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RSA Conference 2013: I Am Security

Here I sit… In Mel’s Drive-In Diner, San Francisco, CA. I just inhaled the “El Ranchero Americano”, which I am sure to regret later, and am enjoying tunes from yester-year complete with Doo-Wop and Presley. You may ask, “Why do I care…?”  Well, before this turns into an episode with Anthony Bourdain, I will let you know that I am in ‘The City’ attending RSA Conference 2013.

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RSA Conference 2013 Video

 

Allow me to give you a quick background.  RSA’s goal is to connect security professionals from around the world in order to continue the growth and importance of security as technology aggressively expands. RSA started these conferences in 1991 when internet security really became a topic of discussion.  Everyone who is anyone is here, from start-up companies to our own Cisco.

Again, you might ask “What’s the big deal?”  I listened to a keynote by Vint Cerf, widely known as ‘The Father of the Web’, he gave an ‘If you can imagine…” speech. In this talk, he said if we could imagine our refrigerator being able to ‘talk’ to us… explore the internet for recipes in which the ingredients are what we currently have in the fridge and have a list of those recipes ready for us on the door or emailed to us. Pictures on our refrigerator being streamed live from our loved ones as they are posted on various social media sites, keeping us in the loop with our families across the world… It’s not ‘If’, it’s most certainly ‘when’… We are currently living in the era of the ‘Internet of Everything’.

With this, though, comes the most important element:  Security. How? How do we secure all of our information as we move forward? How do we secure billions of people while maintaining a ‘free moving internet?’ That’s why we’re here. We are here to discuss current security initiatives, evolving ideas, discussing the gaps in our current security… We are here to protect you.

As we move forward, it is absolutely essential to protect our ‘freedom’ to use the internet anytime, anywhere, and on any device. There are professionals working tirelessly in order to maintain that connectivity, and conversely, there are just as many trying to take our freedom away by disrupting our service and ‘stealing’ our personal information for their personal gain.

In our progression to ‘work our way’ in every way, we must stay vigilant and always on guard. I don’t know about you, but I do enjoy my flexibility and I also know I can sleep well at night knowing that there are people invested in my cybersecurity safety.

Until next time.

Mark

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Teleworking at Its Finest – Driving Innovation…and Family Time

This week it seems the topic of teleworking has garnered more attention than who wore what at the Oscars.

You may have noticed that I’ve been missing from the Cisco blogosphere the past few months. Don’t worry it’s not because I’ve become any less passionate about telepresence and collaboration and what we’re doing here at Cisco. I’ve had a recent addition to my family. But with the recent conversation heating up on the topic of telework, I thought it was the perfect time to share my experience.

Angie_Michael_Final[3]Putting on my “new mom” hat has me believing that the greatest benefit of telework is the flexibility it provides. As an employee of a company that encourages teleworking, I’ve never been more grateful for the opportunity to choose when I work in the office and when I don’t. And I know I’m not alone. People want the convenience of working from home and they want to avoid the time-suck of the daily commute.  This does not mean they are less productive or innovative, in fact, I find the contrary to be true; which I expressed in a previous blog post.

Based on last year’s Telework Week, participants found that productivity was a top benefit – 71 percent of organizations reported increased productivity from working at home. The Stanford University Study, as referenced in the Boston Globe, also noted similar statistics with a 13 percent increase in work performance of those that volunteered to work from home.

On the other hand, I am Read More »

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VDI “The Missing Questions” #5: How does 1vCPU scale compared to 2vCPU’s?

More and more this novel idea of user classifications and workload profiles is being used to separate VDI user allocations. I’ve worked with many customers who prefer to stack rank their users based on the importance of their role/job function and the typical applications that user needs in their role as a means to (hopefully) gain a more appropriate VDI resource allocation. Again – this is a great idea and a good excuse for organizations to take a long hard look at their users and the applications they use day to day.

In case you are finding this blog for the first time, we have been attempting to defy blog physics and host a series of blogs – this requires the use of a manually updated table of contents:

  1. VDI “The Missing Questions” #6: What do you really gain from a 2vCPU virtual desktop? 
  2. VDI “The Missing Questions” #7:  How memory bus speed affects scale
  3. VDI “The Missing Questions” #8: How does memory density affect VDI scalability?
  4. VDI “The Missing Questions” #9: How many storage IOPs?

