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What’s your Cloud IQ?

July 25, 2012 at 9:00 am PST

Two of my favorite geeks are presenting a workshop today on Bringing the Cloud to your Remote Offices.  Jimmy Ray is hosting his ‘brother from another mother’ (as we fondly refer to him) Matt Bolick.  Matt first blew our doors off back in 2009 as we featured the then new ISR G2 in our ‘Routers are Dead…Long Live the Router show (now retired).  Well, Matt was a featured guest recently on another big show we did, the Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network.   You can see Matt’s segment on Application Visibility and Control from that show right now as a great pre-study for the workshop above.   I also recommend our recent ‘Fundamentals of the Cloud Services Router’ as a secondary study resource.  Matt was instrumental in our writing and creation of this tool as well and I think you will find it valuable.

Heres the thing -- The Cloud and the Network are very co-dependent.  The network is poised for incredible leaps of intelligence now more than ever with this pressure from cloud implementations being quick to reveal weakness. I have even heard where the WAN has been re-defined as “Weak Area Network.”  Why?  Poor performance, inadequate security, lack of visibility and complex management, just to name a few An intelligent network endows the WAN with the  efficiency of cloud and and the confidence of a private network.

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3 C’s of Cloud Adoption

Feeling frustrated among all this chatter about Cloud? Want to implement a cloud solution quickly for your business, but don’t know where to start? I can help you understand how to maximize your benefits during the process of adopting a cloud solution. It’s as simple as 3 C’s: confine, clover, and cost.

Today, I will focus on the first “C”—Confine.

Before you can determine what cloud strategy you want to implement, you need to narrow down or “confine” the business problem you want to solve with Cloud. Once you have confined the problem, you can begin your roadmap for success with clear goals and expectations.

But how do you confine the problem? I suggest you take a good look at the market forces that are pushing you to consider cloud. Internally, it may be cost efficiency: reducing IT investment or managing staffing costs. Externally, the forces could be government regulations or competitive differentiations that are leading you to consider a cloud solution. 

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Why Distributors Create Value for Cisco and our Partners

The success of distribution at Cisco is no longer a secret, thanks to Scott Brown’s recent interview with CRN. Of course, it was no secret to me--our distributors have been an important part of our channel strategy from the beginning. But I’m extremely proud of Scott and his team for driving the more recent growth and deepening our relationship with our distributors.

Those who know me, know I’m all about relationships. And I believe that the success and growth comes, not just from Cisco’s relationship with our distributors, but also from the relationship our distributors have developed with our channel partners. Together, we deliver greater value for our partners.

As customers begin to demand new consumption models, I believe distribution will play a significant role in helping partners evolve their business models more quickly to profitably deliver cloud and managed services solutions. Our commitment to a partner-centric sales and services go-to-market model doesn’t just apply to our traditional channel partners. As more solutions move to the cloud, we plan to work with our major distributors and leverage their capacity and their relationships in order to scale.

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The Intern’s Perspective

“Am I just a very small fish in a big pond?” -- That is what I originally thought when I first joined Cisco as a Public Relations Collaboration Intern. Turns out no one bites here, which definitely has helped the process while I have been attempting to get settled in. In fact, it has been quite the opposite. Instead of “Hey intern, do this for me,” I am asked, “Corinne, can I help you with anything or do you have any questions?” It is reassuring to know that I am around genuinely good people beginning my, as I like to call it, “adventure” here at Cisco.

After getting settled in with all the gizmos and applications on my one of a kind ThinkPad, I finally have a routine when I come into work. My mornings consist of reading, lots and lots of reading. From press releases, to news articles, to tweets … anything related to technology or social media I will most likely know about it. I’ve noticed most conversations don’t involve people’s input on the Kardashians or how the next Twilight is going to play out, so Cisco’s Newsroom has become one of my new best friends here.

Once my brain has reached overload, I usually have meetings or my kind colleagues will invite me to meetings to sit in on. I’ll catch myself looking like a “deer in headlights”  at times because all I think about is, “Hmm…what did that acronym stand for, I better write that down” or “I wonder why Telepresence originally had an upper case ‘P’ but is now changed to a lower case ‘p’”. To be honest, during the first PR meeting I ever sat in on I thought they were talking about the show “Futurama” on Comedy Central for a half second until I realized they were referring to something else. Thankfully, I haven’t asked too many dumb questions because they keep inviting me, which has been a great learning experience in order to become more familiar with how the Cisco Public Relations team works.

After lunch, I’ll work on the projects I have been given. I am no Greg Justice, but I try to be as creative as possible when deciding how to execute these assignments without looking stupid. I’ve never made so many to-do lists in my life, but hey, it works! Stay tuned on what I’ll be working on throughout the summer. This includes more external and some internal blogs, strategic analysis presentations on our company and the dark side AKA our competitors, as well as some fun and informative videos.

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Greece Ready for 100G Internet

One of the most interesting aspects of the Cisco Visual Networking Index is how the explosion of Internet traffic is taking place everywhere. We’ve talked before about how countries such as Iceland and Bermuda are leveraging high speed connections to the world to grow their economies. This time let’s look at Greece and competitive carrier hellas online (hol) on how they are preparing for the zettabyte era. (A zettabyte is 1021 bytes, in case you had forgotten).

Hol is one of the largest fixed-line telecommunications services providers in Greece offering a range of retail, business and wholesale services, and they also own the most extensive core backbone network in Greece. Their fiber optical network stretches over 4166 km nationwide and recently they’ve started offering an on-demand interactive video service called “hol video club” that has really taken off. Despite the challenges of the European economic situation, hol is continuing to see not just increases in bandwidth demand but also gains in the number of subscribers. Most recently they’ve seen increasing growth in cloud-based services as well.

Cisco 100G coherent demo in lab.

Hol is also one of the most recent carriers to put Cisco’s 100G coherent optical solution through its paces. For hol, 100G offers a solution to meet their need for as-needed, cost-effective bandwidth growth without the need to replace any fiber infrastructure. This is a common situation – carriers are finding the 10G links are no longer sufficient; yet running multiple 10Gs in parallel is not optimal. The challenge has been finding a solution which simply enables “plug in play” upgrades to 100G. This was one of the key objectives of the Cisco engineering team who developed the 100G DWDM solution. To make 100G widely deployable and commercially successful, it needed to have similar performance and engineering specifications as previously deployed 10G links.

Hol’s successful trial of the dense wavelength division multiplexing solution was run between two Read More »

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