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Seeing is believing – Graphics Conference first day brings together industry players with Cisco

No longer just the domain of gamesters and young-at-heart, the graphics industry is now providing stunning performance to all sorts of industries such as manufacturing, finance, healthcare and design. Perhaps none more so though than the Oil and Gas Industry, as companies explore in harder-to-get-at places and dangers to workers are greater than ever. The GPU Technology  Conference in San Jose this week showed how far we’ve come in accelerating energy discoveries with less time spent travelling to far off dangerous environments.

So what’s it all about? Well, for starters four partners – Cisco, NetApp, NVIDIA and Citrix have got together to change the way users of high performance graphics applications can be used in remote and local environments. Normally geophysicists and geoscientists using, say, Schlumberger or Halliburton seismic analysis software use powerful (but expensive) workstations or have to work close to large central datacenters to get the kind of performance they need to get their applications running fast enough and their graphics visualizations looking smooth and not jittery.

That’s where the four partners come in. Putting it simply Cisco and NetApp provide a best-in-class virtualized data center with ‘Flexpod’, then NVIDIA provide high-performance  GPUs (Graphics Processor Units) that slot into the Flexpod (remember it’s based on Cisco UCS so have heaps of flexibility), and then remote users can access their graphics applications on inexpensive devices (even tablets!) using VDI (Virtual desktop infrastructure) software from Citrix. This is on show in various places in the Exhibit hall, including Cisco’s booth # 219.

What does it all mean? Well, for starters, really fast loading of the datasets – no waiting around in the break room for ages! Also – remote access to the analysis of the data – so the data never leaves the datacenter so better security. Add to that the possibility that scientists can now work together using Cisco and other collaboration tools, and productivity just got a shot-in-the-arm. The demo stowed the applications running remotely – performance was indistinguishable from running locally on expensive and cumbersome workstations or on local datacenters!

Folks at the booth were impressed. “Wow – that’s graphics visualization and analysis on steroids'” said one visitor. “We could really use that where I work” said another (yes, we’ll be following that one up!).

Other highlights today were Cisco presenting the benefits of UCS to a sizable audience, and Dassault Systems, an accomplished Cisco UCS user, talking about how they use NVIDIA GRID and CISCO UCS for Graphics Virtualization. Laurent Seror, Founder and CEO, Outscale, presents. Tomorrow we’ll hear from the Ford Motor Company with a presentation entitled ‘So you want to Deploy High Resolution Graphics Desktop Virtualization’. Chip Charnley, Technical Expert, Client Technologies, Ford Motor Company will review both the process of doing, and the results of the Proof of Concept for implementing XenApp and XenDesktop that was conducted jointly by Ford Motor Company, Citrix and Cisco. Read More »

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The Information Driven Enterprise in a Connected World

Join me at the ARC Industry Forum Europe 2015 –  March 4-5, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – where this year the theme is ‘The Information Driven Enterprise in a Connected World’.

“New and emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, predictive analytics, wireless, additive manufacturing, modular and mobile production, cloud computing, mobility, and 3D visualization are beginning to disrupt and radically change the way industrial enterprises do business.  Departing from the characteristic industry prudent innovation, leading companies now recognize that they must embrace new information, automation, production, and supply chain technologies to maintain a competitive edge.” (Arc Forum Executive Team)

The Forum is aimed at CEOs, COOs, and Presidents, CIOs and CTOs, and I shall be hosting a couple of sessions on the agenda:

The first day I’ll be driving a session on Collaboration and Organization, and the second day a plenary workshop on Industry 4.0, Industrial IoT, Dig Data, Analytics and the cloud:

ARC Forum 2015 Ams

Join me if you can. If you have a good case study from your company I’d be happy to buy you one of our great beers brewed in the Netherlands so that I can listen!

Registration Methods
Please use one of the following methods to register for the Forum:

Call +49-(0)2104-28698 (ext. 87 or 89), fax +49-(0)2104-542013, or e-mail ablech@arcweb.com or  rkilies@arcweb.com.

Register On-line

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2015 Strategic Directions: Smart Utility Report

Founded in 1915, Black & Veatch is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company, specializing in Energy, Water, Telecommunications, Federal, and Management Consulting. Black & Veatch’s annual Strategic Directions Report identifies top of mind issues based on a compilation of data and analysis from an industry-wide survey. The complete report is available from the Black & Veatch website.

“The annual Strategic Directions report series captures Black & Veatch’s global engineering and thought leadership expertise across key elements of the critical human infrastructure market.… This report represents the evolution of Black & Veatch’s inaugural Strategic Directions: Utility Automation & Integration report, with an expanded focus on automation and integration and utilities’ efforts to harness data to make operations and service delivery more efficient.

