversation with Dominick Delfino, Sr. Director, leading our Global Data Center Architecture Technology team during Cisco Live Europe in London.
Businesses are increasingly providing their employees with options to work remotely; in fact, according to ‘The Expanding Role Of Mobility In The Workplace’ study conducted by Forrester, 52% of companies globally are now happy to support this important shift in working practice. And this trend is expanding; according to SalesforceRypple, it’s estimated that one-third of the global workforce will be mobile or based outside the office by 2015.
According to a SalesForce.com study in 2012, 96% of executives blame lack of collaboration and poor communication for workplace failures. Addressing the communication challenges associated with these issues could be seen as expensive and time consuming – however, it doesn’t need to be. Cisco is enabling customers to improve collaboration through a solution that unifies different communication channels into one single tool.
Organisations are already beginning to see increased use of personal and company provided devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets. Whilst this can increase an organisation’s productivity, it also creates internal compatibility challenges. Unless organisations embrace this change in the business environment, they could struggle to maintain efficiency and keep pace with the competition. Read More »
Retailers looking at the Big Data opportunity may well find themselves with an array of choices: the opportunities seem so vast, where does one begin?
Well, a pragmatic way forward is to focus on some pragmatic possibilities and then “follow the money”!
In examining the Big Data opportunity for retailers, Cisco IBSG has identified three key areas where we believe value can be generated through Big Data analytics – and we have put together a framework for assessing and comparing the financial impact of options within these areas.
As outlined in our previous report, “Surfing the Data Deluge: How Retailers Can Turn Big Data into Big Profits,” three areas – video, social and mobile data –promise unprecedented insights into what consumers want or need, at the earliest stages of interest, and will drive the Big Data thrust in retail over the next few years. These three essentials not only represent a major stream of incoming data, but also provide an outbound mechanism to communicate with customers on a more personalized basis. In other words, they are both a source of Big Data analytics and a way of implementing Big Data insights! Read More »
As you look at your upcoming Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, or SQL Server projects keep in mind Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) SmartPlay program. The program offers attractive pricing on select Cisco UCS blade and rack server bundles. Our Cisco UCS servers provide an optimal I.T. platform for these key Microsoft workloads helping you to deliver exceptional performance & virtual machine densities, as well as scalability to your organization. Read More »
Service providers are rapidly transitioning their networks to 100 Gbps in the core and it seems that every week brings a new technology, product, or customer announcement. With that in mind we encourage you to join us at an upcoming webinar, 100G Optics: Why Operators Are Upgrading Now. It will feature results from surveys by Infonetics Research with top service providers, and explains what is driving upgrades to 100G and how carriers plan to make the transition. We’ll cover not just the core but future metro opportunities as well. Read More »