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Big Data, Cloud and IoE Explored at Data Virtualization Day 2014

With nearly 500 attendees joining together at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, the fifth annual Data Virtualization Day on October 1st, 2014 was the largest ever, 50% bigger than 2013’s record setting event.  From kickoff to closing reception, the vanguard of data virtualization gathered to explore the latest trends, meet fellow innovators and drive data virtualization adoption forward.

The Importance of Data Virtualization

The use of data virtualization to connect increasingly distributed data resulting from acceleration of big data, the cloud and the Internet of Everything (IoE) was the hot topic on the day as organizations seek to gain advantage from these game-changing technologies. Cisco Data Virtualization is critical infrastructure, accelerating new capabilities, experiences, and opportunities by connecting device data, big data, data in the cloud, and traditional enterprise data in new and extraordinary ways.

Cisco’s Mike Flannagan, General Manager of the Data Analytics Business Group, kicked off the day highlighting the explosion of connected devices in the IoE. With 50 billion devices by 2020, Mike noted the business opportunities and data integration challenges are unprecedented.

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Paula Dowdy, SVP Cloud Software and Managed Services at Cisco, next explored the opportunities and challenges of “Hybrid IT” architectures that mix on-premise, private cloud and public cloud operations. Paula then spoke to data virtualization’s critical role in integrating data across this Intercloud topology.

Cisco Innovations In Data Virtualization

Jim Green, CTO of Cisco’s Data Analytics Business Group then addressed how Cisco is working to turn big data, cloud, and IoE possibilities into reality. Jim focused first on the short-term calling out specific features of Cisco Information Server 7.0 (CIS 7.0) announced that day.

  • Supporting business’s unquenchable thirst for data, CIS 7.0 Business Directory is the first data virtualization offering designed exclusively for business self-service.
  • To respond to the expanding data technology universe, CIS 7.0 Data Source SDK will speed development of high-performance data virtualization adapters for emerging and industry-specific data sources.
  • And CIS 7.0 Deployment Manager responds to accelerating data distribution which in turns leads to mega-scale data virtualization deployments.

Jim also foreshadowed Cisco’s continued innovation agenda including plans to

  • Deliver data virtualization at Intercloud scale
  • Provide directory, abstraction, federation, security, lineage and more to create more mature Hadoop environments
  • Address edge to center data challenges resulting from the integration of data in motion and data at rest in a world of 50 billion connected devices.

Customer Successes Highlighted

Alasdair P. Anderson, SVP Engineering at HSBC led off the customer cases studies by describing the bank’s expansive future-state data architecture based on Hadoop and data virtualization. Covering 65 petabytes of active data across 80 countries and 60 million customers and 7000 systems, data virtualization lowers total cost of ownership, improves agility, and enables greater business self service.

John Wrenn, VP Information Technology, Enterprise Applications at Flextronics next discussed how Flextronics uses data virtualization to provide data as a service for global supply chain that spans 40 distribution centers, 200 manufacturing centers and 20 design centers. In just over one year, John’s team has used Cisco Data Virtualization to integrate over 500 sources, allowing IT to match the pace of business.

Data Virtualization Leadership Award Winners Announced

Each year, the Data Virtualization Leadership Awards are announced at Data Virtualization Day. Past winners from Barclays, Compassion International and Pfizer joined Cisco on stage to recognize this year’s winners including:

  • Data Virtualization Champion Awards:  Paul Dzacko, Lead Architect, Risk Systems, BMO and James Evans, Architect & Project Manager, Client Portal, HSBC in recognition of their leadership in consistently achieving and promoting data virtualization’s value across their organizations and the broader data integration market.
  • High Impact Award:  Victor Campbell, Principal Architect, Long Island Power Authority (PSEG) in recognition of data virtualization leadership in an environment where the result was high impact and critical to the business. See the story here.
  • Agility Award:  Pratima Botcha, Sr. Technical Architect, Information Technology, AT&T Services for her work in enhancing business agility through use of data virtualization technology and methods, rapidly establishing a path for high value across the organization.

