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Part 2 – SDN Questions to Ask at the Gartner Data Center Conference

The London Eye

The London Eye

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, last week I attended the Gartner Data Center Conference in London.   I came out of the conference with some questions I asked and some questions I wish I had asked! So if you are attending the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas, USA, this week, here are some suggested questions you can ask in the SDN-related seminars!  And if you are not at the conference, don’t worry – feel free to ask these questions of your candidate SDN vendors (including Cisco!)

Today I’ll cover :

(4)    If OpenStack is part of your SDN/NFV solution, can you help us on OpenStack?

(5)    What is the best hardware server platform for NFV/virtualised workloads?

I’ll leave question (6) on SDN and management until tomorrow – I feel a rant coming on and I’ll need more space :-)  Again, for questions (1) – (3), please refer to my part 1 blog.

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SDN Questions to Ask at the Gartner Data Center Conference

London's Big Ben at Night

London’s Big Ben at Night

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Gartner Data Center conference in London.   I attended 3 different sessions on SDN-related topics.  Here are some of my observations from what was a very good conference.  Also, since the Gartner Data Center conference runs this week (w/c 1 December 2014) in the US, if you are going, here are some questions to think about when you attend the SDN sessions.

(1)    What does “lack of visibility” in Virtual Overlays really mean?

(2)    In multi-layer SDN, will SDN be cheaper than our current networking approach?

(3)    Are Vendors Guilty of Using NFV for SDN “Washing”?

(4)    If OpenStack is part of your SDN solution, can you help us on OpenStack?

(5)    What is the best hardware server platform for NFV/virtualised workloads?

(6)    How exactly does SDN deliver better network management?

I’ll cover a few questions today and some tomorrow.

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The Top 5 OpenStack Adoption Challenges – View from Cisco Services’ Experts


openstackOpenStack is gaining increasing industry attention and, while it can deliver huge advantages, some may say it is “hyped”. Although OpenStack has an ever growing range of enthusiastic practitioners and advocates,  as you may be aware, OpenStack is not without its critics – including Gartner – who outline the challenges of OpenStack adoption. It’s therefore generally recommended that OpenStack adopters consider engaging professional services experts to help them avoid the pitfalls

With the November 2014 OpenStack Summit in Paris opening as I write this – you can find us at stand C3 along with our newest acquisition, Metacloud (Stand E37) if you are going – my thoughts turn to the issues and challenges facing our customers when they deploy OpenStack into production projects.  And who better to ask than our Cisco Services consultants who are delivering OpenStack adoption services (which we launched this time last year at the Summit in Hong Kong).

These consultants are at the “coal face” (as we say in my part of the world, Scotland) of OpenStack– they are the experts digging deep in the IT equivalent of the mines working with real customers going live with real-world OpenStack.    More than R&D investigations, these deployments are happening with customers who are betting their business dollars, pounds, yen and other currencies on OpenStack.  However as the video (below) shows, OpenStack has its deployment complexities.  Hence increasing numbers of our customers are engaging Cisco Services to help them on OpenStack.

To share our practical experiences with you, we sat down and came up with our “top 5” adoption challenges list which you may find useful if you are considering or embarking upon an OpenStack deployment:

  1. Cross-domain technical expertise is mandatory
  2. Going deep with Open Source
  3. “It’s just middleware”
  4. Don’t underestimate the learning curve
  5. Expect your OPEX to increase (sorry!)

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Delivering Business Outcomes: When Did You Last Reduce Time To Market?

Working in the Data Center and Cloud Professional Services team in Cisco on cloud and software defined networking, I am sometimes asked “What do you guys in Cisco Services really do?”  [especially by people in my office :-)]  I’ll use Cbeyond, one of our customers who offer differentiated cloud services enabled by Cisco Services, to illustrate.

I could tell you …..

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: Taking Action – The Power of Mobile

Here at Cisco, we take customer listening seriously. From the Global Annual Customer Satisfaction Survey to customer advisory boards to social media monitoring – and other avenues – we are constantly listening to what our customers and partners tell us they need from Cisco to enable their business success. One trend we hear in every feedback source is mobility: you want more options for managing your network from your mobile devices.

One way we’ve acted on this feedback is to develop the Cisco Technical Support mobile application, which allows you to:

  • Manage and update open support cases
  • Ask and answer questions in discussion forums
  • Research Cisco products and services.

Many of you are already using the Tech Support app, but we’ve recently added some great features that make it even easier to open a case and look up a contract. I’ve asked Jim Fuller, Senior Director of Services Entitlement, to share details on these new capabilities so that you can do more with Cisco while on the go. Read More »

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