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Validating Cisco Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI) – Part 2

Guest Blog by Ram Haridasa,  Sr. Marketing Manager

Lightreading commissioned the European Advanced Networking Test Center team evaluation of Cisco’s NFVI solution in September 2015. The first part of the resulting report, which provides an overview of Cisco’s NFVI and an in-depth, multi-page performance evaluation of Cisco’s virtual switch technology, has been published — see Validating Cisco’s NFV Infrastructure Pt. 1 and Cisco’s vSwitch Makes the Grade.

Validating Cisco NFVI Part 2_Image 1_04NOV2015

The second part of the report is now available Read More »

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The Power of Interconnected Partnerships – Internally and Externally

Conexion Badge updated2I have always been a passionate believer in The Power of Partnerships to improve diversity in the talent pipeline, the workplace and leadership positions at enterprises everywhere. My experience shows that partnerships must be formed both within the enterprise and outside of it in order to make a real impact on diversity.

This has been made more obvious to me in the last month than at any other time in my 20-year business career. The Power of Partnerships – both internally and externally – can make a difference, and I’ve seen that difference accelerated when these partnerships interconnect to advance Hispanic  representation in the high-tech industry.

For example, on Oct. 21, Conexión, the Latino Employee Resource Organization (ERO) at Cisco, recognized its corporate history of progress, innovation and impact with a Cisco TV broadcast featuring presentations by Cisco leaders such as Guillermo Diaz Jr., Cisco’s CIO; Shari Slate, our Chief Inclusion & Collaboration Officer; and, Maria Dincel, a Marketing director who oversees Cisco’s sponsorship of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. We also invited Gina Rudan, a Leadership Coach at Google, who inspired everyone with her insights on how each of us can unleash our “inner genius” by combining our specific skills and experience with our unique passion in life. Read More »

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Gartner 2016 Predictions: Cloud Security Challenges Rise From Within

Today, most employees access public cloud solutions by bypassing IT. This is concerning for CIOs/CEOs given that it puts their organizations at substantial risk for data security and compliance challenges.

But, what if it isn’t actually the public cloud that you need to worry about? What if it’s your own internal processes that are the biggest risk when using cloud?


Recently, Gartner released their top predictions for IT organizations and users for 2016. According to their report, Gartner predicts, “Through 2020, 95 percent of cloud security failures will be the customer’s fault.”

Let’s think about this for a moment. For years, companies have claimed they avoided public cloud solutions due to security concerns. This included multi-tenancy/shared resources (noisy neighbors), authentication/access control, availability needs, and meeting compliance requirements. Yet, it’s not necessarily public cloud providers who need to be companies’ top concern— rather, it’s their own internal procedures that lead to compliance failures and increased levels of business risk

Organizations need to look at external factors as well as their internal processes to reduce risks from and gain the benefits of using public cloud.

As Gartner states in their prediction, “The characteristics of the parts of the cloud stack under customer control can make cloud computing a highly efficient way for naive users to leverage poor practices, which can easily result in widespread security or compliance failures”.

Therefore, it is increasingly important for businesses to develop a holistic cloud management approach to properly address risk.

Cisco Cloud Consumption as a Service helps organizations begin their journey to managing cloud by identifying cloud usage throughout the business for complete visibility. With this visibility you can begin to evolve your cloud management capabilities, including:

  • Meet compliance and properly mitigate risks by defining cloud usage policies while working with your DLP (data loss prevention) solutions
  • Reduce cloud spend by identifying redundant services
  • Identify and meet the cloud needs of internal groups
  • Benchmark cloud use against peers
  • Compare providers to find the right cloud services to meet your needs

Establish Cloud Management To Avoid Unnecessary Risk

To learn more about how you can mitigate risks by using our cloud management tools, register for our webinar, Reducing Risk of Shadow IT, on November 12th at 10am PT to understand how Cisco Cloud Consumption as a Service can help keep your business secure while still leveraging strategic cloud services. Register here.

Can’t attend? Learn more about how our software can help you better manage public cloud services by signing up for a free trial of Cloud Consumption as a Service at

As always, feel free to chat with me on Twitter for questions and comments.

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Life Saving Drones Aid First Responders

Guardian Center drone training exercise - cmprssd

Model of Guardian Centers training facility

Emergency readiness is one of the most frequently practiced and probably one of the least frequently exercised drills. However, when it counts on saving human lives, it really counts.

One such massive effort in emergency preparedness took place during the week of Sep 28 at the Guardian Centers in Atlanta, Georgia area.  Guardian Centers is an 830-acre training facility containing 75 acres of multi-story cityscapes that hosts up to 7000 participants for a variety of tactical trainings.

Guardian test site from drone1_cmprssd

Actual photo of test site

Guardian Test Site from drone2_cmprssd

Drone produced 3-D model of test site

I participated in the disaster preparedness drill, along with my colleague, Nico Darrow, on behalf of Cisco involvement with DreamHammer, which leverages drones to carry out CONOPS.  this exercise was a clear example of how innovation and the Internet of Things is having an impact on the world today.

A number of organizations, including the New York Fire Department, FEMA, CNN, AIG Insurance, law enforcement agencies, and drone startups also joined this collaborative exercise.  A simple drone flight around the affected structure generated a rich and realistic 3-D model of the area, which was invaluable to first responders, media outlets and insurance agencies in particular.

Read More »

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Server Load balancing with NAT, using Nexus switches: ITD

Server load balancer (SLB) has become very common in network deployments, as the data & video traffic are expanding at rapid rate. There are various modes of SLB deployments today. Application load balancing with network address translation (NAT) has become a necessity for various benefits.

Cisco Intelligent Traffic Director (ITD) is a hardware based multi-terabit layer 4 load-balancing and traffic steering solution on the Nexus 5k/6k/7k/9k series of switches.

With our latest NX-OS Software 7.2(1)D1(1) (also known as Gibraltar MR), ITD supports SLB NAT on Nexus 7k series of switches.

In SLB-NAT deployment, client can send traffic to a virtual IP address, and need not know about the IP of the underlying servers. NAT provides additional security in hiding the real server IP from the outside world. In the case of Virtualized server environments, this NAT capability provides increased flexibility in moving the real servers across the different server pools with out being noticed by the their clients. With respect health monitoring and traffic reassignment, SLB NAT helps applications to work seamlessly without client being aware of any IP change.

ITD won the Best of Interop 2015 in Data Center Category.


ITD provides :

  1. Zero latency load-balancing.
  2. CAPEX savings : No service module or external L3/L4 load-balancer needed. Every Nexus port can be used as load-balancer.
  3. IP-stickiness
  4. Resilient (like resilient ECMP), Consistent hash
  5. Bi-directional flow-coherency. Traffic from A–>B and B–>A goes to same node.
  6. Monitoring the health of servers/appliances.
  7. Handles unlimited number of flows.

Documentation, slides, videos:

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