Thoughts From Leading IT Analysts

In the last session of the day, New Horizons, New Possibilities: Where Data Virtualization is Going, Rick van der Lans of R20 Consultancy, Barry Devlin of 9Sight Consulting and I discussed the customer cases, long term vision, practical advice and key takeaways. Ten additional analysts from Gartner, Forrester, and more also participated in Data Virtualization Day this year. For more on the analysts, you can follow these analyst’s Data Virtualization tweets using #DVDNYC or check out Lindy Ryan of Radiant Advisors trip report.

 

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To learn more about Cisco Data Virtualization, check out our page.

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Call for #CiscoChampion(s) Nominations 2015!

October 6, 2014 at 2:47 pm PST

Perhaps you've seen the shirts. Maybe you've joined in or listened to an episode of Cisco Champion Radio. Or maybe you can not resist learning new things and having access to experts in your area of technical expertise.

Join us--submit your CIsco Champion for Data Center nomination today!

Join us--submit your CIsco Champion for Data Center nomination today!

 

No matter the reason, if you are curious about the Cisco Champion program, now is the time to nominate. yourself or a colleague for consideration for 2015!

The Basics:

  • October 1: Open call for nominations
  • October 31: Deadline to submit nominations
  • November 25: Cisco Champion Class of 2015 announced

Act now! It's a great opportunity to participate in everything from blogger briefings to podcasts, and to get to know your industry and your peers better. We need your voice.

 

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Your Business Powered By Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA). What are Cisco CSA’s Benefits?

This is part 1 of the “Your Business Powered By Cisco Customer Solutions Architecture (CSA)” blog series.

Many IT organizations are challenged to take advantage of the new technologies enabled by Virtualization, Cloud, Analytics and IoT.  Applications enabled by these new technologies must be protected from unauthorized use but remain accessible, in a secure manner, from any device in any location throughout the world. With a vast array of new technology choices and a substantial installed infrastructure base, it is important to have a place to start --a solutions architecture-- that provides a framework for using these technologies that will drive business outcomes.

The CSA is a transformational customer-facing blueprint that delivers IT-based services for enterprise and service providers to achieve their business outcomes.  To be relevant for our customers, the CSA was developed based on disruptive examples that Cisco engineers observed in the industry during their discussions with both enterprise and service provider customers worldwide.

Some of these disruptive examples include use of new technologies such as: Analytics, Cloud, Internet of Things (IoT), Internet of Everything (IoE) and Cyber security.  It should also be stated that the front end for IT blueprint consulting is Cisco Consulting Services, and this CSA is representational of the sets of abstractions that describe the actual functions.

In all IT environments, both enterprise and service providers, Cisco sees two common trends: Read More »

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Reinventing Conferencing

What kind of a world will you live in three years from now? How about five? Will your personal robot pour you a drink after your self-driving car delivers you home? That’s where we’re headed, and it’s a pretty quick trip: self-driving cars are already on public roads and you'll soon be able to buy that humanoid robot.

Cisco’s Collaboration team thinks a lot about the future—not just about how we’ll get around and get our drinks, but about how we’ll connect and collaborate. We’re passionate about the future of collaboration, about giving the world collaboration tools that are every bit as smart as those self-driving cars and whiskey-pouring robots.

Where we’re at: today’s challenges
Before we talk more about the future, let’s talk about where the industry is right now. Over the years, various vendors have given us audio conferencing, web conferencing, and video conferencing. Each of these technologies were introduced at different times, and have matured at different paces—with audio being the tried-and-true veteran, video conferencing the relative newcomer and web being the thing that came somewhere in-between.

Herein lies the problem: Read More »

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Q&A: Cisco IT's Lessons Learned In Assessing the Risk of New Cloud Services

2,000+

That is the approximate number of cloud services that Ken Hankoff, Manager of Cisco IT Risk Management’s Cloud and Application Service Provider Remediation (CASPR) Program believes Cisco’s 70,000 employees use. For the last 14 years, this program has assessed and remediated risks associated with using a cloud-hosted service.