Black & Veatch 2015

The major sections of the report address:

  • Utility Telecommunications
  • Utility Automation
  • Data Analytics
  • Smart Communities
  • Perspectives

The report notes that utilities and communities, with the proliferation of smart devices, automation and the use of analytics are transforming development and delivery of key infrastructure services to become more responsive, efficient and resilient.

Especially relevant to Cisco’s engagement with the utility industry and communities around the world is Black & Veatch’s observation that as legacy equipment is replaced or upgraded, IP-based technology is creating new opportunities. Connected devices on utility telecommunications infrastructure is now widely recognized as “…an essential element of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Advanced metering Infrastructure (AMI) has often been thought of as synonymous with “Smart Grid”, but the expectations of real-time pricing or even time-of-use (TOU) rates and demand side management are far from the top of the list of top areas enabled by increased data management and analytics. The top three listed in the report are:

Asset Management (67%)

Capital Investment (45%)

Customer Service/Engagement (27%)

More than 63% of electric utilities report plans to replace, upgrade or build communications infrastructure in the next 5 years, with IP leading the way as the network protocol standard including SCADA systems.

“Some utilities are completely embracing a converged mentality and running everything over a shared infrastructure, while others are moving more cautiously by keeping protective relaying and other mission-critical applications separate from the converged network.

The report notes that some utilities are more focused on the cost of maintaining and replacing outdated equipment and are unconvinced that smart grid technologies and automation are critical, but concludes, “Staying on the sidelines carries risk.”

Budget concerns dominate the obstacles to new technology implementation, and convincing stakeholders is key to addressing cost and perception issues.

The report concludes that the adaptive planning enabled by IP communications and advanced analytics allow leaders to effectively address core management functions of Strategic Options Assessment, Asset management and Operational Planning.

“For organizations that provide essential services, this represents the greatest transformation in utility operations in decades. For the smart city, it will facilitate the transformation to becoming a better place to live and a more friendly and desirable place to do business for generations to come.”

Black & Veatch and Cisco partner to create architectures for electricity, natural gas, solar and wind customers that provide secure and optimized network integration for smart grid environments. If you’d like to know more about our work together, contact me by commenting on this blog.

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Welcome René Pluis to the Cisco Energy Blog

Please join me in welcoming René Pluis to the Cisco Energy Blog. René is a member of my global energy team and has vast experience of Cisco architectures and technologies and how they can be applied to our customer’s business and technical challenges to create positive business outcomes.

Rene Pluis

Rene Pluis

René has been working in the industrial network domain for several years now.  His focus has been on enabling business imperatives through the deployment of communication networks, connectivity and collaboration.

His main focus is the Oil & Gas Industry, both onshore as well as offshore. Deployment of wireless technologies to connect sensors (IoT – Internet of Things) and enabling mobile wireless clients (track & trace) in hazardous areas and pipeline operations are just two of his focus areas in this industrial network domain. He is also very familiar with other areas of the energy industry such as utilities and energy management.

He combines both a technology and a business view on the solutions at hand. He has spoken at several events and conferences and is considered a consultative subject matter expert by many industry and customer groups:

Please welcome René!

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Welcome Matt Morris to the Cisco Energy Industry Blog

matmorri

Matt Morris, Cisco Systems Inc.

Please join me in welcoming Matt Morris to the Energy Industry Blog.

Matt is the Global Solution Lead for Cisco’s Internet of Things (IOT) Solutions practice (Oil & Gas, Utilities, Manufacturing, Transportation and Mining), where he leads the strategy, development and go to market of Cisco’s “big bets” and transformational solutions. This includes the Cisco Secure Ops Solution, a solution that delivers critical infrastructure security as a managed service, along with household names in ICS Security.  His duties at Cisco include – leadership and governance; spearheading strategy, business and technology innovation; performing due diligence for strategic acquisitions; building/fostering new partnerships to scale the business. Matt also leads and participates in various special projects at Cisco.

Matt has spoken at, or appeared at, many events, conferences and shows as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for Cisco in the areas of security and threat response :

Recently, Matt lead the launch of the Secure Ops Solution. This ground-breaking offering from Cisco provides for “Critical infrastructure security as-a-service” and uses a convenient service wrapper and attaches a set of service level agreements. Read about it here: Unveiling Cisco Collaborative Operations and Secure Ops Solutions. It supports cyber security risk management and compliance for industrial control environments. You can also read about how an oil company use of Secure Ops in Peter Granger’s blog: Cisco to Provide Secure Ops Solution to Royal Dutch Shell.

Prior to Cisco, Matt worked for Landis+Gyr (L+G), a prominent Smart Grid player. As Director of Product Management & Marketing, Matt’s responsibilities included portfolio management of L+G’s North American products and solutions, partnerships and alliances, portfolio and brand strategy, mergers & acquisitions, and complex deal negotiations. This included AMI, DA, HAN, and Cybersecurity solutions.

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