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Three Data Center Security Innovations to Accelerate Your Business

How can you get your data center off to a smooth start? At the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit this week, I presented three data center innovations that hold the key to accelerating business securely.

Ease of provisioning

According to a recent Cisco IT case study, data center provisioning times have decreased from eight weeks to 15 minutes. Security must do the same to realize the full benefits of data center automation.

Often, businesses have trouble implementing this vision because of their existing IT. The people and their skill base, the processes they use and even the technology they have implemented, are very silo-based. It is not designed to integrate into an automated, on-demand model.

There are many challenges imposed by siloed technologies when you attempt to converge or virtualize these environments. A common issue is when storage and server platforms were not designed to work together.  This necessitates expensive service engagements to build.  Additionally, in order to hide the associated complexity, expensive management software has to be deployed to “simplify” infrastructure deployments. This approach just doesn’t work. The result is increasing complexity that makes the architecture brittle and costly.

At Cisco, we believe it is important to look for a solution that doesn’t look at technologies, processes, and people in isolation. You can enable a powerful IT by taking a unified approach and working with technologies that are designed to work together. Your IT can be a service foundation that redefines data center economics and delivers performance, reliability, and business innovation. Unification is the element that will deliver that.

 Maximized Network Performance and Resilience

On a unified network, IT can ensure the highest levels of network performance and business continuity through:

• 8x performance density over competitive firewalls and up to 1.9 million new connections per second and 80 million maximum connections per second enables Cisco firewalls to meet the most stringent performance requirements

• Eliminating compromise, retrofits and disruption to network design via Virtual Portal Channel and FabricPath integration for increased efficiency

Pervasive Protection

The third innovation that can streamline your data center and accelerate your business is actionable security intelligence. A secure network can differentiate by users and their multiple devices, differentiate applications, know behaviors and ultimately confirm IT policy is aligned with business. Building trusted chains that extend from the user to the application and are uniquely aligned to business context, can ensure efficiency and security.

Learn how Cisco can help you to leverage these innovations to accelerate your business securely.

 

Follow me on Twitter  @e_desouza and discover my other presentation at Gartner in  my previous blog  Everything’s in the cloud : Now What?

 

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Summary of B2B social media session at Internet Retailer 2013

Last week I was honored to co-present with Parvez Patel, senior director of e-strategy at Grainger, on a session at Internet Retailer Conference 2013, titled “Social Marketing for B2B:  It’s Not Just for B2C Anymore.”

Parvez Patel, Grainger, Kenneth Leung, Cisco

 

In this session both of us discussed how we approached B2B social media from a Grainger perspective and from a Cisco retail industry marketing perspective.  Some of the points that we discussed include:

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Drumroll Please…Cisco Partner Summit Contest Winners Announced

It’s hard to believe that Cisco Partner Summit 2013 is already a week behind us. We had such a great time chatting with partners, attending the sessions, and seeing your Vine and Favorite Quote Contests submissions roll in. We have some very creative partners out there!

To recap, there were two Cisco Partner Summit Contests, you could participate in:

  • Vine Contest: Using the Vine mobile app, capture the essence of what Cisco Partner Summit means to you in a video that is six seconds or less.
  • Favorite Quote Contest: Send a tweet of your favorite Cisco Partner Summit quote or key message that resonated most with you.

Now that the contest details are fresh in your mind, here are the Cisco Partner Summit 2013 contest winners. Drumroll please… Read More »

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Ease of Troubleshooting : Meet Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director

End of April, Cisco introduced  the next generation Storage Network innovations with the new MDS 9710 Multilayer Director and new MDS 9250i Multiservice Switch (see Berna Devrim’s  blog ) . These solutions have been presented to the Storage Tech Field Day  (see blogs and videos below) , as well on the Cisco booth at different events  (ie EMC World) generating a lot of  comments  from bloggers and users. So I came back to the team of Cisco engineers  to know more  about these solutions – Today I interviewed Bhavin  Yadav one of these fine engineers about the MDS 9710 .BhavinYadav

“Hi Bhavin . I heard a lot of comments  about troubleshooting , and the claim that it’s easy . Really? How can I achieve that? 

Haha . Welcome to the world of Cisco MDS 9700 Series Multilayer Directors, the easy to troubleshoot Multilayer Director Class platform in the storage area networking world! Isn’t it wonderful ? Who does not want that ? But let me first  remind you some fundamental facts before we come to any conclusion.

What are some of the reasons we have to troubleshoot?

1. Unknown human part – like wrong part replacement, playing around for fun (Are you serious? Yes, you can just pull the lever and get pull the module out like a piece of cake),
2. Technology changes –sudden traffic pattern change like unexpected data spikes, infrastructure changes like adding bunch of new virtual machines – new servers, using SSD based storage, exponential increase in data backups every night , deployment of new data centers, need of speedier networks, etc.
3. Unexpected infrastructure acts: sudden power loss, lost air cooling, burned out cables, failing hard drives – switches – cables, etc.

So, the question comes out is – Okay, this is not something new, we deal with it everyday. Well, let me ask you this – while you work on above problems, does it impact your customers / clients? Does it impact (reduce) your available resources? Does it wake you up your staff at 2 am? But how about reducing these kinds of calls / engagements and also enhancing the customer experience? Yes, that’s what we are going to talk about.

Introducing Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director  Class SAN switch, along with Raising the bar for performance and new benchmarks on performance, reliability and flexibility, now also for troubleshooting.  Let’s see how it does this.

With MDS 9710, comes a newly refreshed hardware with new troubleshooting and monitoring tool: GOLD – Generic Online Diagnostics. In this post, I want to talk about both, new hardware and GOLD.

MDS9710

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Everything’s in the Cloud: Now What?

Today’s applications are either virtualized in our own data center or being hosted by any number of providers. But is our security built around our current security reality or is it living in the past? During one of my Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit presentations, I shared best practices in a rapidly changing environment, where cloud vendor hype isn’t matching our security reality. Now that everything is in the cloud, we need a strategic approach to cloud security.

 

Here’s how to make it happen:

Ensure safe data handling when working with cloud provider. Considering cloud providers are an extension of your business, it is vital to ensure how your provider handles security for storing and transmitting your data. What provisions are in place to make sure data is secure once it has been transmitted? Determine if your provider has firewalls, data encryption, and user authentication to keep your data safe.

Combat growing threats. As cloud-based technologies grow more sophisticated over time, so do the possibilities of threats. A proactive approach to security means that we enable technology like cloud-based threat intelligence to detect a threat as they happen – or in some cases before they happen. Other anti-threat measures such as deep packet inspection and proactive monitoring can also help combat viruses, spam and other intrusions. Learn more. You don’t have to be a security expert to take security seriously. Leverage industry bodies, like the Cloud Security Alliance, for guidance on benchmarking service provider security capabilities. Learn what certifications and security practices your cloud provider has, including daily risk audits. And look for ways to increase security processes when you work with cloud providers. See how Cisco can help you protect your business assets and meet compliance requirements.

Learn more. You don’t have to be a security expert to take security seriously. Leverage industry bodies, like the Cloud Security Alliance, for guidance on benchmarking service provider security capabilities. Learn what certifications and security practices your cloud provider has, including daily risk audits. And look for ways to increase security processes when you work with cloud providers. See how Cisco can help you protect your business assets and meet compliance requirements.

To know more follow me on Twitter  @e_desouza  and check my blog and Gartner presentation  on Three Data Center Security Innovations to Accelerate Your Business

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