An assessment process for new cloud services is a vital step toward reducing the risk of using externally hosted services. Many customers I speak with struggle to rapidly assess cloud services and integrate them into their IT organization. As part of my blog series on governing cloud service adoption, I asked Ken to share some of his ‘lessons learned’ in assessing the risks of cloud services and bringing them into Cisco IT’s fold.

How do you ensure that teams wanting to use new cloud services work with your team?

Our team is not in the business of sourcing cloud vendors. That responsibility lies with the individual business units and their architecture teams who are seeking to use the service, often in partnership with IT. Once a vendor is selected, there are two primary ways in which my team gets engaged. First, through the Global Contracts team as they have made Cloud Service Provider assessment a part of the contracting process, and second when a new service is being integrated within IT.

How do you evaluaimage_CASPR risk rankingte whether a new cloud service is risky to the business?

We look at seven risk factors to create a formula for risk—business criticality, financial viability, security, resiliency, architectural alignment, regulatory compliance, and assessment status.

We establish the business criticality of the service to determine how Cisco would be impacted or disrupted in the event the capability provided by the vendor would go away, and whether we could react or compensate.

We then look at the financial viability of the vendor to give us comfort that they will remain in business. To evaluate vendors we leverage Dunn & Bradstreet’s Predictive Scores & Ratings. We rely heavily on Cisco’s Information Security (InfoSec) organization to provide us with a Security Composite Risk score. Depending on the parameters of the cloud provider engagement, InfoSec will look at the vendor’s application development process, infrastructure, data handling security, system-to-system interoperability, and other areas. For resiliency we focus on how they meet our standards around business continuity and disaster recovery to ensure that our business data will be there when needed, regardless of what happens.

We also need to ensure that we stay compliant with regulations. A vendor that has to comply with HIPAA, SOX, or other regulatory/privacy requirements poses a higher risk than one that doesn’t.  For this reason, we look into whether regulatory compliance is a factor, and if so, that it is addressed appropriately.

Finally, we also assess if the vendor aligns to the broader architecture that Cisco IT is investing in to support the business. Vendors are deemed higher investment risk if they do not align to the business and operational roadmap that Cisco is pursuing.

We re-asses vendors on a periodic basis according to their overall risk score. If a service is overdue for a reassessment, that in itself increases the risk of doing business with the provider, so we factor it in.

In your opinion, what are the three most important things to manage the business risks of cloud services?

First, I would suggest establishing ownership and governance of cloud services via a centralized PMO at enterprise level, not just within IT. This ownership needs to go beyond just assessing vendors for security risk, and focus on establishing company-wide policies for overseeing cloud services at the enterprise level.

Second, provide visibility into existing services and how they are being used. This helps enable a catalog of assessed and approved vendors for people to access. If you can have fewer vendors being used, you can reduce your risk.

Third, continually monitor services across the board to know what risks we might be facing, and ensure that the service providers are meeting their SLAs. Additionally, this helps to ensure that investments aren’t being wasted. There is a natural CSP application lifecycle – selection, implementation, adoption, and eventually that service usage might decline and you may end up supporting something that has very few users if you don’t have a lifecycle approach to phasing out services.

What is your biggest lesson learned in assessing new cloud services?

I wish the program had collected more metrics earlier. What we are finding is that there are a significant number of services being contracted all over the company. By collecting really good metrics we might have been more effective in showing executives what services are being used, who is using them, and how. We are making good progress on this now, but I wish we started earlier.

How are you monitoring cloud services and gathering this intelligence?

Our professional service team has helped us a great deal. With the Cisco Cloud Consumption Services, we have begun to capture an enterprise view of what cloud services are being used, by whom and have a great dashboard of metrics we can now use to inform Cisco executives. I never imagined before we were using the software that we had nearly 2,000 cloud services in use, but with Cisco Cloud Consumption we now know and can monitor activity.

Learn more about how Cisco can help monitor and manage cloud providers at http://www.cisco.com/go/cloudconsumption.

 

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