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How Are Large Enterprises Utilizing Collaboration in the Cloud?

Today, we ‘re featuring a guest post from Brian Blatnik, a senior manager within Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group:

In the month since our CloudVerse announcement the notion of a world of many clouds – public, private, and hybrid – has resonated with our customers, partners, and industry analysts. I’d like to share some perspective on how those types of clouds address different customers in the collaboration cloud services market. Since last month’s announcement highlighted our private cloud model in that market, Hosted Collaboration Solution for Large Enterprises, I’ll focus on that model. As a reminder, the 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.

I’m often asked, “Haven’t enterprise voice and other UC services always been delivered from what we now call a private cloud?” It’s true that IP PBXs and other UC servers, like their PBX predecessors, provide services to users from a remote room or facility via a network. But there are two ways in which today’s cloud service delivery differs. First, there is the efficiency of pooling computing, network, and storage resources across multiple locations and services. Second, the services can be delivered in an on-demand fashion with elastic scaling.

The financial and strategic benefits deriving from these two factors are leading many businesses to consider consuming collaboration services in a utility model from Cisco’s partners in the Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). But the same drivers can result in substantial benefits to businesses that aren’t looking for services from a third party’s public cloud. Read More »

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FHRP – Egress Path Optimization from the Server to the Client

I previously discussed using LISP to optimize your client-server traffic so today I’ll discuss the reverse direction: Egress Path Optimization from the Server to the Client. Let’s go over the need for Path Optimization in the direction from Server-to-Client with some pictures and explanations.

The Virtual Machine (VM) server is configured with a default gateway IP address, 192.168.1.1, which is the next hop IP address that the VM will forward packets towards as the traffic returns to the client outside the data center.  In this data center environment, we’ve deployed the default gateway using the First Hop Redundancy Protocol (FHRP).  In reality, FHRP is an umbrella technology term that includes Hot Standby Routing Protcol (HSRP) and Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP), two main technologies that provide transparent failover and redundancy at the first hop IP router.  Please see info on FHRP here.

Also notice that the VM default gateway is the same as the HSRP Virtual IP Address (VIP). The HSRP VIP binds itself to one of the physical HSRP Routers via an HSRP election process using Layer 2 control packets between the two physical HSRP Routers and this means that the VM default gateway, since it points to a VIP, may move between physical HSRP Routers, and of course which is then intent and design when using any type of FHRP.

In the above picture, the Path is Optimized from Server to Client, so now let’s take a look at what happens when we migrate the VM to the new data center.

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Location, Location, Data Center Location

January 4, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

I spent a recent weekend helping a friend load his belongings into a moving van, in preparation for relocating his family from California to Texas.  Sometime between lifting my end of a sofa and carrying boxes that apparently contained his collection of concrete blocks, we talked about his search for a new home.

Although there are certain amenities he would like his new house to have, the biggest influence on his choice of residence is the old real estate axiom location, location, location.  He has a child in preschool and a good job, so you can guess his priorities:  something near a highly rated school, not too far from work and where property values are apt to rise over time.

Location is a critical consideration for Data Centers, too, although for different reasons.  Read More »

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Join us at CiscoLive London?

January 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm PST

We had so much fun last year…and so far, they are letting us come back.  We had fun doing a little promo for the trip…an excuse really…to let Jimmy Ray play dress up, let me work on my Alfred Molina impression and most of all…let Producer Steve Ewertz loose so he can shoot/edit/compose the way he likes!

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Top Headlines: Contest Winners, Clouds, Charities, and Cisco Partner Profitability in 2012

December 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm PST

As 2011 comes to a close, what do you think 2012 will bring? We predict it will be the Year of the Cloud!

In this last episode of Partner Update for 2011, Andrew attempts to communicate with the entire CloudVerse, until he learns what it actually is (a set of cloud capabilities that helps our partners build public, private, and hybrid clouds for customers).

What else made the news over the past couple of weeks? We crowned two partners winners of the 25 Words contest for their witty entries, look closely at how Cisco partners are helping to build a fast and secure network to help customer Doss Aviation power fighter jets, learn best practices around Smart Care Services and building better customer relationships, find out how OnPlus can help partners diagnose and fix network issues from virtually anywhere on any device, a services cheat sheet to help build relationships and increase profits, and more.

Tune in and watch our latest newscast covering the top Cisco partner headlines, as always, in under 5 minutes.

Keep reading for links to the top headlines, time stamps so you can find each news item within the video, and more details on each of the stories we covered.

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