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Project Squared Update: Secure Media

The cloud is software in motion.

Our recently announced Cisco Collaboration Cloud did not stop moving once we launched it on November 17. We’ve been pushing code into the cloud multiple times per day and have release several client updates since we launched. The great thing about this model is that we can be delivering new features constantly without waiting for a giant release. This also means that, when a feature doesn’t get done by a particular date, it’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t need to wait for a huge release 6-12 months later. It might come just a few weeks later.

This is exactly what has happened with an important security feature which we didn’t quite finish in time for Collaboration Summit – secure media (also known as Secure RTP or SRTP). The version of the application that we launched on November 17 did not utilize secure media in all clients. Given our focus on security this was obviously something we weren’t happy about. But, we knew that it was almost done and we would push it soon enough.

I’m pleased to report that we have indeed pushed secure media. All of our Project Squared clients – the Mac, Android, IOS and web clients send all media in encrypted form to our media servers. The media is secured using a flavor of SRTP known as DTLS-SRTP, which performs the key exchange inline with the media itself.  SRTP is on by default and cannot be disabled. This is consistent with our general approach to security – to make it always there but invisible to end users. Neither our users nor our admins of the collaboration cloud need to do anything to make sure media is secure. It just is.

Of course – we’re not done yet! There is still a healthy backlog of features, including many more great security improvements, that we’re working on. Stay tuned, more stuff is  coming. That’s because the cloud is software in motion.

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Complexity AND Control in the Cloud

Guest post from Dan Swart

Dan Swart is a Senior Manager in Cisco Technical Services Product Management, leading the team responsible for Enterprise and Data Center Solution Support services. Along with that, Dan has been heavily involved in Data Center Alliance programs and Converged Infrastructures. Dan has Batchelor of Science Degrees in Zoology and Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

Dan Swart is a Senior Manager in Cisco Technical Services Product Management, leading the team responsible for Enterprise and Data Center Solution Support services. Along with that, Dan has been heavily involved in Data Center Alliance programs and Converged Infrastructures. Dan has Bachelor of Science Degrees in Zoology and Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

We want what we want when we want it. Never truer than today when we’ve got a global marketplace of technology vendors vying to deliver on now practically required solutions like enterprise cloud.

While it’s really impossible today to deploy an enterprise cloud using products created by a single vendor, would we want it any other way?  Yes, there are major component manufacturers that can sell most of the products needed to build an enterprise cloud, but the restrictions inherent in those offers, and the need for margin stacking to single source all needed hardware and software from a component manufacturer may limit the attractiveness of those options.

Most of the customers we work with want to build their enterprise cloud using products that are “best for my needs” rather than products that are what a single manufacturer offers.  Along with that, enterprise license agreements, volume purchase agreements and other factors make it difficult to purchase a cloud infrastructure from a single source.   For those reasons and others, most enterprise cloud deployments are inherently multivendor.

So great, you get exactly what you want and need. What could go wrong? Famous last words. Read More »

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Under the Hood: Cisco Collaboration Cloud

It’s been two weeks since the launch of Project Squared and the Cisco Collaboration Cloud. We’ve received fantastic feedback and great uptake. And we’re really happy that so many people are using Project Squared – and liking the experience.

I’d like to take you on a little behind-the-scenes tour and shed some light on the Cisco Collaboration Cloud and how it works. Here is a 10,000 foot view of the architecture:

Jdrosen blog image 12_15_14

The core architecture is built on OpenStack. We use it for compute, networking, and storage services. OpenStack supports both the functional components of the architecture as well as the operational services, such as: logging, metrics, events, health and even VPN services (for inter-DC messaging and replication). Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014 at 11:21 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

We had the opportunity this week to hear from Edison Peres on how Cloud Builders Monetize Intercloud by Helping Customers Create Hybrid IT. If you’re interested in how building data centers and private clouds have become such a big part of the partner business, be sure to check out Edison’s blog.

If you are already a private cloud builder it’s great reinforcement for what you’re already doing and we would love to hear from all of you. Let us know what you think of Edison’s latest blog post.

New growth opportunities with the introduction of Cisco Connected Analytics

Cisco’s Connected Analytics portfolio brings analytics to the data center; anywhere; in near-real time. This helps capture insights that create opportunities, simplify business operations, and enhance the customer experience. Cisco’s Connected Analytics portfolio provides partner growth opportunities, allowing you to add business intelligence, analytics, and data management services that differentiate your practice. Read More »

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Cloud Builders Monetize Intercloud by Helping Customers Create Hybrid IT

If you had a chance to check out the Cisco Global Cloud Index, it’s no real surprise that data center traffic will nearly triple over the next five years and cloud traffic will nearly quadruple. Customers want cloud solutions to lower cost, speed up IT services delivery, and create business agility—but they don’t necessarily want to do it all themselves.

For our channel partners, building data centers and private clouds has become a significant part of their business. In fact, we’ve seen exponential growth from partners who are building private clouds to help customers create a hybrid cloud environment, where using private and public clouds helps lower IT cost and increase capacity.

Cisco is committed to providing our partners with the tools they need to meet the needs of their customers, including integrated infrastructure stacks for private cloud builders. I’m excited about our most recent announcement of VersaStack with IBM. This new offering as well as our integrated offerings with NetApp, VCE/EMC, and Red Hat enables our partners to build and operate secure and policy-driven hybrid cloud environments for their customers.

In this new hybrid world, customers will need their partners to help manage workloads and migrate applications on and off public clouds. So, cloud builders who offer professional services to build and operate hybrid IT environments have substantial new revenue opportunities. Read More »

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