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Three Imperatives for Today’s CISO for Data Center Security: Key Takeaways from Today’s Webcast

This is a follow up from my post last week that announced this webcast. Today it was a treat to have Richard Noguera as our special guest and who is uniquely qualified to speak on the topic of key imperatives for today’s CISO for the data center.  Rich is a youthful InfoSec veteran who has led teams at Yahoo, Symantec and McAfee as well as held consulting roles and presently at Accenture in a Security and Risk management strategy role. I wanted to provide you access to the slides as well as summarize some of the key points Rich educated us on today.

Three imperatives for today¹s ciso for data center fina lv rn[2] from Cisco Data Center

 

As a concept, cloud is the one that most interested our audience today. We are seeing heavily virtualized data centers with private clouds, cloud attached data centers that leverage Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) facilities for rapid service deployment or capacity management, and hybrid clouds that mix/match based on implementation needs.  Most of our customers have embraced one of the above models.  And, so I am going to focus on our imperatives accordingly.

Imperative 1: Enable IT to Play a More Strategic Role

Gartner predicts with market maturity that enterprises will increase migration of *mission-critical* functions to *public* cloud services over the next 3-5 years. IT and InfoSec must adapt and consider an alternative means to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their business services, data, and users. For the ‘extended enterprise’ to operate effectively then, access control and data exchange between cloud service providers (CSP) needs to be standardized. Organizations should look to implement a Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB) – whether internally or externally, utilizing private/public/hybrid clouds – to accelerate service implementation and integration and also ensure visibility and cohesive security policy across multiple cloud service providers.

Imperative 2:  Business-driven Security and Risk Metrics

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Serious Simplification Advancement

Recently I spent time at Cisco Live Orlando where I caught up with Trey Layton, CTO, VCE. We had an opportunity to talk about automation and orchestration of Vblock with Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia). Over recent months, we have been doing even more work for our customers, collectively between our companies, to do deeper integration and to simplify the management, administration, provisioning and automation of our converged infrastructures.

As we see the continued trend to move to a services model in IT and adopt a private cloud infrastructure, Cisco UCS Director is the only solution to provide single pane of glass automation and provisioning of all virtual and physical assets and can provide end-to-end orchestration across server, network and storage resources.  With Vblock, it provides our mutual customers an elastic pool of resources to be able to consume and adapt to various applications and use cases that customers are deploying in the virtualized or bare metal environments.

We are excited about the developments around both what UCS Director and Vblock are delivering, and there is a lot more in the works moving forward to continue to support simplification and agility for our customers’ data center architecture.

  • The next release of UCS Director will add VMAX and VNXE storage support to the product by September.  This will allow UCS Director to support all Vblock models with complete server, network and storage provisioning automation.
  • The UCS Director task library will include over 50 Vblock specific tasks to allow users to easily build model-based automation workflows to dynamically provision the system.

Cisco continues to innovate, delivering technology and solutions that provide real value to our customers. Tomorrow starts here.

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Risk to Reward

Be nimble, be agile, take informed risks, and apply innovation to how you’re using data in your business. That’s the strategy of Garry Whatley, VP of IT and business services for Staples Australia, and it’s been paying off.

Whatley believes that in the online retail industry, with high volume and large amounts of data, access to that data and analytics is essential. And to get this, the retailer would have to make a considerable investment in technology.

With a strong partnership in the past, Staples consulted with Cisco for expertise and implementation of a sturdy IT foundation. Together, they chose to implement the Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco® Unified Computing System™ and the Cisco Business Warehouse Accelerator to deliver the most effective technologies to achieve its vision.

Upon implementation, Staples began its mission to gain a strategic advantage. Regular automated reporting now allows for visibility around performance levels, and inventory management is much simpler and more efficient with data transparency.

The investment has allowed Staples Australia to become more agile and respond to the insight they receive. In addition, customer service is progressing and inventory holding has been decreasing. And there’s more to come. Staples will be integrating more functionality into its business operations, allowing for automation and breakdown reporting of sales, trends, and customer actions.

Read the full article from Unleashing IT.

