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Meet Stephen Speirs: Data Center and Cloud Blogger Expert

March 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm PST

Based in the Glasgow Cisco Scotland office, Stephen is a distinguished blogger from the Data Center and Cloud team in Cisco Services.  Stephen joined Cisco in the year 2000 via the Atlantech Technologies acquisition and was Senior Manager within Product Management in Cisco’s Network Management R&D team, and he focused on IP/MPLS service provider network management. 

During this time, he brought to market the unique Cisco MPLS Diagnostics Expert product, taking it from (literally) a corridor conversation through definition to launch, and on to win multiple industry awards.   He has over 20 years of industry experience in IT, Data Center, and Service Provider Network Management which he shares with the world through his writing. By keeping customers’ new technology adoption challenges at the forefront of his mind and weaving novelty into his blogging best practices, Stephen has gained the popularity of many of his readers and established himself as a role model for many other Cisco bloggers.

Stephen’s Customer-Centric Vision

Blogging is no one-way conversation for Stephen. He has the customer in mind at all times and is always conscious of their careabouts. Prior to writing, he interviews customers and partners to better understand their viewpoints and present a more well-rounded perspective.

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Prediction for 2nd half of 2012: Infrastructure as a Service deployments expand to include IT as a Service

IT shops deploying clouds over the past year have been focused on Infrastructure as a Service ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrastructure_as_a_service#Infrastructure ) as a way to drive speed in virtual and physical server provisioning, cost savings in operations, proactive service level agreements, and increased control and governance.   In one of my blogs I introduced our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/the-secret-is-now-out-you-can-simplify-cloud-deployments-with-cisco-unified-management/ and how that addresses both private, hybrid and public clouds IaaS.   Key to this is the service catalog and self service portal.  Moving to cloud is NOT about taking hundreds of server configuration templates and moving to them immediate self service.  All you are doing in that model is automating VM sprawl.  They key is defining a limited set of services and options that your end users such as application owners and technical folks can order through a self service portal and manage their life-cycle.

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This Old Data Center

February 22, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

For this week’s Data Center Deconstructed we’re setting the Wayback machine to 1998, when Cisco opened a new engineering Data Center at its headquarters in San Jose, California.

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Cisco at RSA 2012: Putting Things In Context

It’s that time of year again. The annual RSA security show brings together all the major security vendors under one roof for a week of training, announcements, and vendors hawking their latest wares. This year we can expect the usual cadre of legacy security vendors with their stand-alone, siloed products pretending that they now support clouds and mobile workers and BYOD. Booth babes, jugglers, magicians, and flashy giveaways will fill the exhibit halls while vendors play shell games with the security of customers, all adding a cacophony of noise to an already confusing situation.

Amidst all the hoopla and fanfare, however, Cisco Systems, the largest security vendor in the world, will be there with perhaps the only reasonable strategy for securing the networks organizations are creating today.

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Lippis Video Introduces Cisco’s Network Virtualization Portfolio

February 6, 2012 at 9:40 am PST

Nick Lippis of the Lippis Report sits down with Prashant Gandhi, Cisco’s Sr. Director of Marketing for Virtualization in our Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit, to discuss all things virtual in this new video podcast. Prashant does a great job showing why Cisco’s network virtualization stack is the most complete in the industry, including the Nexus 1000V virtual switch, the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, the virtual Wide Area Application Services (vWAAS) WAN optimization solution, Network Services Manager (NSM), Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC), and the Nexus 1010 and new 1010-X Virtual Services Appliance. When you include recently announced technologies like VXLAN and support for the Microsoft Windows Server 8 Hyper-V hypervisor later this year, a great overview video like this can help you keep up with all the recent innovations.

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