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Network Service Providers Can Compete and Win in the Cloud

If you’ve been following the research from Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, you may have already seen the survey on Service Providers and their viability in the Cloud at the end of last year. Yesterday I was preparing for a customer briefing when this report came to mind and I thought it may be useful to summarize the high points if you haven’t read it yet.

The custom research found that Network Service Providers have an advantage when offering Cloud services if they use their unique assets to differentiate their services. Over-the-Top (OTT) players may have seen success in offering plain vanilla Infrastructure as a Service at large scale and low prices but the opportunity for supplying the high-end and high-value spectrum of Cloud services is still underway. You will probably agree with me that security is critical for any service these days. It is a challenge that requires proper design and planning and proper vigilance and quick responses are what differentiate the winners from the losers. Cloud is a large market in the midst of a transition and it will be fun to watch how everything plays out, I’m placing bets on the Service Providers to scoop up a valuable share of the ~$43 billion XaaS market by 2013. Read More »

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Lessons for the Data Center Novice

August 17, 2011 at 9:00 am PST

Early in my days as a Data Center manager I attended a series of talks focused on Data Center energy efficiency.  The sessions covered everything from hardware chip design to application performance to physical infrastructure.

Even for a beginner, two things were immediately obvious.  First, Data Centers consume more energy than other buildings – much more.  Second, with so many different components drawing power there are a lot of opportunities to make a server environment more energy efficient.

One presenter, from a manufacturer of Data Center standby electrical systems, mentioned during his talk that electrical components operate more efficiently at higher loads.  The closer they are to maximum capacity, the better they perform.

I thought about this for a while and at the conclusion of the session, asked:  “If electrical systems operate more efficiently at higher loads, why do operators of Data Centers with redundant electrical infrastructure split the load evenly between the A and B sides?  Why not put the entire load on side A and nothing on side B?  Wouldn’t that be more energy efficient?”

To my surprise, the question stumped the presenter.  Eventually, one of his co-workers in the audience stood up and said they had conducted experiments with that configuration and found that although it was more energy efficient, when a failure occurred on the A side and the full power load (in his words) “came crashing onto the B side,” the components sometimes failed.  The redundant electrical infrastructure could reliably handle a sudden jump from 40 percent loaded to 80 percent, but not from zero to 80 percent.

Oh.  Enter my third Data Center lesson for the day:  energy efficiency is important, but ensuring availability is much more important.

Speaking of availability and Data Center power, this week’s question explores the use of rotary UPS systems that employ flywheel technology versus traditional battery UPS systems.  See below for discussion of the pros and cons of each.

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Live Broadcast for Partners: How to Thrive with Cisco Architectures

August 10, 2011 at 2:49 pm PST

You’ve likely heard talk about collaboration, data center/virtualization, and borderless networks architectures for some time now.  Maybe you’ve heard that architecture-based solutions offer massive opportunities for Cisco partners (and customers).

In FY11 alone borderless networks were a US$49 billion total addressable market opportunity, collaboration US$35 billion, and data center/virtualization US$42 billion.

Want to learn more about how to deliver architecture-based solutions and maximum ROI to your customers? Then join our live broadcast where you’ll learn about the architecture and business skills your teams need to optimize technology deployments.

Our guest Andres Sintes, Global Director of Cisco’s Worldwide Learning Partner Channel, will be joined by Cisco Learning Partners for a live discussion on Cisco architectures, programs, and tips on how to thrive in Cisco’s new architectural framework.

Here’s more info and how to participate…

Read More »

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Security Today – Magic or just a throwback to a 1960′s episode of Star Trek?

Stealing a quote from Arthur C. Clarke: “Any technology, sufficiently developed, is indistinguishable from magic”. Some people would certainly consider security these days as magic. Okay, so much for that reference, but what does Star Trek have to do with government and security, my typical topics. Star Trek, although mostly about exploration sure seemed to have a bit of a “Space Military” characteristic to it. Isn’t that what the Star Fleet was all about? (no offense intended, Capt. Kirk.)

Lately, I’ve been doing some research for a paper on the integration of physical and logical security (I did an initial paper that you can see here: Click on “The Necessity of Security”) and it dawned on me how very similar the technology of today is to the science fiction of the 1960’s, or in Mr. Clarke’s case, magic. So here is a synopsis of some of my observations. I’m sure there are more; please feel free to reply with what I’ve missed or your own favorites.

Read More »

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Vblock: Accelerating the Journey to Private Cloud

In the continuing quest for a fully virtualized data center, IT professionals have a new tool that promises to dramatically simplify the journey: the Vblock. This 60-minute TechWiseTV episode explores this latest advancement in unified computing and shows how it will make it easier for organizations to build out data centers.


Episode 62: Vblock: Accelerating the Journey to Private Cloud

You will learn how Vblock™ Infrastructure Platforms simplify the acquisition and deployment process by integrating best of breed technology from Cisco, EMC and VMware into prepackaged units of infrastructure that are optimized for a wide range of virtualized solution deployments and how since each Vblock is pre-built and ready for deployment and the modular design is highly scalable to meet growth needs, your projects will get completed faster and you will have investment protection, and lower total cost of ownership.

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