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Cloudy Thoughts about EMC World 2011

Next week is EMC World 2011 in Las Vegas, with Cloud Computing being one of the major themes. Cisco is an Elite-level sponsor of the event and will have a huge presence (see full schedule of activities) throughout the week. We’ll be showcasing Unified Computing (UCS), Unified Fabric, FCoE, Virtual Desktops (VDI), Virtual Experience Infrastructure (VXI), Unified Network Services, Data Center Network Manager (DCNM), Private Cloud, Application Mobility and of course deep integration between Cisco and EMC (VPLEX, Greenplum, VNX, etc.)

If you’re planning to be in attendance and would like to talk about Cloud, I’d enjoy meeting you. Here’s where I’ll be throughout the week, as well as attending sessions, meeting with customers, hanging out in the EMC Blogger’s Lounge and networking with colleagues from across the industry: Read More »

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The Top 5 Security Risks of Cloud Computing

Evaluate potential providers based on their responses to these key concerns.

More and more, small businesses are moving to cloud computing, signing up with private providers that make sophisticated applications more affordable as well as setting up their own accounts with public social media sites like Facebook. The trend is confirmed by Microsoft in its global SMB Cloud Adoption Study 2011, which found that 49 percent of small businesses expect to sign up for at least one cloud service in the next three years.

Private and public clouds function in the same way: Applications are hosted on a server and accessed over the Internet. Whether you’re using a Software as a Service (SaaS) version of customer relationship management (CRM) software, creating offsite backups of your company data, or setting up a social media marketing page, you’re trusting a third-party company with information about your business and, most likely, your customers.

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Cisco and OpenStack

A few months back, Cisco announced our official support for the OpenStack open-source project. Led by Cisco’s office of the Cloud CTO (Lew Tucker), Cisco continues to expand our engagement in this community.

Our initial engagement was a “Network as a Service” (NaaS) submission, looking at ways to create a logical abstraction to automate pools (or containers) of network resources and allow developers to create systems that meet their application needs.

Last week we co-sponsored the OpenStack Design Conference in Santa Clara (all presentations). We also created this  resource page to highlight configurations for developers or systems integrators looking to setup OpenStack on the Cisco UCS platform. Recaps of the Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 events and activities.

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Conversations about Cloud – “What is Cloud Computing?”

Sometimes we spend so much time involved in the inner-workings of something (“inside the sausage factory”) that it’s valuable to occasionally come up for air to get a fresh perspective on things. I had one of those moments this week during a conversation with a Sr. Engineer at one of our customers. After a long whiteboard session about networking within their Data Center, he asked me if it was useful (YES!) and then he said he wasn’t sure how that had anything to do with Cloud Computing.  The rest of the conversation went something like this:

ME: That was great because you highlights many design considerations for building massively scalable data center networks. [SCALABLE]

HIM: Glad it was helpful, but please don’t tell me this is Cloud Computing. This is just the evolution of Data Centers because now VMs and Applications can be mobile.

ME: OK, what do you think Cloud Computing is?

HIM: Cloud Computing is the stuff on the Internet, you know, like Amazon AWS or Google. All the on-demand, self-service, *aaS stuff that marketing people talk about.

ME: OK, fair enough. Does your company (Enterprise – Financial Services) use any Cloud Computing?

HIM: Are you serious, we have rules about where our data goes, how it’s accounted for and how it’s audited. You can’t do that in Cloud Computing. (NOTE: Not completely true – Cisco is doing some important work in that space.) Read More »

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Parting Clouds and Being Real About Virtualization

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years – and perhaps even then – you have undoubtedly heard someone touting the merits of virtualization and cloud computing.  Chief among the advantages are reduced costs and the capability to do more with fewer resources.

Although the terms are often used simultaneously, cloud and virtualization aren’t the same.  Click below for a brief discussion of each.

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