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A New ESG White Paper: Accelerating Transformation with an Application-centric Approach

At CiscoLive San Francisco held last week, Soni Jiandani, Senior Vice President of Cisco INSBU, highlighted our continued industry momentum for Application Centric Infrastructure.  She discussed customer deployments, new ecosystem partners and the enormous simplification of cloud and application delivery.

So it’s timely to review both ACI’s architectural approach and get a first look at the actual business value that large customers expect from adopting ACI.   This two part blog introduces:

ESGwide

  • A new Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) white paper that explains the principles of ACI’s application-centric approach and how it helps data center teams keep pace with business agility, risk management and the need for resource efficiency.
  • An economic analysis from IDC showing the three year return on using ACI in one of the largest data center environments in the world, Cisco’s own IT Elastic Services.

In the first paper, Enterprise Strategy Group shows how the rise of mobile, social, and e-commerce applications are driving a fundamental IT transformation. Web 2.0, Big Data, and collaboration applications are built using a modular approach, leveraging Dev Ops and Cloud Ops models and consumed on traditional and mobile devices. These applications are far more dynamic than ever before.  Therefore, the supporting underlying IT infrastructure (compute, network, and storage), has to be more flexible and adaptable to their specific needs.

The paper explains how Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture provides a common programmable infrastructure policy model for enterprise network, application, security, and virtualization teams. Policy based provisioning of applications makes IT more agile in both application deployment and optimized operations.  It offers full visibility and integrated management of both physical and virtual networked IT resources, supporting an “application anywhere” model with complete freedom of application movement and placement.  In addition, through open OpFlex protocol, ACI’s policy-based approach can now be extended to a growing vendor ecosystem, allowing customers to protect their existing data center investments.

In the paper, Bob Laliberte, Senior Analyst at ESG, addresses the following topics:

  • How applications are driving IT transformation
  • How infrastructure obstacles inhibit responsiveness to the business
  • A new approach in which there is a much tighter link between the applications and the underlying networking infrastructure
  • How Cisco ACI complements and accelerates the IT transformation in the networking space

Download the ESG paper here.  And stay tuned for the IDC business value analysis.

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Data Security Through the Cloud [summary]

Is the combination of cloud computing and mobility a perfect storm of security threats?

Actually, yes. And you should prepare for them as if there is a storm coming.

As businesses become increasingly mobile, so does sensitive data. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by ESG,

31% of security professionals say that the biggest risk associated with cloud infrastructure services is, “privacy concerns associated with sensitive and/or regulated data stored and/or processed by a cloud infrastructure provider.”

Data Security Through the Cloud

 

With cloud-based services, it is key to have visibility into applications and provide consistent experience across devices accessing the web and cloud applications. More users are leaving the standard PC behind and engaging cloud applications through a mobile device, making application-layer security and user access security critical. Smartphones and tablets are able to connect to applications running anywhere, including public, private and hybrid cloud applications, opening your data to potential attacks. Security professionals need assurances that their cloud security provider will appropriately secure customer data while ensuring availability and uptime.

 

The conversation is no longer if you’ll be attacked, but when. And will you be prepared?

Read the full article: Data Security Through the Cloud

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Data Security Through the Cloud

Is the combination of cloud computing and mobility a perfect storm of security threats?

Actually, yes. And you should prepare for them as if there is a storm coming. As businesses become increasingly mobile, so does sensitive data. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by ESG,

31% of security professionals say that the biggest risk associated with cloud infrastructure services is, “privacy concerns associated with sensitive and/or regulated data stored and/or processed by a cloud infrastructure provider.”

Data Security Through the CloudDid you know:

16 billion web requests are inspected every day through Cisco Cloud Web Security

93 billion emails are inspected every day by Cisco’s hosted email solution

 200,000 IP addresses are evaluated daily

400,000 malware samples are evaluated daily

33 million endpoint files are evaluated every day by FireAMP

28 million network connects are evaluated every day by FireAMP

Read More »

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Tackling Operational Complexity – Fresh perspectives on role of DataCenter Infrastructure

In less than 48 hours, on Nov 6th, Cisco will officially announce details of its approach to Application Centric Infrastructure based on innovations from Insieme networks.
[To join our Webcast with John Chambers and Insieme Soni Jiandani on Wednesday November 6 at 10:30 am EST/7:30 am PST  register here ]

No doubt that there are great expectations riding on this announcement. In part due to Insieme’s pedigree, and in part due to the promise it brings. The former I covered in my previous blog – Application Centric Infrastructure gets ready to rumble. As for the latter, it is important to put the promise in perspective.

As businesses of all sizes continue to pump billions of dollars of investment into  data center and cloud IT and consumption models, the expectations for IT to generate a credible RoI in terms of business agility, productivity and efficiency has never been higher. IT today epitomizes a very powerful business function that directly impacts agility and contributes to bottomline and customer experience. It is but natural to think of data centers are futuristic, glamorous environments, quietly humming away transforming businesses at their core. Many new data centers are in fact that, and seem to come out for sci-fi movie.

However, in a majority of cases, many data centers have just “grown-up” too fast over the last decade that saw adhoc spurts in data center consolidation and server virtualization.  While both phases have provided tremendous benefits in terms of efficiencies and economies of scale, they have also contributed their mite to increasing operational complexity. From cabling sprawl, to network and server sprawl, to VM sprawl – the rapid growth has in some cases negated cost efficiencies gained through server virtualization. The same can be said of software stacks with complex licensing and version control issues. The affinity to applications in this chaos has somehow been either taken for granted or partially lost in the complexity, making it harder to bring predictability into application deployments or troubleshooting, leading to both time and cost overruns. How can this be simplified? How can infrastructure be better linked to the needs of applications? How to make life simpler for data center operations and facilitate a better application experience?

ESG_1

Per a survey conducted by ESG last year, 63% of IT pros say new app deployments take a month or more, 50% say upgrades take just as long. 77% of enterprise IT pros say they would manage more than 150 applications over the next year. This is a lot! For IT to deliver high performing apps, they need a way for infrastructure to automatically respond to the needs of the application, and to have excellent visibility when something goes wrong and requires troubleshooting during application deployments or upgrades.

ESG_5

 

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How Secure is Your Secure Access?

July 30, 2013 at 8:04 am PST

In June, I attended the Gartner Security Summit in Washington, D.C. where I was asked by quite a few security executives, “My network folks just bought ISE, but what is ISE and what type of security does it provide?”  Fast forward to July, and I wish I had this SANS review on ISE to offer a month earlier.  (SANS, as many security professionals know, is a highly regarded organization on IT security and cyber security.) Read More »

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