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Sunny day at Cisco Live London 2011

Cisco Live Europe is back , in Excel London this year, under a sunny day . And the Cisco Data Center team, working diligently with partners such as  APC, BMC, Citrix, Commscope, EMC, Intel, NetApp, Panduit, Rittal, VCE built a 2 rows Data Center of the Future demonstration, which showcases  Cisco data center and partners solutions and products : Unified computing – Unified Fabric Secure Multi-Tenancy – Unified Network Services – DC Switching (Access, Core, Aggregation)

In addition of the Data Center of the Future, our visitors have the opportunity  to visit 14 demo kiosks covering solutions (see below)

Tonight I invited for a Daily Blogger Techminute in London 3 great bloggers  : Cisco Lisa Caywood, NetApp Tim Waldron, and CA Technologies Steven Guthrie- Please check this video, where each of them share some highlights of the day.

Cisco CEO and Chairman John Chambers key note was the highlight of the day  – John Chambers was just coming back from theWorld Economic Forum where he met leaders such as the UK prime minister, and shared their growing  interest for the solutions that Cisco and the other technology leaders have to offer to develop at an increasing rate the economy and the productivity of the countries. In his speech, as he did in Davos, John Chambers reaffirmed that “ The network changes the way citizens work, live , play and learn, transforming competitiveness through innovation and productivity”
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The Critical Role of the Network in Supporting Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud Services
The Cloud-based service model offers the Enterprise access to a rich range of services and applications without the overhead of having to deploy and manage the underlying infrastructure. This results in much lower costs for access to services and applications. This is especially true for one time or periodic workloads where resources may sit idle for months until required. As a result Enterprises are increasingly embracing cloud services and benefiting from on-demand availability.

Delivery Models
Demand for cloud services is being met in a number of ways. Independent software vendors offer services from their data center over the Internet, such as Salesforce.com’s CRM application. Some ISVs leverage an IaaS provider such as Amazon to host their application on the Internet such as Adobe’s LiveCycle Enterprise Suite. However, since these approaches rely on the Internet it is not possible to provide end-to-end quality of service (QoS), so neither approach supports providing an SLA for network performance. This is increasingly a concern for Enterprise customers.

The Need for SLA’s
The need for SLA’s for cloud services opens up an opportunity for communications service providers (CSPs) to offer a wide range of network centric solutions that are supported by an SLA. CSPs are in a unique position to offer these solutions because, unlike the Internet, the Next Generation Networks (NGNs) that CSPs have deployed, based on IP and MPLS, are capable of providing contracted levels of availability, delay, jitter and packet loss. As a result CSPs can provide cloud-based solutions with SLAs by providing these solutions to customers from their own data center and over their NGN.

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Got C(lew)d? – Cloud CTO Lew Tucker & Cisco Cloud Strategy

To paraphrase a classic old song, “Cloud, cloud, everywhere it’s cloud, blocking out the scenery breaking my mind…”

Yep, cloud computing is anywhere and everywhere these days. The market is getting more competitive in delivering ways for customers to enable cloud computing for their business, and vendors are bombarding those customers with cloud messages from every angle. While Cisco has been extremely active in the cloud computing space for many years, we’ve heard from our customers that we need to move above the noise and be very prescriptive in articulating our cloud computing vision, strategy, portfolio and differentiation.

About six months ago Cisco announced that we had hired and appointed Lew Tucker as Cloud CTO. Not only does Lew bring a tremendous wealth of experience building some of foundational technologies and implementations of cloud computing, but he brings a unique way of explaining where cloud is going. The short video below introduces Lew’s approach to Cisco’s cloud strategy and vision. So get cLewd into Cloud as Lew clues you in on where Cisco is going in this rapidly growing market transition.

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How do you measure your Cloud Computing strategy?

In sports, when looking at the record books we often find that most of the records are held by current players. In most cases this get attributed to the fact that the games change over time and certain elements are emphasized over others. Maybe it’s passing over running in football, home runs instead of stolen bases in baseball, or dunks over jump shots in basketball. Whatever it is, we eventually accept that the new approach to the game is going to lead us to viewing measurements differently.

For some reason, that same mentality doesn’t seem to apply to changes in how we leverage IT technologies to drive our businesses. While we now live in a world where change happens at 2x, 3x and sometimes 5x what it did in the past, but we’re still using measurements that are centered in a world where IT is primarily focused on keeping the operations running and keeping the costs down. Measurements like Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are primarily focused on upfront costs of equipment or a level of labor that is often ignored after the initial ROI calculations are complete. But what happens when a new system is able to take on orders of magnitude more work them previous systems, which often happens with server virtualization projects, so IT handles more capacity? Do ROI and TCO really account for that increased productivity properly? Read More »

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Unified Network Services for Cloud Service Providers

Services from the Cloud
Services from the cloud offer cost and efficiency benefits to businesses, but until now many customers have been hesitant to buy cloud services, especially for mission-critical business applications, because of concerns about security, performance, and availability. Cloud service providers need to address these concerns by offering network services for applications hosted in the cloud. Cloud service providers can use their data center and IP NGN assets to deliver these services, however, they need a new service delivery model offering the scalability, flexibility, and multi-tenant capabilities needed for cloud service delivery. Delivering cloud services requires efficiency and agility in the data center where applications are hosted. To support on-demand delivery of cloud services, network and computing infrastructures need to be virtualization aware, especially for services that increase the availability and performance of applications.

The Cisco Solution
To meet this need Cisco is delivering virtualized versions of network services appliances as a part of our network services solution. The Cisco® Unified Network Services (UNS) solution presents a new opportunity for cloud service providers to offer security and performance services as well as reporting and monitoring for virtualized applications and other infrastructure services such as BC/DR, VDI or Hosted Communications. Cisco UNS uses a platform based on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Cisco Nexus® 1000V Series Switch to increase the scale and flexibility of cloud-based services and to help ensure availability and workload mobility. The Cisco UNS solution lowers the cost of deployment and enables rapid provisioning by removing the need for physical versions of these products and the requirement for racking and stacking, and power and cooling.

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