You are Invited!  If you’ve been enjoying our blog series, please join us for a free webinar discussing the VDI Missing Questions, with Tony, Doron, Shawn and Jason!  Access the webinar here!

Most of the time the three main items separating user classes are:

  1. vCPU quantity
  2. Memory allocation
  3. Disk space

The first sort of pitfall that I see occasionally is too much granularity in the workload profiles. Don’t get me wrong, if you have a good view into your users and applications that you see the need to support and manage 5 different user classifications – that’s great news! But most of the time it comes down to 3 particular types of user classifications:

  1. Gold (Multiple vCPU’s, a lot more RAM and disk space than other folks)
  2. Silver (Could be a couple of vCPU’s, usually more RAM than the OS calls for, can be required for specialized apps, etc)
  3. Bronze (These are almost always single vCPU and minimum amount of RAM profiles)

A good sort of buildup approach to start determining your workload profile requirements must take into consideration the users and compute requirements based on the apps those users will be running. In most cases, the Operating System you choose will be the foundation to start your buildup approach. The aging Windows XP platform is quickly being consumed by Windows 7 in the corporate workspace. There are few folks out there continuing to stand up net new systems for users and using Windows XP. This is for a number of reasons – most new PC’s and their manufacturers (not to mention this little company called Microsoft) are not developing drivers and supporting the workhorse XP operating system. Let’s be honest, Windows XP came out in 2001. Windows XP is older than my twin girls that are in 4th grade! It was a good ride, but it must come to an end. You probably noticed that I haven’t mentioned Windows 8 yet. After all, it is the newest desktop Operating System (OS) that Microsoft has out. There are a couple of reasons for this: Most corporate users don’t jump onto the latest OS because they have to support many users, must test/qualify their applications on a new operating system and as we all know – anything new usually has fixes and enhancements to follow. Plus, as a general rule of thumb, the first Service Pack must come out before anyone will give real consideration to mass deployment in any organization. Beyond the general newness of the Windows 8 OS, it will be interesting to see how “Corporate America” will integrate the new look and feel of Windows 8. With that being said, we have Windows 7 which came out in 2009 and already has Service Pack 1 with a host of subsequent updates. This is the OS that most folks are planning their VDI environments for. Per Microsoft, the requirements for Windows 7 are as follows:

Read More »

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Take the Unified Access Partner Challenge for a Chance to Win an iPad

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A few weeks ago we launched new Cisco Unified Access solutions at Cisco Live. These included the new Catalyst 3850 switch and the new Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controller, both built on the new Unified Access Data Plane ASIC.  These will be key for Cisco partners and their customers as they implement BYOD policies and add more wireless access in branch offices, stores, and other remote locations. It’s a great opportunity for you to help your customers deploy these technologies with a converged approach.

To capitalize on this opportunity, of course, you’ll need to learn something about Cisco Unified Access and I’ve got some ideas for you on that.  Read More »

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Reclaiming Mobile Cloud Services from OTTs: Seven Actions Service Providers Can Take to Capture a $60 Billion Opportunity

hagusleoBy Henky Agusleo, Vertical Manager, and Neeraj Arora, Director, IBSG Service Provider – neerarorSingapore

A rapidly expanding, tech-savvy middle class is driving an explosion of connected mobile devices, with close to a billion smartphones and tablets in the world today. These users are looking for new cloud-based “Connected Life” experiences from their mobile devices, creating tremendous opportunities for service providers (SPs). The key is in mobile cloud. The Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) projects a direct worldwide mobile-cloud service opportunity of more than $60 billion by 2016, with an additional cloud pull-through market of $335 billion.

But so far, service providers have not taken the lead in offering cloud-based Connected Life services. That claim belongs to over-the-top (OTT) application developers, content providers, and device manufacturers, such as Google and Apple, who have moved quickly to take the high ground in this market.

OTTs Have First-Mover Advantage

This first-mover advantage has Read More »

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