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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 2): Converged Infrastructure

September 26, 2012 at 11:34 am PST

It’s Wednesday, time for the new episode of Engineers Unplugged, and this is a great one. Watch as EMC’s Brian Gracely (@bgracely) and NexusIS’s Colin McNamara (@colinmacnamara) discuss the trends in converged and hyperconverged infractructure.

Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns
Practice Unicorn, Napkin Whiteboarding

Practice Unicorn, Napkin Whiteboarding

What do you think of the current trend? Comment below, follow them on Twitter, join the conversation.

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Putting Partners at the Center of Cisco’s Cloud Strategy: New Specializations, Marketing Tools

September 26, 2012 at 8:00 am PST

The worldwide cloud services market will likely surpass US$109 billion in 2012. What’s more, the cloud services market is a high-growth sector within the overall IT marketplace, a recent Gartner report says. No shock there!

So what are you doing to take advantage of this shift? Cisco is here to help you create demand for your services and market them, too.

Last year, Cisco introduced the Cloud Partner Program. Today, the program has 133 approved Cloud Builders and 46 approved Cloud Providers. Collectively, the 46 Cloud Providers are offering more than 50 Cisco Powered Cloud Services to the market.

Today we’re taking the next step along that path and introducing a Master Cloud Builder Specialization that rewards channel partners who have proven capabilities to build and deploy cloud-ready integrated infrastructures using Cisco solutions and our partner cloud offerings across storage, virtualization, cloud management, and virtual desktop.

Essentially, Cisco is elevating the Cloud Builder role from a designation to a full-blown Master Cloud specialization. (After September 19, 2012, Cisco will no longer accept new enrollments or applications for the Cloud Builder or Cloud Infrastructure designations.)

The new Master Cloud Specialization comes with differentiated branding and incremental financial incentives, too. With this new specialization partners can create competitive differentiation and facilitate a new generation of IT and cloud services. We talked to Susheel Chitre who is the Director of Cloud and OEM Business Development at Cisco, and he told us some more ways that Cisco is helping partners help themselves and customers.

“We help partners differentiate services and offer support to help you build and sell unique solutions to customers so they can select the right cloud model and solution for their networks,” he said.

We’re not only helping you differentiate and build new services, we’re giving you new tools to help you market your solutions directly from Cisco’s web site. How’s that? Keep reading.  Read More »

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Your Cloud, Your Way, Delivered by CSC

September 25, 2012 at 7:17 am PST

CSC’s portfolio of cloud solutions has quadrupled along with the global customer base. It’s unique offering, BizCloud, saves months and millions of dollars over the other “do it yourself” private clouds.

What’s the secret behind this success?

A unique cloud-business model

Take the best elements of a public cloud – scalability and convenience, combine with the security of a private cloud. Add a best-in-class infrastructure-as-a-service layer. Top it off with a menu of cloud services options. Then bill as a service from a standard rate card and include a pay-as-you-go plan.

What do you get? A unique solution that CSC calls BizCloud.

BizCloud delivers the security and exclusivity of a private cloud with elasticity and a pay-as-you-go rate structure.

Differentiation through automation

You might wonder, how did CSC circumvent the time consuming and costly business of managing a  cloud environment? The answer is: better automation.

Automation simplifies management, reduces costs, increases business agility, and leads to a competitive advantage which is why CSC chose the Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud solution.

“The Cisco Intelligent Automation solution is also used by Cisco IT, and when we saw how Cisco uses its own cloud automation product, we were encouraged. It will be an essential component of our long-term reference architecture for the enterprise cloud,” says Eli Almog, CTO for Cloud, CSC

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The Cloud and Your Network – Is There a Gap?

Cloud computing is coming, and we’re seeing businesses migrating to cloud services very quickly – Gartner expects 60% of enterprises will have migrated branch office services to the cloud or virtualized servers by 2015 (Gartner Analyst Review, February 2012). Yet, oddly enough, many businesses have done relatively little to prepare their existing network infrastructure for the inevitable transformation – despite the fact the network remains the critical path between their users and the cloud services they need to get their job done.

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The Three Pillars to Cisco’s Secure Data Center Strategy: Part 3 Visibility

In this last part of this series I will discuss the top customer priority of visibility.  Cisco offers customers the ability to gain insight into what’s happening in their network and, at the same time, maintain compliance and business operations.

But before we dive into that let’s do a recap of part two of our series on Cisco’s Secure Data Center Strategy on threat defense. In summary, Cisco understands that to prevent threats both internally and externally it’s not a permit or deny of data, but rather that data needs deeper inspection. Cisco offers two leading platforms that work with the ASA 5585-X Series Adaptive Security Appliance to protect the data center and they are the new IPS 4500 Series Sensor platform for high data rate environments and the ASA CX Context Aware Security for application control.  To learn more go to part 2 here.

As customers move from the physical to virtual to cloud data centers, a challenge heard over is over is that they desire to maintain their compliance, security, and policies across these varying instantiations of their data center. In other words, they want to same controls in the physical world present in the virtual – one policy, one set of security capabilities.  This will maintain compliance, overall security and ease business operations.

By offering better visibility into users, their devices, applications and access controls this not only helps with maintaining compliance but also deal with the threat defense requirements in our overall data center.  Cisco’s visibility tools gives our customers the insight they need to make decisions about who gets access to what kinds of information, where segmentation is needed, what are the boundaries in your data center, whether these boundaries are physical or virtual and the ability to do the right level of policy orchestration to maintain compliance and the overall security posture.  These tools have been grouped into three key areas: management and reporting, insights, and policy orchestration.

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