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Cloupia … More than Just Another Cisco Acquisition [VIDEO]

I have been with Cisco for more than 20 years and have seen incredible growth and change over these two decades – including hundreds of acquisitions that resulted in varying degrees of success for our business. With this recent Cloupia acquisition being strategic to data center management, I thought this would be an opportune time to lend my voice, create a blog, and join the conversation. The increasingly rapid rate of change for data center technology makes this ripe for many interesting blogs, and I hope will spur some commentary from readers. I may have to occasionally throw in some mention of the New York Yankees from time to time – which may also insight some colorful feedback as well.

As we have seen over the past decade, virtualization has transformed the data center as much as any other single technology.  Virtualization has brought flexibility and agility to the data center, while reducing the capital expenses required to stand up and maintain the physical environments. This evolution has transformed the value associated with being able to manage complex data center environments through software.

Virtualization is not a free lunch

However, as is the case with many evolutions, these changes have introduced new challenges for IT. The single largest operational cost of managing data centers today is the cost of management and administration of virtual servers. So in many respects the benefits and capital cost savings of virtualization have placed even greater pressure on the ever shrinking IT operational budget.

Why is this happening if virtualization allows users to manage through flexible software? The cause is that virtual environments and assets need to be connected to the underlying physical devices. Often times as dynamic virtualization environments change rapidly, IT staffs are strained to update and reconfigure the underlying connections to the physical devices.

A single pane of glass to manage both worlds

A differentiated approach to help IT organizations more effectively manage the data center is essential to addressing their challenges, and key to that is how physical and virtual environments must be managed together while always aware of each other’s state.

Just as software controls the virtual environment, it should also be connected to the underlying physical devices and the connectivity to virtual environments. Cisco has transformed the way IT manages the relationship between virtual assets and their underlying physical devices. With software such as UCS Manager and Cloupia, IT can dynamically manage physical and virtual assets from a single pane of glass.

Cloupia is the most recent acquisition for Cisco’s Data Center business and is truly a game changer. As our customers look  to migrate from standalone infrastructure to a virtual world, to private cloud and hybrid cloud , as well as public cloud, this easy-to-deploy infrastructure management  provides provisioning for the physical AND the virtual, across the server, the network, and storage.

Listen to my recent conversation with Dominick Delfino, Sr. Director, leading our Global Data Center Architecture Technology team during Cisco Live Europe in London.

 

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On the Verge of Cloud Chaos?

Now that everyone is back from last week’s Mobile World Congress, it is a good time to shift gears to the topic of cloud.

Cloud represents a fundamental shift in how applications and information technology (IT) in general are consumed. It is pretty clear that the market is evolving with many flavors of specialized cloud services coming to market,  providing a wealth of choice for the enterprise, small and medium business (SMB),  and public sector markets and a range of opportunities for cloud providers (CP’s) to provide differentiated cloud services. These services may address industry or country/province specific functionality or compliance requirements. Cisco refers to this trend as A World of Many Clouds.

As predicted in Cisco’s World of Many Clouds vision, organizations are finding themselves with a wealth of cloud services choices from a multitude of cloud vendors. For example, research conducted by Cisco’s IBSG consulting organization found that SMBs are significantly increasing their spend on SaaS services.  Between 2011 and 2013 SMBs between 5 and 249 employees will increase the portion of their IT spend allocated to hosted or subscriptions technology services by 2.6X.Similarly, recent research from Parallels has found that SMB’s used 4 cloud services each on average in 2012 and are predicted to use 7 cloud services each by 2015. Read More »

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Higher Education Innovation Highlighted at Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders

March 3, 2013 at 11:47 am PST

Edu-Virtual-Forum 540x420 Cisco Now v2Colleges and universities are being challenged to transform the way they deliver their traditional roles of teaching and research. Today’s education leaders are capitalizing on new technologies to enable innovative instructional and research models that are shaping the future of higher education. Please join us on March 19 (Americas and EMEA) and March 20 (Asia-Pacific), for the Cisco Virtual Forum for Education Leaders, to hear directly from innovative educators who are at the leading edge of reinventing higher education.

With escalating travel costs and limited budgets,  professors, IT staff and administrative leaders have limited opportunities to attend global conferences. That is why Cisco is pleased to present this free global conference that higher education leaders can attend from the convenience of their desktop or mobile device.

The agenda features a breakout track dedicated to higher education, with 4 dynamic sessions by 6 distinguished speakers, that will focus on innovative strategies and practical solutions for next generation teaching and research.

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Cisco Domain Ten: Domain 7: Platform

March 1, 2013 at 10:36 am PST

Domain 7 in our Cisco Domain TenSM framework for data center transformation is what we call “Platform”.  More specifically, this term refers to the “software platform” upon which your business applications will run.  In short, this area is where we examine operating systems, databases and other types of middleware and help you figure out your strategy, architectural decisions and implementation plans in these areas, to help you drive a more successful cloud or data center project.  Let’s discuss this area in more detail.

First, though, if you are new to the Cisco Domain Ten, please check out my “Cisco Domain Ten: The Story So Far” summary blog I published recently.  Additionally, earlier this week, we ran a public webinar, where some of my colleagues in the Cisco Data Center and Cloud Services team gave their perspectives on Cisco Domain Ten.  If you missed this and their very practical insights, please do catch up on the Cisco Domain Ten webinar recording.

 

Cisco Domain Ten: Domain 7: Platform

Cisco Domain Ten: Domain 7: Platform

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Service Providers Are Sitting on a Gold Mine of Data

The so-called “data deluge” shows no signs of abating anytime soon. Facebook, for example, has more than 2.5 billion pieces of content and ingests more than 500 terabytes of new content daily.  Mobile devices are driving this growth of data.  The global proliferation of devices estimated to reach 10 billion by 2017—or 1.4 times the number of people on the planet. As a result mobile-data traffic is exploding. The recently released Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that global mobile-data traffic will increase 13-fold from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month.

But along with the challenges inherent to this tsunami of data, opportunities abound for monetizing and optimizing information. All of those new mobile consumers—in developed and emerging markets alike—will demand enhanced Connected Life experiences that will be newer, better, and more personalized. Data is the “new oil” that will fuel this opportunity. Networks and the Internet have a critical role to play in the future of Big Data. First, they are the collectors and disseminators of data, gathering it from the millions of Internet-enabled devices, applications, and sensors, then storing it in the right place for analysis and further action. Second, they are creators of critical information on location, presence, device type, application, and more. Read More »

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