“This conference is designed not only to make you think about the application of automation, but also to help you take action” – David Greenfield, Automation World, editor in chief and TAC event director
The conference achieved this goal and more. The framework of the sessions encouraged audience collaboration and dialogue around the challenges and practical steps and strategies being designed and deployed to achieve an integrated and scalable IoE architecture that drives value across the entire manufacturing value chain, as depicted in the video below:
What better way to meet that objective than to leverage a manufacturing use case around beer!!!!
Automating Brewing Operations from Two Different Perspectives
I attended this session where Highland Brewing, Sierra Nevada and Vicinity Manufacturing gave an interesting perspective around the challenges and strategies in deploying their next generation manufacturing operation.
Highland Brewing is a regional brewer of craft beers based in the Southeast and Sierra Nevada is a larger brewer with more of national brand. The interesting contrast between the two is that Highland Brewing is designing more automation into their operational facility and Sierra Nevada is scaling their automation and IoE strategies across all their facilities. Both perspectives and approaches have the same objective. How do I effectively integrate all the various technologies into an intelligent, flexible and scalable system/architecture to meet the following business outcomes:
Increase Customer Loyalty
Supply Chain Optimization
To paraphase Kevin Wheeler, Director of Operations, Highland Brewing Co,“Our core competency is crafting great beer. We have an opportunity to drive efficiency into our operation by an integrating IoT/IoE platform … the challenge is figuring out the best approach.”
Like Highland Brewing, manufacturers must begin to transform existing business processes and fundamentally rethink how they create, operate, and service smart, connected products in the IoE. For those that get it right, the future represents a huge opportunity to create product and service advantages.
Are you having challenges putting together the “IoE technology puzzle?” Is security the main barrier to IoE adoption?
EMC World was wonderful. It was gratifying to meet industry professionals, listen in on great presentations and watch the demos for key business enabling technologies that Cisco, EMC and others have brought to fruition. Its fascinating to see the transition of DC from cost center to a strategic business driver . The same repeated all over again at Cisco Live. More than 25000 attendees, hundreds of demos and sessions. Lot of interesting customer meetings and MDS continues to resonate. We are excited about the MDS hardware that was on the display on show floor and interesting Multiprotocol demo and a lot of interesting SAN sessions.
Outside these we recently did a webinar on how Cisco MDS 9710 is enabling High Performance DC design with customer case studies. You can listen to that here.
So let’s continue our discussion. There is no doubt when it comes to High Performance SAN switches there is no comparable to Cisco MDS 9710. Another component that is paramount to a good data center design is high availability. Massive virtualization, DC consolidation and ability to deploy more and more applications on powerful multi core CPUs has increased the risk profile within DC. These DC trends requires renewed focus on availability. MDS 9710 is leading the innovation there again. Hardware design and architecture has to guarantee high availability. At the same time, it’s not just about hardware but it’s a holistic approach with hardware, software, management and right architecture. Let me give you some just few examples of the first three pillars for high reliability and availability.
MDS 9710 is the only director in the industry that provides Hardware Redundancy on all critical components of the switch, including fabric cards. Cisco Director Switches provide not only CRC checks but ability to drop corrupted frames. Without that ability network infrastructure exposes the end devices to the corrupted frames. Having ability to drop the CRC frames and quickly isolate the failing links outside as well as inside of the director provides Data Integrity and fault resiliency. VSAN allows fault isolation, Port Channel provides smaller failure domains, DCNM provides rich feature set for higher availability and redundancy. All of these are but a subset of examples which provides high resiliency and reliability.
We are proud of the 9500 family and strong foundation for reliability and availability that we stand on. We have taken that to a completely new level with 9710. For any design within Data center high availability has to go hand in hand with consistent performance. One without the other doesn’t make sense. Right design and architecture with DC as is important as components that power the connectivity. As an example Cisco recommend customers to distribute the ISL ports of an Port Channel across multiple line cards and multiple ASICs. This spreads the failure domain such that any ASIC or even line card failures will not impact the port channel connectivity between switches and no need to reinitiate all the hosts logins. You can see white paper on Next generation Cisco MDS here. At part of writing this white paper ESG tested the Fabric Card redundancy (Page 9) in addition to other features of the platform. Remember that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
The most important aspect for all of this is for customer is to be educated.
Ask the right questions. Have in depth discussions to achieve higher availability and consistent performance. Most importantly selecting the right equipment, right architecture and best practices means no surprises.
We will continue our discussion for the Flexibility aspect of MDS 9710.
-We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit (Aristotle)
The increased scrutiny on security is being driven by the evolving trends of expanding networks, mobility, cloud computing and a threat landscape that is more dynamic than ever. A combination of these factors has led to an increase in attack access points and a re-definition of the traditional network perimeter.
Due to these concerns, we have been strong proponents of threat-centric security that lets defenders address the full attack continuum and all attack vectors to respond at any time — before, during, and after attacks.
We are all struggling with the Security problem today. Zero-day attacks and advanced persistent threats have outpaced the capabilities of traditional security methods that rely exclusively on single-point-in-time detection and blocking. There is a tremendous amount of complexity in our environments and security expertise is in short supply. At the same time, the movement to an Internet of Everything (IoE) is accelerating and creating significant opportunities for businesses and attackers alike as more people, processes, data, and things come online.
This is why Cisco is steadfast in its charge of a threat-centric security model that addresses the full attack continuum – before, during, and after an attack.
With the frenzy that comes with new phone releases, the excitement that new app launches cause, and our increasing ability to establish connections with anyone virtually anywhere, it’s safe to say the Internet of Everything (IoE) is changing everything about our global network.
And while the Internet of Everything describes the connections that link people, places, process, data and things, the convergence of all of these elements is the source of its growth.
On their own, increased mobility, enhanced cloud and Fast IT are changing the business and IT landscape. A new model for IT that accounts for the convergence of these technologies is essential to accelerating the trajectory of the Internet of Everything to new heights.
Mobility has especially emerged as a key factor, with 25 billion devices estimated to be connected to the Internet by 2015. For this reason, tracking (and staying ahead of!) top mobility trends remains a priority for every organization. Read More »