Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Data Center and Cloud

Workload Automation, Job Scheduling, Applications and the Move to Cloud

In an earlier part of my career I learned the extreme importance of Workload Automation, aka Job Scheduling.  Workload automation is the oldest IT technology on the planet coming from the need to schedule jobs on an IBM Mainframe.   Job Scheduling has evolved from driving JCL (Job Control Language) to Workload Automation where the Scheduler stitches together batch and real time activities across mainframes, proprietary OS systems, x86 systems, applications (both packages and commercial off the shelf such as SAP or Oracle or Informatica) and now web service enabled applications whether they be onsite or in the cloud.  Walk into the operations center of any data driven company and you will see multiple screens where operations are monitoring the state of these jobs.  Why are they so critical?  Over 50% of all transactions that occur on this planet are batch in nature.  They are scheduled based upon specific times or based upon dependencies being met.  These workloads can be a complex  and interrelated set of activities.  Effectively these job streams are the business processes that drive modern enterprises.

Without these jobs companies don’t get information (and large amounts of it) in the right place at the right time.  Most companies today could not close out their financial quarters without enterprise schedulers to move data from their disparate systems into a consolidate place for either the general ledger to close out or for a critical Business Intelligence report to run to drive placement of the correct product into the specific physical location to serve the global economy.  Workload automation tools open and close stock exchanges and process all the transaction data from trades.  They also drive compliance checks.  This is important stuff for the global economy!  This was my realization in touring key operations centers and realizing that half of the big monitors were covering the movement of batch data in the enterprise.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Cloud Computing: Why Should I Care?

February 7, 2012 at 6:15 am PST

If not pre-empted by a neighbor’s dog, one of the first things I hear each morning is the weather report. This time of year, there’s usually some reference to clouds – partly cloudy, high clouds, low clouds, cloud cover, clouds clearing by mid-morning, clouds arriving in the late afternoon. A world of many clouds indeed.

When it comes to conversations about technology, it’s hard to escape talk of clouds, cloud computing, and cloud this, that, and the other thing. But here’s a question: I’m not an IT person, so why should I care about cloud computing? Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Winchester House, Architectural-Led IT Strategy and Your Challenges – What You Told Us

January 31, 2012 at 5:59 am PST
The Winchester House

The Winchester House

A few months ago, after a my previous blogs discussing cloud computing adoption, I changed subject and authored a short series of articles around the challenges of adopting an architectural-led approach to your IT strategy in general, and data center design in particular.  (If you missed them, you can read them here: part 1,  part 2, and part 3).  The theme of these articles centered on the Winchester House in San Jose, California.

This house was extended by builder after builder, without any architectural blueprint.  Consequently, this house had many doors opening into blank walls, abandoned staircases, and other “features” — and it was in construction for year after year, with point additions compounding the problems. I then asserted that this analogy can apply to how IT architectures sometimes evolve -- bit by bit, without a formal blueprint or “grand master” plan, if you will.

Architecture-Led Facebook Poll Results 31 Jan 2012

Architecture-Led Facebook Poll Results 31 Jan 2012

I finished the series with a poll on our Cisco Data Center Facebook page - thanks to all of you who spotted the poll and took the time to respond.  The results were indeed interesting, so I thought I’d share back the results with you and discuss the implications.  As the diagram shows, you certainly told us loud and clear what your biggest issue was when it came to adopting an architectural-led approach to your IT strategy and data center design: “We don’t have clear enough business goals for IT” scooped 65% of your votes, way ahead of all other options (!!) -- so let’s discuss now in some more detail.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Service Providers Continue to See Value of Hosted Unified Communications and Collaboration Services

If there was ever a doubt that our service provider customers did not see the market opportunity to leverage the cloud and deliver enterprise collaboration services to their business customers, that uncertainty continues to decline.

Today, AT&T announced the availability of its Unified Communications Service, a new way for its business subscribers to offer a complete collaboration suite of features to employees in a secure and cost effective way. At the heart of AT&T’s enterprise collaboration solution is Cisco’s own Hosted Collaboration Solution, the foundation that many other providers such as Verizon and Orange have turned to, in helping them offer the best customized collaboration solution to their enterprise customers. Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2012 Predictions: These I Like

January 23, 2012 at 9:13 am PST

It took me awhile to go through all the random Top 10 of 2011 lists for various topics, so now I’m ready to look ahead to 2012’s preponderance of pundit predictions. Or maybe I’m just fashionably late. I’ve tripped over a few reports here and there – some quite possibly developed by caffeinated squirrels on a treadmill.

Not me, but she looks like she's predicting something...

On the technology front, I found one more interesting than others. Instead of putting a small group of experts in a room and not letting them out until they agree on a list, Baseline Magazine annually surveys business and technology managers at companies with 100+ employees to ask about their organizations’ investments, plans, and strategies. Across several hundred respondents, patterns evolve.

Whoever these people are, coming from the desk I use, I like the way they (and their companies) think. Following – their predictions and my two cents (maybe three or four).

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,