 

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Is Your Company Prepared for Gen Y? Cisco, Twitter and Google Share Their Thoughts

We’ve all heard about Gen Y, or “millennials,” and how this new generation is poised to take over the workforce and change the face of Silicon Valley. Next Tuesday, July 16th at 6:30 pm, I’ll be joining thought leaders from Twitter and Google on a panel at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, to discuss an issue of critical importance – how to attract tomorrow’s talent and prepare for the incoming Gen Y workforce.

Gen Y is expected to make up nearly 75% of the workforce by 2025. How will this change the way we work, and what kinds of opportunities and challenges does this pose for local Silicon Valley companies? During this panel, I’ll share my thoughts on the biggest shifts in culture, management style, and recruiting strategy needed to attract the best talent of this new generation.

As many of you know, using today’s enterprise tools can feel like taking a trip back in technological time.  For businesses to succeed in the future they are going to have to adapt to the needs of Generation Y and that will often mean offering them more flexibility. According to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 66% of employees place higher value on workplace flexibility than on salary.

But it will take more than offering a flexible Read More »

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Why Cloud Financial Management is a Requirement for Cloud Computing Success

July 11, 2013 at 11:23 am PST

photo-David-Linthicum-cropped-481x198Guest Blog: David Linthicum, Cloud Computing Visionary, Author, Speaker

Cloud Cruiser and Cisco have partnered to provide an out-of-the-box cloud financial management system for Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud. Through this partnership, Cloud Cruiser provides visibility into the costs of physical, virtualized, and cloud resources, as well as storage, network, application, and non-compute IT resources. We can track both the costs and the revenue realized from services being deployed, which enables service providers and enterprise IT departments to manage the profitability of their cloud services and align their business goals with IT spending.

I’m proud to be participating in a Webinar co-sponsored by Cloud Cruiser and Cisco, which will discuss the topic of cloud financial management.  Why?  Well, cloud financial management is one of the more important concepts in the world of cloud computing.  Yet, it’s also the most misunderstood.

While many cloud providers think of cloud financial management systems as mere billing systems, they are much more.  The core notion is to approach cloud financial management as a set of business processes and automated services that need to coexist with the existing cloud computing services.  These services leverage an on-demand, pay-as-you-go cloud model.  They offer a complete cloud financial management solution designed to lower IT costs, and profitably scale the cloud services business.

The objective of a cloud financial management system is to provide cost transparency, which will allow the service providers to see all costs.  Moreover, it will show how they map to resources consumed, as well as provide this information to the consumer of those resources.  Moreover, the concepts and technology should give the cloud provider cost accountability features, which allow charges to be assigned to the appropriate consumer of the cloud services, and in the appropriate amounts.  This includes either internal or external cloud service consumers.

The use of cloud financial management, as an approach and underlying technology, should offer the cloud provider cost empowerment, which allows the cloud financial management system to place fine-grained data in the hands of the customer (service consumer) so they can manage costs directly.  Finally, there is a need for cost management.  This will allow those charged with monitoring cost to understand the use of the resources, and make sure that costs are in line with the budgetary constraints of the service consumer.

So, just billing systems?  Hardly.  As more service providers come on-line, offering up everything from pre-built business processes that are on-demand, or centralized security and management services, to more traditional IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, the need for cloud financial management technology grows.

The use of a cloud financial management system is a requirement for cloud service providers to manage and control costs, as well as provide the proper cost and usage accounting for their customers or cloud service consumers. Cloud financial management systems, such as the Cloud Cruiser Platform, provide most of the features and functions that service providers will require, including:

•  Heterogeneous data collection

•  Data analysis and structuring

•  Data aggregation and filtering

•  Hierarchical data mapping

•  Cost and price modeling

•  Budget alert processing

As cloud providers grow in numbers, the use of these systems will no longer be something that’s desirable.  It will be an absolute necessity, given the growth of cloud computing services, and the number of consumers who leverage these services.  Costs have to be monitored, analyzed, and controlled in order for cloud computing to be a business success.

This webinar is not to be missed!

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